The Heart of New England
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies                                                     
By Charlie Burke
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
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When our grown sons were young, these oatmeal cookies replaced chocolate
chip cookies as the family favorite. The source of the recipe was a magazine,
although we cannot recall which, although we still have the cut-out recipe
which had been submitted by a reader from North Carolina.

Originally calling for trans fat laden shortening, the recipe has been modified by
my wife, Joanne, over the years. Currently it is done with Earth Balance, a
remarkable butter substitute containing no cholesterol, saturated fat or trans
fats. It was developed by nutrition researchers at Brandeis University in
Waltham, Massachusetts and is high in omega – 3. If cholesterol is not a concern,
however, feel free to use fresh local butter.

A lower fat version, using ground flax seed, will also be given. Whichever
recipe you choose is likely to be a family favorite.

Approximately three dozen cookies:

1 ½ cups all purpose flour (we use King Arthur)
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon (preferably Saigon cinnamon)
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons allspice
1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup butter or butter substitute
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick cooking rolled oats (regular rolled oats can be used, but do not
become as moist)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine flour, soda, spices and salt. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and
butter using an electric mixer until creamy; mix inn vanilla and eggs. Add flour
and mix until combined. Stir in oats, nuts and raisins.

Lightly grease cookie sheets; use approximately ¼ cup of dough per cookie and
place on sheet 4 – 5 inches apart. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until
slightly browned (12 – 14 minutes). Let cool a few minutes on the sheet, and
then transfer to a rack until cooled.

Lower fat version:

Substitute ¾ cup ground flax seed for ¾ cup flour.
Use only ½ cup butter or butter substitute
Add 1 ½  tablespoon egg substitute if using large eggs, none if using jumbo
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