Salted and Sweet
For a length of time now I’ve been craving an oatmeal cookie. I specify not just any oatmeal cookie because want one that’s firm, chewy, and sticks to your teeth. The battle between raisins and chocolate chips, with the latter winning amongst those not yet over the hump and the former claiming ground on the far side of the hump, has always been the one and only Cookie World War.
For that matter, and my philosophy for a pacifist kitchen (and table), I’m steering well clear of that no man’s land. With neither raisins nor chocolate in sight, I can safely wander into the wonderful world of caramels and marshmallows.
Remember how I wanted an over-the-top chewy cookie? Not only will the oats help, I’ve also ploughed through various cookie doughs to find the one that’s just right. Butter, while popular and prized for its richness in flavour and its golden colour, yields crispy cookies, which I don’t like. Shortening yields a softer cookie that’s a little more greasy. As unappetizing as lard may sound, it actually is my favourite in terms of giving the dough its stability and chewy texture but tends to be on the heavy side. So why not merge the best of both worlds? (Butter is out of the question). The tenderness of shortening with the heavier chew of lard and a more stable cookie dough?
Actually, after a few unrestrained nibbles, I realized that the basic recipe is the perfect compost cookie…
and there goes my mind wandering to the wonderland of confections again…
Ingredients for the salted caramel marshmallow cookie:
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup lard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 FR egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp rum
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
scant 1 cup chopped caramel or toffee
scant 1 cup mini marshmallows
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream the shortening and lard with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar, then the granulated sugar, beating until the sugar dissolves after each addition. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and rum until creamy.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the caramel and marshmallows until evenly distributed. Using an ice cream scoop, drop mounds of cookie dough onto the parchment lined baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each mound.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 11 minutes, or just done. Cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
Don’t bother storing these – they’ll be gone before you reach for the cookie jar!