I was in two minds about sharing this recipe. Partly because it is just so good, but mainly because it is very special to me. The smell of these as they’re cooking reminds me intensely of my childhood. It seems to me now that every time I went to my godmother’s house – and that was often – there was a batch of them in the oven, infusing the air with the most delicious chocolate-vanilla-cinnamon aroma.
Said godmother has always been a huge part of my life. She never tired of reading me my favourite stories or singing my favourite songs. At Christmas she would always arrive laden down with about a thousand bags of goodies, many of them edible, and she NEVER complained when my sister and I woke her up at 5am on Christmas Day, delirious with excitement. She listened with a sympathetic ear when I babbled on endlessly about my teenage tales of woe. She came to every school concert and praised my utterly dire violin playing. It was her place I ran to whenever I ran away from home (she lived, conveniently, just around the corner from my parents). And she makes the best desserts I have ever tasted. She is, in a word, near perfect.
As I have recently discovered, these are the cookies to bake if you want to take something to the office that a) establishes your reputation as effortless and insanely capable domestic goddess, and b) enables you to engender sufficient goodwill amongst your colleagues that you will never again have to do your own photocopying or make your own tea. And also possibly c) stops people from thinking that you are just a power hungry bitch who stomps around telling everyone what to do, believing yourself too good to do photocopying or make tea.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
225g soft butter
0.75 cup caster sugar
0.75 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla essence)
1.5 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups porridge oats or oatmeal
75g chocolate chips or chunks
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Cream the butter and sugars together using electric beaters until the mixture is fluffy. Add the vanilla and the eggs and beat again.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add this to the sugars mixture, along with the oats and the chocolate chips. Give everything a good stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together and the flour is no longer visible.
Now – and here’s the trick – put the bowl in the fridge for around 15 minutes, just enough time for the cookie dough to firm up a little.
Lay a sheet of parchment/greaseproof paper on a baking tray, then break off walnut-sized balls of dough and place them on the tray, allowing enough room for spreading. Press each ball down with the back of a fork, and return the remaining dough to the fridge between batches.
Put the tray in the centre of the oven and bake the cookies for 20 minutes until they are lightly golden.
Makes around 40. So be nice and share.