This month’s Food52 Baking Book Club features Stella Park’s BraveTart. You may remember I previously blogged about her delicious Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies and the debacle of using the printed version in People magazine. BIG MISTAKE. About a month ago, Omnivore Books hosted Ms.Parks, being a cookbook junkie, I jumped in my car and headed to the City to attend. Got my very own SIGNED copy, uh-huh, uh-huh..doing the happy dance.
Talented dessert chef, blogger, and author of Marbled, Swirled and Layered, Irvin Lin was on hand to moderate the conversation. Which just proves there is a conspiracy going on as I was FORCED to buy not just one new cookbook but two. Now I have to find shelf-room for his book too. Aiyah!
After her talk, I waited patiently while one woman monopolized the Q&A session (sheesh-some people), they finally picked me and I blurted out “I’m the one who tweeted about processing the honey roasted nuts” and recounted the horrible editing job of her recipe in People magazine. I think of it as a cautionary public service tale for everyone.
And with her great southern drawl (she is from Kentucky) she said: “Oh I know, I hate when they edit recipes and get it wrong!”
I was vindicated.
The book is a reflection of her, warm, friendly and gracious. BraveTart is a love tome to iconic American treats. The book works due to her attention to detail and thoroughness. She has reworked recipes such as Oreos and Nutter Butters and transformed them into delicious homey treats while retaining the essence of the original dessert that you remember so well from childhood. With the first bite of her Triple Oatmeal Cookie, I was immediately transported back to my 12-year-old self, reaching into the familiar pink-purple bag of Mother’s Oatmeal Cookies.
Her Triple Oatmeal Cookies are delicious, chewy, toothy cookies. The cookies contain old-fashioned oatmeal, steel cut oats and oat flour, the triple whammy of Oatsville. Cranberries and pecans are added and provide sweetness and crunch, a scrumptious cookie. Feel free to substitute different dried fruit. Interestingly enough Stella posted that raisins will cause or allow the cookies to spread more than cranberries so keep that in mind. Dried cherries or diced apricots would be amazing also. Chocolate chips would, of course, work well also.
I made the dough and followed the instructions to bake the cookies on a foil-lined sheet. To my surprise, the cookie spread was more than expected. The first batch was thin, almost like lace cookies. Channeling America’s Test Kitchen I baked subsequent batches on parchment and then on a Silpat. Here are the results, everyone knows a picture is worth a thousand words.
So, the cookies on the left were baked on Silpat, center- parchment, right-foil. An Ah-ha moment. Like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, “This cookie (right) is too thin, this one (left) is too thick, the center cookie is JUST RIGHT!” Note to self, bake these cookies on parchment.
In the end, they were all good, chewy, buttery, crispy edges and full of oat goodness. They were gobbled up.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (not too soft)
- ⅔ cup (5 ounces) packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (a bit less if you use Morton’s kosher salt, half the amount if it’s regular table salt) plus additional salt (if you wish) for sprinkling
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ⅔ cup (3 ounces) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (2 ½ ounces) oat flour (alternatively, grind old-fashioned rolled oats in a blender)
- 1 ⅔ cups (6 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
- ¼ cup (1 ½ ounces) steel-cut oats
- 1 ¼ cups (5 ounces) toasted pecan pieces
- 1 cup (6 ounces) dried cranberries or cherries, if you use raisins the cookies will spread a bit more
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add egg and continue beating until light and creamy.
- Whisk together flour, oat flour and both oatmeal types. Stir in pecans and cranberries. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined. Batter will be stiff.
- Arrange portions of dough (about 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons each) onto lined baking sheets. Flatten into disks and optionally sprinkle each with a bit of kosher salt.
- Bake in preheated oven 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown on edges but still pale in the middle.
- Let cool on baking sheet a few minutes and then move to a cooling rack.
Pictures from a cookbook groupie! When will I learn to hold my phone higher?