There’s one recipe that is passed down through the generations in my family: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

The baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, also called the German Slayers.

(See just the recipe here)

It’s such a simple recipe, and yet, it creates the most delicious cookies, but after years of baking them in a multitude of states, jobs, ovens and countries, I have found a few tips, tricks and tweaks to make them just a little bit better.

There is one caveat with my cookies. They’re not pretty or picture perfect. They are delicious.

I first started perfecting the recipe when I lived as an au pair in Dresden, Germany. While my German guest family had heard of cookies, nothing like the American confection existed.

The bakeries had dark breads, black breads, tart breads, thick breads, thicker breads and nut breads but no cookies. Nothing even came close.

These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which I lovingly refer to as German slayers, took them by storm.

In addition to being an au pair, I was also going to a language class every day with students from around the globe, including Europe, Asia and the middle east. To most of them, the cookies were a novel experience.

Baking these cookies in Germany was a lot harder than should be expected. Brown sugar didn’t exist so I had to substitute molasses, since there were no chocolate chips I had to cut them off of large blocks of baker’s chocolate and imitation vanilla came in tiny vials.

Rolled-out cookie before baking. Quarter for size comparison.

White flour, too, was complicated. Germans have plenty of flour but plain white flour is not one of them. Eventually, I shifted my flour use to whole wheat, which is the first change I’ve kept.

Whole wheat flour gives the cookies a little more texture and a slight nutty flavor. Sometimes it’s desirable and sometimes it’s not.

Next, I experimented with spices to match the cookies to the hot mulled wine served in winter called Glühwein. That included ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and other spices. In this recipe, I’ve listed them as optional. After I came back stateside, I started to add shredded coconut.

Next on the big list of tips is to freeze the batter before baking it. This helps the cookies retain a rounder shape when baked. When taking them out of the oven, they may seem a little undercooked, but once they cook down, they will be nice and soft. I’m also a full convert to the use of parchment paper on baking pans. I don’t know what I would do without it.

Last, I stress that the flour and baking soda should be mixed together before being added to the rest of the batter. That makes mixing everything evenly that much easier.

Guten Apetit!

German-slaying oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
  • Half cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or more
  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups oatmeal or more as desired
  • 1 cup chocolate chips 

Optional ingredients

• Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, other spices, to be mixed in with the flour and baking soda.

• Shredded coconut, to be added in with the oats.

 

Directions

  1. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the butter and sugars together until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix together.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour, baking soda and optional spices until well mixed. Add to the bowl of creamed sugars and mix well.
  4. Add the oats and, if using, shredded coconut to the bowl and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and stir in until combined. If not baking immediately, put the dough into the freezer for at least an hour, if not two. Before you’re ready to take it out, preheat the oven.
  5. Put parchment paper down on a baking sheet.
  6. Using a spoon, or hands, make roundish balls of dough, about the size of a half-dollar, and put them on the baking sheet, spaced about an inch and a half apart. Bake for eight to 10 minutes per cookie sheet.
  7. Allow to cool and set. Then, essen!

Cookies, before baking, laid out on baking sheet.

This article was originally posted on Nov. 19, 2011 on my homebrew website, Fat Grey Tom’s Cider. It has been re-posted here with the same time stamp.

Apfelwein #5C, aka, should be hooch-tastic but will probably just take forever to ferment. I write this because AW #5C (I don’t know why I settled on the C nomenclature for the sixth gallon on normally 5-gallon batches) is only 1 gallon of apple juice but has an extra 1.5 cups of brown sugar added to it. Which gives it a very dark, almost molasses color.

Just like AW #5, we added Danstar Windsor yeast to ferment it down. And once again, we had no hydrometer to measure. Alas, alas, alas.

That being said, we’ll see how it goes.

 

The 1.5 cups of brown sugar gave the cider a very dark color. We couldn’t do measurements in metric because the scale was out of battery.

This article was originally posted on Nov. 19, 2011 on my homebrew website, Fat Grey Tom’s Cider. It has been re-posted here with the same time stamp.

AW #3C was a first for us. We’d read that brown sugar gives a “cidery” taste to alcohol, so, we figured that we’d increase the sugar content of a cider, a 1 gallon batch, exclusively with brown sugar.

