Cookie Monster: Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Carrie Vasios

Whoever designed the snack selection for my high school cafeteria had an interesting vision. "You know what we need to fuel the future minds of America?" he/she must have said to themselves. "Sealed crustless Smuckers PB&J sandwiches, Saltine crackers, cantaloupe-sized heat-and-serve cinnamon rolls, and those individual plastic cups of Quaker oatmeal."

I'm puzzled, but not complaining. Saltine and honey stacks fueled my studying, and I liked to buy one of those humongous cinnamon rolls, peel off the crusty exterior, and just eat the (normal-sized roll) center that was extra gooey and delicious. Oh, and those oatmeal cups? I loved them. Yes, for a cafeteria that was well-stocked with paper bowls and plastic spoons, having those individual serving bowls was a shameful waste. But to this day I really love Quaker Oats Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal. Why? I have an incurable sweet tooth and that stuff is sweet.

So while I've since replaced prepackaged flavored oatmeal with homemade blends of oats and toppings, I still like to recreate the flavors of my high school at home. In fact I love maple-y oatmeal so much that I wanted to translate it to cookies.

Oatmeal cookies generally fall into three categories: chewy, crispy, and soft. These are in the latter category. Though they're packed with oats, they're domed and have a soft, pudgy middle; not flat, bendy, or crispy edges. I typically like raisins or chocolate chips in my oatmeal cookies, but these are pleasantly uniform in flavor and texture. Maple and brown sugar seem to deepen the flavor of each other, creating a warm, honeyed sweetness that compliments the nutty flavor of the oats. I'm sure even my Little Debbie-eating adolescent self would be pleased.