Basically Surprising: Simple Oat Molasses Cookie


My husband tells me I'm incorrigibly verbose in my posts, so in an attempt to prove I'm capable of the short and succinct (with the exception, perhaps, of this first sentence), I'm making this one basic and simple, suitable to the cookie experiment it's about.  Last week, on an unexpected bonus snow day, I switched into cozy holiday spirit mode and went into an afternoon baking frenzy. Most of it being dedicated to time-tested must-haves for the freezer, towards the end I wanted to try something new, but quick and simple.  This basic cookie has no flour and few ingredients; it's essentially oats soaked in molasses (which, by the way, for being the dregs of the sugar cane barrel is really packed with nutrition, including manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, selenium and more),  and some heart-healthy oil. I based it on another recipe I had tried  in England, which uses malt extract. Low fat molasses cookies are my favorite, though, so I thought substituting that sweetener for the malt would be a worthwhile trial, along with cutting back on sugar and oil. Molasses has a strong  distinct taste, and a little can go a long way, so this cookie probably isn't for everyone. I found it reminded me of caramel corn, however, and was simple and surprising. Here's the recipe:

Mix 1 1/2 cups whole oats with 1/3-1/2 cup turbinado sugar (I wanted to use up some sugar that I had leftover from another recipe, but you can use brown, or date). Add 1 egg, 3-4 tablespoons olive or canola oil, and 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses. Mix well, and leave to soak approximately 20 minutes. Place spoonfuls on a baking sheet, pressing down to shape. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

If you go for the lesser amount of oil and the mixture seems to dry, you can add a little bit of milk or water. It's important to let the oats sit in the molasses for a bit, and even then, the spoonfuls you dollop on the baking tray are a little messy and need to be pressed down a bit with a fork (or, for those who aren't bothered about it, fingers). It's pretty fuss-free overall, however, and would be easy and fun to do with kids, too.