By nature one who likes to celebrate, who fully supports baking a cake and raising a toast on a Tuesday just because it's Tuesday, I am, as one would expect, always excited about upcoming holidays. This year I'm especially enthusiastic about the winter holidays - I'm humming and singing even more than usual, I have festive decorations scattered all over the house and positively smothering my desk at work, and I feel a passionate urge to bake cookies every night of the week. Perhaps my exponentially increased enthusiasm has something to do with our first holiday season in the cold weather, where it actually feels like winter, or, more likely, has to do with the fact that this is the first year in a very long time when I'm not in school, working night shifts, or logging a 4 hour round trip daily commute. Having a shred of one's sanity for once does tend to contribute positively to one's sense of joie de vivre.
I feel there's nothing else to do but allow my enthusiasm full reign. I baked several batches of cookies for coworkers, friends, and Zach last weekend, with the culinary goal of adding updated, modern twists to classic, favorite cookie tropes. This batch is one of my favorites - a reworking of Zach's beloved white chocolate oatmeal cookies. I used buttermilk as the sole rising agent and a minimal amount of sugar, adding a pleasant, yeasty tang, and added coarse sea salt for a utterly mesmerizing hint of saltiness amidst the rich sweetness of the white chocolate.
So whether you're covered in flour like me or muttering about an overdose of carols on the radio already, bake at least one batch of cookies for my sake... I dare say these, in particular, would cheer up even Dickens' gloomiest Scrooge.
Salted White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
2 Cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup raw turbinado sugar
1 rounded tsp coarse sea salt
1 Cup low fat buttermilk
4 egg whites
1 Tbsp honey
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips
~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil and coat lightly with cooking spray.
~ Whisk together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, and sea salt, and set aside.
~ Whisk together the buttermilk, egg whites, honey, canola oil, and vanilla until well blended.
~ Gradually stir in the flour mixture.
~ Fold in the white chocolate chips.
~ Scoop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheets, and bake for approx 12 minutes - until set but still soft.
~ Allow to cool on the cookie sheets or on wire racks - or enjoy warm! :-)