Archive for February, 2013

Sea-Salted Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Somewhere around the middle of January, I decided that I didn’t want to be a statistics tutor anymore. Even though it was an ego boost just being askedto be a math tutor for the school (a MATH tutor!), I had had it up to here with spending hours on end in the library surrounded by graph paper, broken pencil lead, and the frustrated grunts of my tutees.

Don’t get me wrong; I was a great tutor. I had a 99% turnover rate! (Let’s not talk about the other 1%. That girl isn’t my biggest fan) I was churning out A students left and right, though no one on the home front believed me.

“You’re a what? Math doesn’t run in our family,” they’d say. I had a very tumultuous childhood in the mathematics department. In the sixth grade, my father told me that I could only start shaving my legs if I got an A on my last math test. Sick of wearing knee-highs to school every day, I buckled down, but failed nonetheless. Mrs. Resdin, my math teacher and confidante, took pity on my fuzzy legs and secretly let me re-take the test until the A was mine. I strutted down the aisle of the auditorium at graduation in my knee-length dress with pride, hairless, but still a numerical moron.

I digress. Wandering through Coolidge Corner in Brookline, Massachusetts one afternoon, I walked confidently (with the pride of hairless sixth grader) into each store, offering my services. After dropping off an application at Trader Joe’s (why they didn’t hire me, I don’t know), I popped into The Body Shop across the street.

Less than a month later, I was hired as the Coolidge Corner Body Shop’s new Assistant Manager! But there was a catch: the manager manager had just taken another job,  So, until they hired a new one, I’d be working and training at a different store: the one inside the Prudential Center. “If you can handle the Pru, you can handle anything,” I was told ominously.

Though less frightening than my first day at the Hollywood Bowl (it was the Playboy Jazz Festival at high noon and everyone was wasted and creepy), my first shift at The Body Shop was a lot to take in. I learned the difference between seaweed and aloe and that pomegranate is good for “mature” (not “old”) skin, while tea tree is best for “blemished” (not “bad”) skin. I learned how to use a cash register and did a lot more math than anticipated.

After five hours of this business, I was royally pooped. Exhausted and smelling like a mix of Atlas Mountain Rose, Sweet Lemon, and White Musk, I headed to the food court for a little somethin’ special. At the Paradise Café (bless them), I ordered a warm chocolate chip cookie and ate the whole thing right there in the course of three minutes. It was an awesome reward, though the wafting scent of fresh baked cookies now taunts me every time I leave work.

I was at home on my first day off from The Body Shop, exhausted from a week filled with skin care, school, and magazine editing, when I decided that I wanted to bake some cookies: sea-salted chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, to be exact. Maybe if I outdid Paradise, I wouldn’t feel so tempted when walking by the food court on my last days of training!

I whipped together this recipe with a little help from the Morton’s Salt website and it couldn’t have been a better idea. I invited over a few friends, who helped me spoon the cookie dough onto the baking sheets, but mostly accompanied me on indulging in the oaty, salty, chocolaty goodness.

These cookies are moist and sweet, with just a hint of crisp salt. The oatmeal adds a nutty heartiness that gives the cookies a more complex texture that’ll have you reaching for seconds. Make these cookies when you just want a little something special. Maybe you were just hired for a new job. Maybe you did well on a test. Maybe you just shaved your legs for the first time! Or maybe you deserve it just ‘cus. I won’t tell, if you won’t.

Sea-Salted Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
·      1 cup unsalted butter
·      1 cup light brown sugar
·      ½ cup white sugar
·      2 eggs
·      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·      1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
·      ½ teaspoon baking soda
·      Approx. 2 teaspoons Morton Sea Salt
·      2 ½ cups oats
·      1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Use an electric mixer to blend butter, brown sugar, and white sugar on medium speed until smooth.
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time and add vanilla.
4. In a separate medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt.
5. Add dry mix to batter a little bit at a time, mixing on low/medium speed before adding more.
6. Fold in oats using a spatula.
7. Fold in chocolate chips. As always, be generous.
8. On a greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet, drop 2-inch wide dollops of dough, evenly spaced.
9. Sprinkle the cookies with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Unlike the chocolate chips, don’t go overboard here!
10. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy while still warm.

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