AC #3C and AW #3 were taken out and taste tested at the exact same time and 3C, aka the Brown Sugar Bomber, tasted completely different from its fraternal big brother. It tasted incredible sweet, which leads us to believe (in lieu of a hydrometer, which was broken when we were first trying to use it) that the yeast hasn’t finished going to town on the sugars. So, it may just need longer in the bottle, since we bottled it.

We’ll see.

We primed it, and that’s all. No priming sugar.

If you look down in tags and look for AW Batch #3c you’ll see the old posts for it.

 

We bottled AW #3C in Becks bottles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AW #3C had a dark hue, which doesn’t come through here.

This article was originally posted on Oct. 18, 2011 on my homebrew website, Fat Grey Tom’s Cider. It has been re-posted here with the same time stamp.

We had blackberries, frozen, on hand. Apparently, much like the Python’s elderberries, they do not go well.

Unlike our raspberry concoctions, the blackberry cider didn’t taste very good. It was always good enough to be drunk, but no more. We argued over who had to drink it.

The label’s nice though.

Just, we don’t make it again, unless we’re proven otherwise.

Maybe ageing will make it better. A bottle or two is sitting in our ageing cabinet.

 

Tags:
Apfelwein (AW) Batch #1

The frozen blackberries were boiled for 15 minutes with a tablespoon of brown sugar.

 

The cider label

This article was originally posted on Oct. 18, 2011 on my homebrew website, Fat Grey Tom’s Cider. It has been re-posted here with the same time stamp.

Our raspberry experiments are proving to be wildly successful. Our first batch of raspberry racked cider, made with a wine yeast none-the-less, is all gone because it just tasted so damn delicious. It also made pretty pictures. We’re working on four gallons, but made with Nottingham Ale Yeast.

Raspberries were boiled (12 oz. of raspberries per 1 gallon) (Trader Joe’s had the best deal at $2.50 per 12 oz. bag) with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and then put into the racked cider. We then let it sit for about two or three weeks before bottling.

 

The cider racked on the raspberries, right after they’d been boiled.

 

Raspberries before the cider has been added.

 

The raspberry cider after it’d been sitting for weeks.

 

Isn’t it pretty? It’s been bottled in Newcastle bottles.

 

The raspberry cider label.

This article was originally posted on Oct. 14, 2011 on my homebrew website, Fat Grey Tom’s Cider. It has been re-posted here with the same time stamp.

October 14 was a cider day.

Leo came over with six gallons of apple juice. We got our measurements ready, realized that we didn’t have the needed two pounds of corn sugar and made up the extra six ounces with brown sugar.

We boiled the brown and corn sugar and added them to the bucket. We poured the apple juice in. Bryce and Leo crossed streams.

The brown sugar colored the water something intense.

We rehydrated the yeast, pitched it, brought the bucket down stairs, cleaned up and called it a day.

The recipe isn’t hard. It’s the same Apfelwein (AW) recipe as it ever was, except this time we’re using the ale yeast again and breaking up the dextrose with brown sugar.

Ingredients:
5 gallons apple juice
2 pounds sugar (26 ounces corn sugar, 6 ounces brown sugar)

Directions:
Boil sugars in water for five minutes.
Put sugar water into fermenter.
Pour apple juice into fermenter.
Pitch yeast.

It’s that easy.

As always, check for the tag “AW Batch #3” (http://brew.wheelerc.org/tag/aw-batch-3/) to see what happens.

It’ll be done and ready for testing a month from Oct. 14, when it was made.

In the mean time, have a home brew! Except none of ours are ready to drink . . . Damn.

This article was originally posted on Oct. 11, 2011 on my homebrew website, Fat Grey Tom’s Cider. It has been re-posted here with the same time stamp.

We did two things on October 14, 2011.

We made a 5-gallon batch of Apfelwein with ale yeast (Nottingham) and we made a 1-gallon batch of Apfelwein with ale yeast in a carboy, exclusively with brown sugar. The 5-gallon batch was mixed with a majority corn sugar and a little brown sugar to finish out the measurements.

Here’s what we did:

5 oz. brown sugar, boiled in 1 cup water for about 5 minutes.

1 gallon Great Value apple juice.

Pour into carboy.

Pitch yeast.

Wait.

As always, check its progress under the tag AW Batch #3C (http://brew.wheelerc.org/tag/aw-batch-3c/)

The brown sugar appears to be giving the AW a darker color than normal.