MONDAY BLUE-BERRY OATMEAL COOKIE

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DOES IT SOUND LIKE A GOOD TIME TO FLUFF IT?

I have been told multiple times, by a number of highly credible professionals other than real doctors, that I present troubling signs of minor depression.  Do I?

I sleep.  I sleep for a staggering number of hours each day and struggle every morning day for reasons not to add a couple more.  But I wonder, perhaps even argue if a real depressed individual would be emotionally capable of the kind of trust and intimacy I share with my dog-hair-embroidered blanket?  I also distract myself from my wild discontent in life with the soothing and gentle comfort… of e-commerce.  It levels, if only momentarily, my spiritual black hole with mostly delusional clothing that are always one size too small… or one feet too tall.  There’s an out-of-place installation in my closet of sequin dresses, and jeans that squeezes my lower half like an outbursting Italian sausage, sounding a silent warning of my concerning mental status.

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And then, a new clinical symptom which has newly surfaced that I occasionally, on a daily basis, steer into Pinterest to enroll in a continuous, unstoppable montage of beautiful thing, only to fall deeper into bitterness that my life is, by comparison, infuriatingly un-pinnable.  Whereas others enjoy pin-porns from Pinterest, I find mostly addictive sarcasm in monochromatic tone, an insult to injury that my life is a graphic disarray of uncoordinated mess.  It only makes me mad.  Why can’t my fucking pins and ‘grams paint my delusional perfection in visual sensibility?!  Instead, they both reflect some level of ADD where there’s plenty…  “Aren’t you tired of staring at the same pictures?”, husband asks.

Shut up, MEN!  There’s that, too.  Random bursts of rage.

So what if I judge one’s togetherness and self-worth based on the level of visual harmony on their “boards”?  And that question in itself, I’m pretty sure, answers everything.

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But I assure you there’s more in this post than self-absorbency.  An anti-dote.  Maybe it’s an extra nail on the coffin that I’m an eternal, failsafe downer, but I guess I should mention that this Monday, I even managed to make a stack of cookies – the cheeriest words in English - blue, too.

The thing is, I realized that I have a very different attitude towards making cookies VS making… everything else.  Faux-smoked pastrami that takes 4 days in total?  Check.  But cookies?  I want them quick.  Instant actually.  And recipes usually stop me cold at words like “cream the room-temperature butter (subtext: give it 3 hours on the counter) and sugary until smooth and fluffy”.  NO, NO I SHAN’T!  I mean cookies have social responsibilities, man!  The first-responders suited in sugar and fat.  The last defence between let-me-work-this-out, and fuck-this-world-and-burn!  As someone walking the cliff of a mental meltdown and beginning to caress the keyboard on a suicide.doc, does it sound like it’s a good time to ask them to “cream” shit?  Does it feel like a good time to “fluff it”?  No, no it isn’t.  This is the time to barge in, ASAP, and inject them with a good dose of highly potent tranquilliser made with liquid butter and high glucose.

Well, this is where the blue comes in.  As in, frozen blueberries.

I like cookie recipe that uses melted butter which eliminates heavy machineries and creaming altogether.  It usually yields a chewier texture which is also conveniently, what I like.  But the downside to such recipes is that the cookie-dough is so soft and formless that it requires a substantial amount of chilling-time before reporting to duty, and that, is not what I like.

Of course, I have previously found a way to neutralize this problem by dumping the “cookie batter” into a skillet, but let’s face it, the individual cuteness of dainty “happiness tablets” contributes to the psychological healing from crisis as well.  So I decided to flash-freeze the dough.

A cup of hard-frozen blueberries that could be kept dormant and ready inside anybody’s freezer, will instantly hardens the cookie-dough upon impact.  It’s so effective that it turns this browned butter (just because I had 5 min of sanity to spare), oatmeal and chocolate chips (as an insurance policy…) cookie-dough so firm and tight, that it almost gets a little difficult to fold.  Instantly scoopable.  Then blueberries being blueberries, they bursts and bubbles in the oven in a sweet and gooey manner, thus begins the first step of visual therapy.  And when they are ready to ingest, the random burst of blueberries serves as a subtle refreshment without compromising the total indulgence.  They’re thick, soft, moist, chocolate-y and slightly chewy.  Not bad for an under-20-min work.

