One of my friends once proposed the idea of a Gnostic Cookbook -- a compendium of the secrets and tricks that make recipes "special". It would of course only be passed around among the initiated. I found the idea hilarious. Now, I know some people are incredibly protective of their recipes. Perhaps it is obvious that I am not. Knowledge shared is knowledge expanded. Recipes shared are recipes experimented with, and sometimes my recipes come back to me radically improved.
As previously discussed I am incapable of following a recipe exactly, but I do fall into patterns. Kitchen Sink Cookies are one of them. They began as the recipe on the inside of the lid of a Quaker Oats container and stayed that way for about three minutes, before I decided that they needed browned butter and brandy and fruit and nuts and chocolate. The exact constituents of the fruits and nuts have varied. I have used different flours (a quarter to a third whole wheat flour is brilliant). I am considering adding some bran to the next batch as a substitution for either the flour or the oats.
Kitchen Sink Cookies
14 T unsalted butter (1 and 3/4 sticks)
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp brandy
1-1/2 flour (consider subbing in some whole wheat for white)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (if you use salted butter you can skip the salt)
3 cups uncooked oats
1 cup dried cherries or raisins or dried cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, brown eight tablespoons of butter over low heat. This will take a while, and you need to keep an eye on it. Sorry about that.
Cream together the sugar and butter. Beat that sucker for at least three minutes. Then add the eggs, vanilla, and brandy.
Add the rest of the ingredients in order.
Drop heaping tablespoons on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown.
And having baked two loaves of bread and big batch of cookies in the course of the weekend, I need more flour.