I like to read mysteries. There is a satisfaction in a good mystery. The bad guy always gets caught and usually gets what is "coming to" him. This differs from real life and is one of the many reasons I prefer a good book to the news
Joanne Fluke writes the kind of mystery that is called a "cozy". This is a mystery that is mostly bloodless. The actual crime takes place out of the view of the reader. Then the protagonist solves the mystery and every one, except the murderer, moves happily onward. My favorite part of her mysteries involves the recipes. For the uninitiated there is a whole sub-genre of murders with recipes. Diane Mott Davidson is another favorite of mine. Her mysteries are a little less cozy and as the protagonist is a caterer, has a wider variety of recipes. While I might check out a regular murder from the library, I purchase the ones with recipes that I want to fix. (Note to self: If you write a book, include recipes.)
I haven't made cookies in quite sometime and I went to my stash of Fluke mysteries and found a new one. It had to be one that would freeze as there are only the two of us at home. But you never know when someone will stop over and you need something to serve. I decided on Viking Cookies. The recipe made a ton of cookies and they freeze well, so my criteria was met. On with the baking.
2 cups butter (four sticks, melted
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (nutmeg will work in a pinch, cardamom is better)
4 1/2 cups flour
3 cups white chocolate chips (the real thing, not vanilla chips)
3 cups rolled oats
This makes 10 to 12 DOZEN. If you don't need this many cookies, feel free to cut the recipe in half!
Pre heat the oven to 350.
Melt the butter in the microwave. I covered the bowl with the paper wrappers from the butter to keep it from spitting all over the inside of the microwave. Set it on the counter and let it cool while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
I use a Kitchen-Aid mixer. It is really handy, especially for such a large batch. The last few ingredients really put a strain on the mixer. I can only imagine what it would have done to my arm!
Scrape the butter into the mixing bowl. Add in the white and brown sugars and blend well.
Add the baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. THEN add the vanilla. This will prevent you from getting a handful of wet measuring spoon and from dripping liquid in one of your expensive spices. Mix in the eggs. Ms. Fluke beats them with a fork first. I just dump them in the mixer.
Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments.
Whenever I have more than 2 cups to add, SOMETHING happens to make me forget where I am. The phone rings or the cat starts scratching the couch. Something. So I keep a piece of paper nearby and make a mark for each cup added. In this case I needed 9 times each 1/2 cup measure. I would have made a hash of it for sure if I hadn't marked each time I added one.
Now add the oatmeal one cup at a time. It will be VERY stiff by this time. It almost worked its way out of the mixer.
Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets. The saved butter wrappers are good for this. I use Silpats. No greasing, no sticking. I also use a small cookie size ice cream scoop. Perfect size, way less work and much faster.
With your hand or spatula, gently smush the tops of each cookie mound. This will keep them from rolling around when you transfer them to the oven. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes until they are golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before you transfer them to a cooking rack. I hope you have a LOT of cooling racks.
Joanne Fluke recommends rolling the cookies in foil and then placing them in a freezer bag. I just put them in a Ziploc Vacuum bag.