Bonnie Stern's recipe for her Aunt Reba's Oatmeal Cookies

Toronto author Bonnie Stern's recipe for the 'best oatmeal cookies ever.'
Bonnie Stern
Toronto author Bonnie Stern's new book, Friday Night Dinners, is a collection of recipes she has served over the past 26 years to family and friends on Friday nights to welcome Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest.

She insists that her Aunt Reba's recipe, included in the book, makes the "best oatmeal cookies ever."

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Aunt Reba's Oatmeal Cookies

These are the best oatmeal cookies ever. My aunt Reba used to bake them for every family gathering.
  • 1 cup (250 mL) butter or margarine
  • ½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
  •  ½ tsp (2 mL) pure almond extract
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) kosher salt
  • 2 cups (500 mL) rolled oats
  • ½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped toasted walnuts, optional

1. In a large bowl, cream butter with both sugars. Beat in egg, vanilla and almond extract.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.

3. Add flour mixture to large bowl and stir in. Stir in oats and walnuts, if using.

4. Roll dough into small balls, about 1 tbsp (15 mL) each. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheets and press very flat with a fork or bottom of a glass dipped in flour.

5. Bake in a preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit (180-degree Celsius) oven for 8 to 12 minutes (these are delicious when slightly underbaked and still chewy, but Aunt Reba liked them crisp, and therefore so do I). Cool on wire racks.

Makes about 60 cookies.

Toasting of Nuts

Double the flavour of nuts by toasting them before using. Spread nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast in a preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit (180-degree Celsius) oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly colored. Cool before chopping.

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Recipe permission: Excerpted from Friday Night Dinners by Bonnie Stern Copyright © 2008 by Bonnie Stern. Excerpted by permission of Random House Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.