14, Apr 2007
Crispy Oatmeal-Anise Cookies

For some reason, I suddenly developed a craving for some oatmeal cookies a few weeks ago. I wanted these oatmeal cookies to be excitingly flavorful, without relying on chocolate chips (which I usually put in oatmeal cookies; I detest raisins in baked goods1), and to be thin and crispy rather than the usual thick and chewy hearty oatmeal cookie I produce. I just recently bought a coffee grinder to use for spices, and as I was stocking up on cumin, fennel, and anise seeds, a lightbulb went on over my head and I decided to try oatmeal and anise. I started with a recipe for crispy oatmeal cookies I found at foodnetwork.com.

3 sticks butter, softened
1 c golden brown sugar
1 c white sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
3 c oats
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
2 tbsp coarsely ground anise seed

mix the butter and sugar until fluffy. mix in the egg and vanilla. in another bowl, mix the oats, flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. slowly add the dry mix to the butter and mix. drop large spoonsful onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. let cool on pan for about 4 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. recipe makes like a million cookies (should probably be cut by about 2/3 — I based it on this other recipe that must be intended to feed entire platoons).
at first I thought the cookies were too crispy, to the point of brittleness, but I just overcooked the first batch a little. the others came out better, thin (really thin) and crisp, but with a little flex and chewiness. the anise flavor is pretty good. I think the cookies could use something more to keep the palate entertained, something to complement the anise. not sure what that is. nuts? I don’t think I want to push the cinnamon any more; cinnamon is so cliche. I also don’t really want to take it in the pepper/ginger direction of my spicy brownies. salt? caramel? I’m not sure. they’re pretty good as is though.
1Except cinnamon-raisin bread, of course.