Sunday, January 20, 2013

Straight-from-my-heart Chewy Oats Cookies

Valentine is just round the corner. And here I’m sitting and pondering about love.

Not the sweet mushy sort of love though (and if that's what you came looking for here - this is NOT for you. Rest- Read on)

B--ut the morbid fear of this artificially manufactured day of Love called Valentines, I once had. Not that I need to worry about singledom anymore and thankfully (even when I was a single person pushing mid-twenties) I never really felt the pressure to be accompanied at any other time of the year. You know - being single is the least of the single person’s worry – it’s  the parents woe in the country I live in. Ha! Still in my 20s the anxiety of an onrushing V day was just too much.

I never had the grief of celebrating this holiday in my teens as this concept of dedicating a day to love was still taking roots in India. A decade later was when it hit me hard.  Cookies, cakes, coffee shops with love sorbets and shakes. All I wanted was to sit in one of those celebrating love cafes and gaze deep into the eyes of my so-called valentine, being serenaded by chocolates or roses. None of it would actually happen. I hated the day with all my might. I hated the fact that it would make a repeated appearance year after year, taking the couples to dizzying levels of love, but me. I had been patient with it. Fast forward a few years and I thought all my problems were solved with our marriage.

Looks like the Richard Gere of pretty Woman (who visibly turned my life upside down)had no telltale effect on my husband. In his dictionary Valentine’s is just another day.

My dreams went kaput. 

Year on year I tried to coach him with heavy doses of the chicklits. No avail.

Enough is enough. This year on – I decide to serenade myself. I have promised to bake love potions and foods which captures my heart and makes it flutter.

Add to it a gift that my credit card can bear without cringing.

And I’m set.

Somewhere along the line I think this s quote from the movie ‘Love Actually’ too did its bit to help me survive "Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinions starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there -- fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends."

Yes, I’m a romantic at heart, and waiting for the day when these movies cause a change of heart for my husband. Till then- there are these Chewy oats cookies.

My preparations start now. A huge classic oat cookie is the first to arrive. Hearts sure are missing as I baked and took pictures last Christmas, but who says I cannot do it again for the love of me.

C’mon wear your aprons and bake some love for yourself.

Chewy Oats Cookie (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup (120 grams) raisins
1/2 cup walnuts (65 grams), chopped (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter the sugar, the egg and vanilla.  Now mix the flour salt and soda in another bowl. Now add the oats and walnuts. Mix all of it together.

Chill the dough for an hour and then scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. If you are impatient like me, you can sure bake them right away. Whatever you choose to do, you need to first heat oven to 175°C or 350 F then put them in for 20-25 minutes.

I like mine super thick so I doubled the dough for each one and covered each with a parchment paper.
Once they are out they’ll look like indulgence.

Just my way to celebrate the season of love !!

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