Thursday, April 06, 2006

Trying to keep my hand out of the cookie jar...

From chocolate covered pretzels to kettle corn and trail mix, Jeff and I both enjoy the salty/sweet combination of flavors - especially with snacks. Today I made a cookie which brings these two together and had us both going back for bite after bite.

Salty Oatmeal Cookies moved near the top our list today because they baked into one of our favorite textures in a cookie. The outside of the cookies are crisp (but not crunchy hard) while the middle has a wonderful chewiness - if you tried to break them in half, they would start to bend instead of just breaking apart.

At first bite, you can taste the saltiness on your lips, but it is not overpowering and the sweetness from the sugars in the cookie tone it down. The salty flavor comes from coarse kosher salt is sprinkled on before baking. As you eat them, the old-fashioned oats add a nutty taste and a pleasant chew. They are about 3" across and just over 1/4" thick. There are no fancy add ins and I'm glad we kept them plain - the salty/sweet combination really shines through in these cookies. We will have to wait and see how these keep, butI hope they can maintain their texture being stored.

Tonight's dinner is a firm polenta dish made from white cornmeal. The recipe, Polenta with Fontina and Spinach, can be partially made the morning of or the night before you want to serve it. First, tender baby spinach and garlic are lightly sauteed and then mixed into a warm cooked white corn polenta. This is then spread into a springform pan and allowed to set and cool in the refrigerator. Creamy shredded fontina cheese is scattered on top and then baked until the top turns a pale golden color and the center has warmed up. The firm polenta can then be easily cut into wedges and while we ate it as a main dish, if you cut them into smaller wedges, this would be a great side item. If you don't care for fontina, I think Asiago or Parmesan would also work well.


  1. I love that sweet/salty combination, too! You always give such great detailed descriptions of your cooking and I love you for that!
    I'm gonna try these..wish me luck!

  2. Great Recipes! Love oatmeal cookies & that touch of salt is great. Polenta looks great too. Thanks.

  3. Yum...I know what I'm making this weekend!! It all looks so tasty!

  4. joe, you should retitle your blog just for me: call it "sheer torture". sniff:(

  5. What a nice idea! I also like the salty/sweet, and oatmeal cookies are my favorites!
    Please, report back to tell us how they hold their shape/texture.
    And i have two questiions Joe... how many cookies does this make? (it looks like a big recipe) And, can these be frozen?!
    Thanks for the recipes and reviews! I am definitely trying this cookie soon!

  6. These cookies remind me of a cookie my grandma used to make except she sprinkled on dry roasted peanuts. I must try these. Thanks for bringing back an old memory.

  7. Purplecupcake - Thanks! Let me know how they turn out!

    Fran - We are quickly becoming big fans of polenta!

    Jennifer -hanks!

    Stef - Thanks for the chuckle!

    Ana -I got 36 cookies from the recipe, and they keep quite well so far!

    Anonymous - Peanuts would be great here I think!

  8. Those cookies look fantastic -- great photos, Joe! I recently discovered salted caramel chocolates, and am completely enamoured with the salty/sweet thing. Never thought of a salty/sweet cookie, though -- thanks for the inspiration!