Come on, I know you’re not always the monochromatic harmony like your boards.  Deep down you could also be disoriented assholes and bitches.  If you’re honest… you get a cookie.


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Makes:  approx 22 cookies

In absolute urgencies, you can skip browning the butter and just melt it in the microwave inside the same bowl…  It doesn’t make a huge difference actually.

The frozen blueberries can probably be applied to other non-oatmeal cookie-doughs that need firming as well.  Due to the blueberries, these cookies have a higher moisture-content than normal oatmeal cookies.  So keep them uncovered in whatever container you decide to store them with.

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Ingredients:  oatmeal cookie adapted from allrecipes.com

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/113 grams) of unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (71 grams) of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (63 grams) of dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (101 grams) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup (136 grams) of quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 heaping cup (85 grams) of chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup (125 grams) of frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven on 365ºF/185ºC

Melt the unsalted butter in a small pot over medium heat, and continue to cook for approx 5 min until the butter has turned clear and the milk solids are browned.  Pour the browned butter into a large bowl and let cool slightly for 5 min.  Then add the granulated sugar and dark brown sugar, and whisk until smoothly combined.  Add the large egg and vanilla extract, and whisk until thick and velvety.  Sift the all-purpose flour, salt, ground cinnamon and baking soda right into the bowl, then whisk again until smooth.  Switch from the whisk to a spatula, then add the quick-cooking oats and chopped dark chocolate.  Fold the mixture until evenly incorporated.  Add the frozen blueberries and fold again until even.  The cookie-dough will instantly firm-up as the frozen blueberries are mixed in.

Scoop about 1 1/2 tbsp of cookie-dough onto a parchment-lined baking-sheet, with about 1″ of space in between each.  The dough should be firm enough to shape with your hands.  Make round dough-ball for a taller/thicker cookie, or press it down into a disk for a thinner cookie.  Bake in the oven for 12~13 min, until the edges are set and the center slightly soft.

Let cool for at least 10 min on the baking-sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.  Or NOT.  These cookies will keep moist uncovered at room-temperature.

38 Comments

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    Liz B.

    So this looks CRAZY GOOD! If I tried this, I’d probably just kill off the dough before they even got in the oven. Such is the power of browned butter.

    Also, I made a “Japanese pesto” last night and was totally inspired by your Thai Linguine recipe (referenced and linked in my post). I’d love if you checked it out!

    http://thatumamilife.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/what-i-ate-wednesday-asian-pesto-time/

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    David

    Whilst staring at your pictures of these cookies I had a revelation. They are muffin tops. THE UNDISPUTED ONLY REASON TO EAT A MUFFIN. // Birds of a feather! I too am a big fan of using melted butter in my cookie recipes. It just does not make sense to cream butter and sugar for something that will inherently be gobbled down (even though we all tell ourselves to take it slow, or at least the next one we’ll take slow…). Awhile ago I submitted an Oatmeal Cookie recipe to Food52 that uses a similar ingredients list, except for the blueberries. My method was blending two recipes I had read from TheKitchn and Cook’s Illustrated. http://food52.com/recipes/16001-oatmeal-cookies

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    Kari

    If the new puppy would have gotten me up sooner, and I happened to have blueberries lying around begging to be baked into a cookie, I would be stuffing my face with these warm from the oven right about now completely blowing my diet and not regretting one single morsel of those delicious looking cookies. So I am thanking my puppy for saving me from disaster and cursing the lateness of the hour and my lack of blueberries…can I do that?…3:40 am PST.

  • Send me a batch please! I am totally inspired by your take on cooking sometimes fuss and quick for the greedy soul

    Please I sleep for more hours of the day normal person too but I highly doubt that means depression; it might be someone way tell me I am lazy, anti social ass but each to their own.

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    Brianne

    Thank you for discovering and sharing yet another benefit of baking with frozen blueberries! I have mad love for blueberries–I spend my summers surveying the bees that pollinate wild lowbush blueberries here in Maine! This means I get loads of berries during the harvest. There’s…20 pounds in my freezer still? There will be these cookies!

