Friday, August 10, 2012

Oat Crisps

It's been a while since I've returned to my old favorite standby, oatmeal. As ingredients go, I consider oats so reliably simple and delicious that is just seems like a natural to keep them top shelf in my pastry pantry. So when I was ruffling through stacks of collected recipes, I instantly gravitated to this Oat Crisps cookie from Emily Luchetti. It's not often that you see a recipe that contains just 5 ingredients. And when it's a recipe that includes oatmeal, it triggers an automatic positive response from me. One thing I did add to the recipe that I felt was the missing 6th crucial ingredient - salt. I think it's important to balance the sweetness and enhance the oatmeal and I like the contrasting sensation of salty caramel.

This is a very crisp, very thin brittle cookie that is definitely a showcase for the heavenly pairing of oatmeal and brown sugar. The edges brown and remind me of burnt caramel, in a good way. And since these 5 ingredients get mixed in a saucepan, it couldn't be any easier to work up a batch. As it turns out, it's about a 20 minute project from start to finish. Then all that's left is settling in with a good cup of coffee and a bite or two of crispy toasted oat goodness.

Bench notes:
- Emily Lucchetti's recipe serves these cookies with 4 cups of blueberries and 1 cup of creme fraiche for 6 portions. Plain yogurt would probably also be very good.
- Baking time in the recipe is listed as 15 minutes but mine were done in 10. Check around the 8 minute mark to see how they're doing and get a feel for how your oven wants to bake them. With these types of thin cookies and tuiles, it's really easy to go from perfect to burnt in just an extra minute.
- I lined the baking sheet with silpats and let them cool completely on the baking sheet. Then I used my beloved small offset spatula to lift them off the pan. Ask any pastry chef, this is one of the tools we'd take to the desert island.
- This would be a good cookie served alongside ice cream or crumbled as a garnish.

Oat Crisps
Makes about 22 cookies

1 1/4 oz (2 1/2 T) butter, melted
1/4 C dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 T granulated sugar
2 T dark corn syrup
1/8 t salt [my addition]
1 C old fashioned rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Melt the butter and take off the heat. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar and corn syrup and whisk until blended. Using a spoon, stir in the oats and mix until they are all coated with the butter and sugar mixture.

Drop the cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 1/2" apart. Bake, rotating the baking sheets at midway point, until golden brown and bubbly, about 10 - 15 minutes. Cool on the pan. Use a metal spatula to lift them off. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Kate said...

I love crunchy cookies and your addition of salt with the brown sugar sounds most probably addictive ;)
Thank you for the lovely blog.

Unknown said...

My family loves oatmeal. If I use a small ice cream scoop to drop the dough to the baking sheet, do you think it'll make the cookies too thick? Thanks again for sharing the recipe!

pastry studio said...

Thank you very much, Kate!

Unknown, I used a very small truffle scoop. I think the problem with making them too large might be that they would burn on the edges before the centers got done. But it you have a scoop that approximates a tablespoon that would be perfect. You can always test a couple scoops first to see if it works and how much time it takes to bake. Hope you have a chance to enjoy!

Debby Foodiewife said...

A friend recently gave me two big bags of Bob's Red Mill oatmeal. I made some of my homemade granola. But this...aha! I think they'd be perfect with homemade ice cream. Thank you.
PS: Your link to your offset spatula (which I'm curious about) doesn't work! :(

pastry studio said...

Helloooo, Debby, and thanks very much for the note about the broken link. Try this:

You have some lovely oatmeal on your hands! Homemade granola is THE best. I'm going to have to make some in the not too distant future.

Cheers for a lovely weekend.

Barbara said...

Not only do these look wonderful, most of us already have the ingredients in our pantries!
You've always been one of my favorite blogs!

pastry studio said...

Barbara - yes, exactly! Just simple ingredients we usually have handy. Oatmeal doesn't need much in the way of accomplices to shine.

Thanks so much for your kind words. I adore my readers and their blogs!

Summer said...

Hmm. No dark corn syrup in the house at the moment. Think I could sub honey? Looks amazing.

pastry studio said...

Hi, Summer. Good question! I actually thought of doing that myself but the first time I test a recipe, I always stick strictly to the script.

Corn syrup is an inverted sugar and that means it prevents sugar crystals from forming, especially if you're taking a substance and boiling it to a very high temperature, like making candy. Honey, though not quite the same, is a natural product that has inverted sugar properties, so theoretically you should be able to do a straight substitution. Since this is a small amount and you're not actually cooking it on the stove or heating it to too high a temperature, I should think it would work. Just bear in mind that the flavor profile will be fairly different, since dark corn syrup is made from a type of molasses.

There - way more than you probably wanted to know! Let me know what you think if you try it.

Anna said...

So I'm curious, are there any other unexpected items you would be taking to this dessert desert island?

I don't own a small offset spatula, but after hearing your praise and reading the Amazon reviews, I'll just have to get one. :)

Love your blog, btw. Always tasty looking!

pastry studio said...

Thank you so much, Anna!

When you work in a professional pastry kitchen, you get very quirky about tools! I confess I have a lot of stuff that I bought after pastry school, but there are really just a few things that I use constantly and they are like a warm security blanket as I work. Small metal spatulas are a necessity - great for leveling off ingredients in measuring spoons and cups, spreading cake batter or a filling or frosting, lifting cookies off the baking sheet. I'm also a FIEND about parchment paper. I remember my pastry teacher saying this and I thought it was odd, but I soon learned what she meant. Parchment just makes everything easier and neater. I use it to roll out doughs, line pans and sometimes to line baking sheets instead of silpats, which are a great invention. Then there's also my favorite whisk and the heatproof rubber spatula, and I have a medium-sized flat wooden spatula that I use to stir custard, ice cream bases, creme anglaise. I have some good small brushes that I bought at a hardware store. I use those to dust off excess flour from pastry doughs, apply egg wash or fruit glazes. And I use my Cuisinart and KA incessantly. These are things I rely on just about every time I'm in the lab!

Are you attached to anything in your kitchen?!

e / dig in said...

These look like fancy, skinny Anzac biscuits, beloved and dunked in mugs of tea by many Australians! We use golden syrup, and flour makes them more of a traditional biscuit (or 'cookie' for Americans). What a lovely, elegant take on our Anzacs.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the advice. You were right. My small ice cream scoop would still have been too big for this. The cookies came out perfect and as predicted my husband and son couldn't stop eating them :o)

pastry studio said...

So glad your family enjoyed them. They are rather addictive!

Summer said...

I did end up making these with honey and it worked fine! They have a very strong honey flavor, though it probably depends on what kind of honey you're using. I used a local raw honey that has a very dark and rich flavor.

I also made a batch with some raisins in them and that was a nice addition. I think they would also be good with some other additions like pumpkin seeds or maybe finely chopped pecans. With the honey, they also have a very sweet granola-like flavor to them.

Thanks again!


pastry studio said...

Very cool, Summer. Thanks so much for the feedback. I love the idea of honey and pecans. I'm definitely putting that on my list of things to try.