When the Junior League of Baton Rouge first published their “River Road Recipes” cookbook back in 1959, I’m sure they couldn’t imagine that it would go on to sell well over a million copies within a span of 50 years. I ran across my copy at a rummage sale a number of years ago and was delighted to pick it up. While some of the pages were “dog eared” and the cover was a bit worn (all good signs that a cookbook filled with lots of good recipes), I didn’t realize that for many this humble community cookbook is the last word in Louisiana cooking.
There are lots of great dessert recipes in “River Road Recipes,” but one that caught our eye was for oatmeal macaroons. There is something so satisfyingly simple about oatmeal cookies. I continue to tell myself that the oatmeal offsets the butter and sugar, so I can indulge in oatmeal cookies all I like! This recipe was straight forward and easy and yielded moist, chewy cookies full of oat flavor. I modified it by leaving out the nuts (I didn’t have any on hand), but if you like you could add a cup of chopped nuts, raisins or coconut at the very end.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, eggs, sugars and vanilla with electric mixer. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture until it is all well incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl while you are mixing. Add rolled oats to batter and mix in well. If you are using nuts, fruit or coconut, this is the time to add it to the dough.
Using baking sheets that are either lined with parchment paper or lightly greased, drop dough by about a tablespoon full onto sheet. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, until they are golden brown. Be careful not to over bake – these cookies should be more chewy than crunchy. Makes 4-6 dozen, depending on size.