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    Erika

    Ahh I thought I was alone in my bitterness towards some of those pins of perfection that I can’t turn away from even though they leave a constant sneer on my face. Those wedding pictures are my enemy.. my pictures didn’t look like that..
    I’m thinking these would be great cookies to eat for breakfast.. one should be able to eat cookies for breakfast.. :)

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    Heather Eggert

    You are my new favorite find. Love the thought process, the way you write the words, your foul mouth and the delicious recipes. Carry on!

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    Ashlae

    I don’t pin regularly, although I did recently start a board to help with wedding planning but had to cut that crap out because HOLY COW it was making me feel all sorts of awful things about perfectly set dinner tables and arranged bouquets and all the other hubbub that comes with a wedding that I don’t even want to think about just yet. (Longest run-on sentence ever.) But these cookies? Oh, I need them. I have a few pounds of blueberries in my freezer that I’ve been throwing into scones but I think I need to give the scones a break and move onto these cookies. Hot damn.

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    Daphne

    Oh how I love thee!!!

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    molly yeh

    YEAH INSTANT COOKIES. i am all about those too. also, “there’s an out-of-place installation in my closet of sequin dresses” might be my favorite thing i’ve read all week.

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    jennifer

    i love you, lady! this is so beautifully written and conveniently echoes my own heart. plus cookies!

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    Christina

    These look delicious, because what is better for a foul mood than fat and carbs, oh and something blue to boot. Thank you for providing a recipe where I don’t have to think about making it hours ahead of time. Waiting for butter to come to room temperature makes the baby jesus cry.

  • Reply April 23, 2014

    cynthia

    Mandy, you rock. I’m currently in denial that my wedding is not going to look anything like the oodles of pins I keep stuffing myself with… but when the truth inevitably comes crashing down I’ll definitely share a pint of that bitter draft with you. But only if we can stuff ourselves with these cookies too. (Blueberries in oatmeal cookies? So genius. With BROWNED BUTTER? Beyond genius.)

  • Reply April 24, 2014

    Katrina @ WVS

    Pinterest is such a freaking rabbit hole! I spend so long on it thinking – “holy shit, my pictures will never be that pretty”….it’s the worst. I love these freaking cookies. They’re unique, easy, and straight up fabulous!

  • Reply April 24, 2014

    Cristina

    Yes, I think I have to have these. But maybe I will try with the tiny frozen raspberries I currently have in the freezer. And all mixed in one bowl! Fantastic.

    And sometimes I think Instagram is a worse offender than Pinterest. Such curated lives!

  • Reply April 24, 2014

    Kara

    I need to email this post to some people as an example of how I have been feeling this week. Now, I need to go in search of some frozen blueberries. The mission would be a welcome distraction from all the other shit. Thank you!

  • Reply April 25, 2014

    Jennifer

    I love this post! Well, I love all of your posts, but this one had me laughing and commiserating in equal measure. The awesomeness of the cookies was just an added bonus…thank you!!

  • Reply April 25, 2014

    Renee @ AFS

    Whoa, love the look of these cookies. So gorgeous. And enjoyed this post, as always!

  • Reply April 25, 2014

    Lizzy (Good Things)

    Found my way to your blog via Pinterest, funnily enough. Have signed up! Love the sound of these cookies… will try to bake them this morning… keen to share with links back to your post. Question… why quick cooking oats?

    • Reply April 25, 2014

      mandy@ladyandpups.com

      LIZZY: All the oatmeal recipes I found use quick-cooking oats, and I suppose it’s because it ensures the oats can be cooked through given the short baking-time of these cookies. I mean if you use stone-cut oats, I’m sure they’ll end up beings bits of tooth-breaking granules… I haven’t tried using instant oats… perhaps that’ll work, too.

  • Reply April 26, 2014

    Lizzy (Good Things)

    Hi Mandy, thanks for your reply : )

    I baked these yesterday and used rolled oats… they worked beautifully! To be honest, we ate the whole lot!!!! Love them, thanks so much for sharing. Will bake and blog and refer back to you… I made just a couple of my own tweaks. Love your work. Subbed to day to your blog.

