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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies









A long time ago, I had a Home Ec teacher who explained there are three basic kinds of cookies: chewy, crisp, and cake-like. These old-fashioned oatmeal cookies are definitely in the cake-like group, soft and moist and full of flavor.



They are also relatively healthy (though still with enough sugar that they definitely should stay in the "special treat" category of your family's menus). This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in my mother's church cookbook from the early 1930s. Originally they called for one and a half cups of butter. Substituting unsweetened applesauce, cutting back the sugar,  and increasing the spices improved the nutrititive value without compromising flavor at all.
 
 Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c unsweetened applesauce
2 t vanilla
3 c flour
2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
2 1/2 c old-fashioned or regular oats (oatmeal, NOT the instant kind and NOT steel cut)
1 c dried cranberries
3/4 to 1 c chopped walnuts (optional)

1.  Cream butter and sugars together. Stir in the eggs and then the applesauce and vanilla. Blend until very smooth and light.
2.  Sift the flour, baking powder, and spices together and add to the egg mixture. Stir until well blended.
3.  Mix in the cranberries and nuts and then add the oats gradually. Continue to stir until the oats are evenly blended in.
4.  Drop by spoonfuls on to a greased baking sheet and flatten lightly with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.

Makes 3 1/2 to 5 dozen cookies, depending on the size you make. For those in the picture, I scooped out balls of dough a little bigger than a golf ball, with a yield of 40 cookies.

Variations:

Replace the dried cranberries with raisins or dates.

For a very different texture, put the oats and raisins in a processor and blend until quite fine. This works very well if you have family members not especially fond of raisins.



















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