Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies and milk. It’s the snack we got when we came home from school. My mother, who started to work when I entered the 4th grade, somehow found the time to bake cookies three or four times a week.

There were no other snacks during the day. It’s not as if my parents were depriving us or trying to get us to eat less junk. It’s just the way it was for us, and as far as I knew, for everyone else. When I went to a friend’s house I also got cookies and milk, maybe not homemade cookies but Oreos or sugar wafers, sometimes Vienna Fingers (all three with a goodly amount of white icing).

Today is National Junk Food Day, which a lot of people use as an excuse to eat … a lot of junk. But do we really need to set aside a day to do what so many of us already do?

Btw, it’s not really a national holiday. That takes an act of Congress and, no matter what you think about our government, no one in his or her right mind would propose a national day on which we should eat (and have our children eat) junk.

First Lady Michelle Obama is actually trying to take a critical look at childhood obesity (the Let’s Move campaign). Maybe there’s a way to keep the kids, and ourselves, from getting fatter and fatter.

I say, let’s start by having only one snack a day. I say cookies and milk. How about Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies? Here’s an easy recipe:

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cups quick cooking oats

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup apple juice, orange juice or water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet (or two). Combine the oats, flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside. Place the butter, white sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl) and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until creamy and well blended (or use a hand mixer). Add the egg, juice and vanilla extract and blend them in thoroughly. Add the oat-flour mixture and blend it in thoroughly. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop the dough (a mounded tablespoon worth)  onto the cookie sheet, leaving room for the cookies to spread. Bake for about 10 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Let cool slightly, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes about 4 dozen

For more about National Junk Food Day see: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/food/article/Healthy-ways-to-celebrate-Junk-Food-Day-577270.php

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