Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

The Story

Mama developed a serious sweet tooth as she aged (not uncommon in the elderly), though she complained about cookies being too sweet. One of the first things to go when the brain gets old is sense of taste. Given the same thing twice, one time she will love it and the next time “they don’t make it like they used to.” Or I didn’t make it the same. Or it wasn’t as good as it was last time, when last time it wasn’t as good as the time before. We had a lot of food fights.

She was on a mission to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie—an impossibility, of course, see above. I refused to engage in the activity, so she put her occasional hired caregiver on the task. It’s like a test: given three trials, can Michelle use the same recipe and the same ingredients and make the result be different? It’s the Great American Bake-off with Michelle competing against herself and Mama starring as contestant-bashing judge.

She never, ever ate a whole cookie in one sitting. Half would sit on the kitchen counter next to her Centrum Silver vitamin bottle. When she sat in the chair next to the counter, she would nibble at it until I finally threw the petrified remains out.

For the cookie story that didn’t make the cut in the memoir, click here.

Anyhoo, here is my own long-favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Of course Mama didn’t like them for myriad reasons, including they weren’t sweet enough. I made these for me!

The Recipe


1 c. shortening (or ½ c. shortening and ½ c. butter)
¼ c. peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
½ c. white sugar
½ c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1-½ c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 c. rolled oats
1-2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use two cups, because more is better when it comes to chocolate.)


Cream together first six ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Mix in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoon full (or more because bigger is better when it comes to chocolate chip cookies) onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375º for about 10 minutes. Makes two dozen biggish cookies.

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