Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oatmeal maple cookies + a book I never finished reading

Oatmeal maple cookies / Cookies de aveia e xarope de bordo

I was reading a friend’s blog post about books when I suddenly felt a pang of guilt - I felt guilty because I love to read but haven’t read anything in months because of a book that I started reading but never finished.

It all began last year after I watched the first trailer for “The Great Gatsby” – I deciced to read the book before the movie got released. And then I tried reading it. Many, many times. I even took the book with me to the hairdresser since it’s one of the most boring places in the whole world. But I never got hooked. I know it’s a classic and I know it’s F. Scott Fitzgerald and I should have read it in college but I couldn’t go through with it. Could that be a case of bad timing? Maybe I should try going back to it in the future.
In the meantime, I think I’ll watch the movie, that might inspire me. And I’ll also start reading another book – I will have to be strong enough to put my cookbooks aside, especially my current favorites like "Piece of Cake", which these great cookies come from.

Wish me luck. :)

Oatmeal maple cookies
from the oh, so delicious Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple

225g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
250g rolled oats
225g dried cranberries
175g unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup (60ml) pure maple syrup
115g granulated sugar
175g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

175g confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup (60ml) pure maple syrup
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the oats and dried cranberries and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, maple syrup, and sugars on medium speed until creamy and well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until evenly incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear. Finish mixing with a rubber spatula.
Using 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie, roll into balls and place 5cm (2in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown, especially around the edges. Cool on the sheets over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to rack and cool completely.

Glaze: sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Spoon glazer over cookies and let set for 30 minutes.

Makes 40


Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

What tasty cookies, I love the maple glaze!

Rhiannon at After Plumcake said...

I think the thing about The Great Gatsby is that it's the best novel of someone who didn't quite live up to their potential as a Great Novelist. Time has put a halo around his career, but in a way he spent too much time *being* Gatsby, under the shadow of Hemingway.

If the doing the movie/book comparison of The Great Gatsby doesn't suit you (and it doesn't me, since Luhrmann is the Jay Gatsby of filmmakers and thus doesn't have the critical distance to do the film justice) you might want to do something in a similar vein by reading Fitzgerald's short story Babylon Revisited which was turned into the 1954 Liz Taylor film "The Last Time I Saw Paris"

If you want to really go for extra credit, you could always read Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night (his last novel and my favorite)and Hemingway's Garden of Eden (which coincidentally was his last novel, published posthumously and the subject of much scandal re: editing)and then watch the film versions of both, since both novels were based on
the same fascinating though largely-unknown now couple: Sara and Gerald Murphy, who held court in the south of France at their Villa America.

However, if you just want a great novel about the wild and reckless generation between the two World Wars that has an equally bang up film, let me suggest Evelyn Waugh's satire Vile Bodies, which was turned into the 2003 film "Bright Young Things" adapted and directed by the great Stephen Fry.

Amanda said...

I found your post through foodgawker--and while your cookies look amazing, what really got me was the book you never finished. (I LOVE to cook, but have all kinds of dietary restrictions, including sugar right now.) Anyway--I just finished reading "The Poisonwood Bible." So many of my friends absolutely LOVE that book. I, on the other hand, slogged through it, continually thinking that I would connect with it at some point. I never did. The experience reminded me that there are too many great books out there to waste time trying to push myself through one that I'm not connecting with. If you REALLY want to read The Great Gatsby, (I also haven't read that one), listening might be an easier avenue. I love to listen to books while I'm doing housework, yard work, or working out.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Rhiannon, thank you for taking the time to write - I loved reading your point of view! "Tender is the Night" is already on my list, but I felt I needed some time off Gatsby to start reading Fitzgerald again. And thank you for all the other suggestions, too - I can't wait to read and watch everything you mentioned.

Amanda, thank you for your comment! I believe you are right - all these months I could have read lots of other books instead trying at all costs to finish "The Great Gatsby".

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