When I was on vacation in Ontario, my friends Suzanne and Carol told me about eating oatmeal. Apparently while I had been in Europe breakfasting on croissants or pain au chocolat and café au lait (“le petit dejeuner français”), my friends have been eating oatmeal for breakfast. My Dad used to make us oatmeal for breakfast when we were kids (breakfast was his domain) and he still eats oatmeal. Back then we had instant Quaker Oats in the single serving packages – just add boiling water, stir and in 5 minutes – breakfast was served with a spoonful of sugar added. It seems that my friends have rediscovered oatmeal and are profiting from its many benefits. It keeps you going until lunchtime by giving you that feeling of fullness due to its high soluble fibre content and it prevents the sugar lows. It promotes weight loss. Oatmeal provides the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants we need. The debate seems to be over whether to use rolled oats or steel cut oats. In my search so far in Luxembourg I have only found rolled but I am sure the steel cut can be found somewhere now that I know what it looks like!
Regular rolled oatmeal takes about 15 minutes to cook on the stove and about 3 minutes in the microwave using 125 mL (1/2 cup) of oatmeal and 250 mL (1 cup) water. For variety, add extras like raisins, dried cranberries, brown sugar, honey, fresh fruit and berries.
In France I never found oatmeal in the grocery store, but then I never spent much time looking in the cereal aisle. But a couple of years ago, my lovely and talented young 9-year old friend, Natalie, came over for a visit armed with oatmeal so that we could make her family’s secret Oatmeal Cookie recipe together. Natalie added Smarties to some and white chocolate chunks to others as her own special twist to the family recipe. I would not have thought of that! The cookies were a hit but as they were from a secret recipe, I had to research my own to use for this blog. I hope that Natalie would like these ones just as much.
Dried cranberries can be substituted for the raisins. I added chunks of dark chocolate to half of the batch.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Makes approximately 2 dozen
125 mL (1/2 cup / 4 ounces) butter, softened
160 mL (2/3 cup) light brown sugar
2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) pure vanilla extract
175 mL (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) baking soda
2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon
1.25 mL (1/4 tsp) salt
375 mL (1-1/2 cups) rolled oats
175 mL (3/4 cup) raisins
Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar: beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop batter, 5 cm (2”) apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are golden at the edges but still just done on top. Let stand on the baking sheet for five minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.