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March 27, 2012

Oatmeal cookies — those with a sweet tooth need not apply

In my family, oatmeal cookies are kind of a big deal. 
Scratch that. Oatmeal cookie dough is kind of a big deal, because it rarely ever makes it all the way to the baking stage. Now, I’m not here to argue the safety of eating something with raw eggs — I’m willing to take the risk for what I consider to be my favorite cookie ... err, dough.
I guess the tradition of eating raw cookie dough started when my mother was growing up. My grandmother would bake one batch of dough into cookies and keep another batch of dough in log form in the freezer to bake later. 
That log would never make it to the oven, though, as my mother and her brothers would sneak slices of the frozen stuff here and there until it was gone. At some point along the way, that second log of dough was made without the intention of ever being baked.
My mother and grandmother aren’t big on baking, but I think at almost any given point, they will always have the ingredients on hand to whip up some oatmeal cookie dough, and I’ve followed in the same tradition.
Which is why it only took a quick trip to grab some rosemary and Parmesan cheese to make a recipe I stumbled upon for savory oatmeal cookies.
The “cookies" are a breeze to whip up because there’s no butter and sugar to cream and yet they were a big hit at the Oscar’s party I took them to last month.
Of course, as I’m wont to do, I used a 50/50 mixture of whole wheat flour and white all-purpose flour, though you can certainly do as the original recipe suggests and just use the white stuff. 
Just remember to add a touch more liquid or fat (oil, in this case) and cook for less time to keep the whole-wheat cookies moist if you go that route. 
The recipe, which I found on food blog www.thekitchn.com, suggests serving the small cookies with soft spreadable cheese like a veiny blue or Saint Andre. I’m not a fan of blue cheese and couldn’t find Saint Andre at the supermarket so I went with a milky brie, which was delicious.
Rosemary Parmesan oatmeal cookies
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (add another teaspoon or so if you use whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup sifted all purpose flour (or use 1/2 cup AP flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
flaky sea salt to finish
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Gently stir together the oats and warm water in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, mixx the oil, brown sugar and egg, then combine with the wet oats and set aside.
In another bowl whisk together the flour, sea salt, baking soda, rosemary and pepper then add the Parmesan.
Gradually mix the dry ingredients in with the oats mixture.
Form the dough into tablespoon-size scoops and place evenly on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten each mound of dough into even disks about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle a pinch of the finishing sea salt on each cookie.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. Move to a cooling rack.
— Recipe adapted from www.thekitchn.com

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