Thursday, July 21, 2011

productive procrastination

Regular procrastinating is when you sit around watching hours of Gilmore Girls (did I say you? I think I meant "I"...) or surfing the internet...or blogging, perhaps? Productive procrastinating is when you do things that, while productive, could seriously wait until after the thing you actually need to do gets done. The things I actually need to do are finish a paper I'm writing and grade the last of my summer students' work. The thing I did instead was bake cookies. I ran out of chocolate chips for my standard quick treat, so I modified my "secret recipe" to accommodate a different flavor. The thing I love about baking is how it's all about ratios, so experimenting can be fun when you stop to think about what each ingredient really does for the recipe and how that ingredient can be changed (Good Eats, anyone?). If you decide to give these a try, maybe you'd better whip them up in the middle of the night, or early morning, given recent temperatures! I made my dough last night and stuck them in the oven while waiting for my morning coffee to brew (and may or may not have eaten a couple for breakfast). I used strawberry jam because it's what I had on hand, but I think these would be excellent in fall with some pumpkin butter. Mmm!

Oatmeal Thumbprint Cookies

1.5 c unbleached all purpose flour
.5 c old fashioned rolled oats
.5 c brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground flax + .25 c water (or use 1 egg)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
.5 c vegetable oil
2 Tbsp butter (I use dairy-free Earth Balance)
your favorite jam or jelly

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, butter, and brown sugar until the butter is broken up. Add in the egg or flax plus water. If using flax and water, for better results, heat in the microwave for 15-30 seconds before adding. Stir in baking soda and salt and mix evenly. Finally, pour in the flour and oats and stir until everything is mixed, but do not over stir. Roll the dough into balls on a greased cookie sheet and press each one down with your thumb, then fill with jam. If the dough is too sticky to roll, add a pinch more flour or refrigerate for a bit. Bake 8-10 minutes, allowing them to cool and harden up on the pan after removing (the secret to a soft cookie!). I recommend experimenting to find your perfect cookie-baking time. It varies by oven and by how large you make your cookies. I aim for a consistent cookie size, and with my old oven the best cooking time for me was 8:45 while my oven here is 9:30.


Sarah said...

I am a big believer in productive procrastination! In fact, I think procrastinators are the most productive. We're always doing something in an effort to not do something else. Eventually it all evens out. Thanks for sharing this recipe! It looks delicious!

onelonelyapricot said...

I'm glad someone else supports my theories!