  • Reply April 26, 2014

    Tracy | Pale Yellow

    If having a love affair with your bed and not wanting to get out of beds in the morning is an early warning sign of depression, than I’m screwed too. Great tip about frozen blueberries to hasten wait time. There are definitely days choose recipes without room temperature butter because I just don’t want to wait that long!

  • Reply April 26, 2014

    Monique

    Made these..and had to tell you.
    They are absolutely fantastic.
    No question about it.
    Used milch chocolate..
    Took pics..they’re not easy to photo..You made them look perfect!

  • Reply April 27, 2014

    Robinbird

    Amazing! Just made these, I added a little bit of coconut oil. Thanks so much for sharing a great recipe.

  • Reply April 28, 2014

    Todd

    Best oatmeal cookies EVER!! Bravo!

  • Reply April 28, 2014

    Baby June

    These look awesome! I love your writing, it’s amazing I have never stumbled upon your blog before. It’s hard to find that kind of emotion in food writing.

  • Reply April 28, 2014

    Jessica

    I got some bad news today and my boyfriend made these cookies for me to be supportive. They were amazing. I loved the combination of blueberries, chocolate, and oats. I wasn’t surprised this recipe was a winner though, since my boyfriend And I have taken turns making a few of your recipes. Everything’s been wonderful. The mission wings, the stuffed eggplant, the chili oil wontons, the dan dan noodles, and the curry fried rice have all proved incredible. I made the oxtail for Chinese New Year and my boyfriend has been a fan of yours ever since. Also, your photos are beautiful.

  • These. look. so. good. We don’t have any blueberries in the freezer (expensive as hell in Beijing), but we do have mulberries (a reasonable facsimile perhaps?). I’ll have to try these. If it makes you feel better, I pin YOUR stuff all the time!!

  • Reply April 30, 2014

    Jesse

    Pinterest can be the devil. Yes, yes it can.
    If you search hard enough, there are, even on pinterest, ugly things.
    Cheers to good cookies.

  • Reply May 3, 2014

    Lenka

    Wow, first time on your blog, the pictures are amaaaaziiiing and the recipe sounds great AND I loved reading the post, now I’ll have a look at everything I’ve missed until now…

  • Reply May 4, 2014

    Lynna

    Your life is totally pinnable!! I mean, look at these stunning pictures you take of the food you make in your life!! Most likely, near perfect! I love myself a good blueberry dessert + cookie. ♥

  • Reply May 8, 2014

    Sharon

    I made a batch of these oatmeal cookies and they came out fantastic!! This recipe is a keeper! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply May 21, 2014

    kcaudad

    I have wanted these cookies ever since you posted them on your bolg. I FINALLY made them last night… And, they were fantastic! I didn’t use the chocolate chips, because I can’t have chocolate. But, it didn’t even matter… They are like the best parts of a blueberry muffin mixed with the best parts of an oatmeal raisin cookie! These were so good that my husband won’t let me take the leftovers to work (“those are all ours” – his words).

  • Reply May 22, 2014

    Sara

    Made these with fresh strawberries and regular rolled oats. Didn’t brown the butter. Delicious and easy.

    Thanks for the winner!

  • Reply June 2, 2014

    Kylie @ immaeatthat

    These pictures are gorgeous! Can’t get over them!!!!!

  • Reply June 16, 2014

    joanofsnark

    Just as an aside, as another person who can NEVER EVER plan for cookies…

    rather than having to get the big block of butter out way in advance, scoop long, thin shavings of butter off of the block into the mixing bowl with a spoon. If you do that first, the increased surface area and decreased density means it’s soft enough to mix with the sugar by the time you’ve finished getting out the flour and baking soda and whatever.

    Plus, it’s oddly satisfying to scoop away an entire stick of butter with a spoon- something about the consistency.

    • Reply June 16, 2014

      mandy@ladyandpups

      JOANOFSNARK: That’s a fantastic tip! I will give it a try at the next emergency :)

  • Reply July 18, 2014

    Shel

    Oh my word! This must be the most beautiful blog! Just love those cookies and going to try them now. Your photos are outstanding. Thank you for sharing.
    Shel

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