hotel school oatmeal cookies.

Get this.

I didn’t even KNOW how to cook a piece of chicken in a skillet before I took a culinary course in the Hotel School during my senior year at Cornell.

a.k.a this class changed my LIFE.

Even though I wasn’t exactly skilled in the kitchen per se, at least I was around to fix something for not-yet-Mr. Peaches, whether it be something as simple as a salad and a panini or a cheese-melted-on-tortilla concoction.

Because while I was in Spain the semester before, I’m almost positive he survived SOLELY on on Lean Cuisines, Honey Bunches of Oats, and PowerBars all purchased with his BRBs (sorry, Big Red Bucks) at the on-campus mini market on the bottom of the Slope.

I sat there in my dormitorio in Seville chatting with him over Skype, horrified at the thought that all he ate were those measly 200-calorie mouse-food freezer meals.

“Oh, don’t worry Meg. I eat like 3 boxes at a time, and that about fills me up.”

Good thing I learned how to cook.

Most of the recipes we made in Culinary came from a textbook which I SWEAR weighed 97 pounds.

But I imagine the cookie recipes in the textbook were no good, because our instructor brought in his own secret family recipes for the baking lab.

I have this image ingrained in my brain of one of the grad students in my class who, exhausted after racing around a hot kitchen during a 4-hour lab, plopped her tired self onto the last available chair and quickly snatched one of the oatmeal cookies from the “look-what-my-group-made” community table.

She bit into it, and then slowly closed her eyes…

I think she was in heaven.

Since they’re so oat-y, these are the kind of cookies that really satiate true feelings of hunger.

They are soft and chewy, yet the pieces of chopped walnuts provide a little crunch.

And the dried currants add the perfect amount of extra sweetness.

I’m pretty sure it’s a crime not to serve these cookies with a glass of milk, so make sure you have some of that on hand too.

If only these cookies could magically transport me back to Ithaca!

Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe from Gregory Norkus, School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University
Makes 3 dozen cookies

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1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp.  salt
½ tsp. baking soda

¾ cup shortening (Crisco)
1 cup  firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup  granulated sugar
¼ cup  water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1  egg

3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried currants

Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.

Cream the shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar, water, and vanilla extract using a paddle attachment in the mixer. Then stir in the egg.

Gradually add in the flour mixture, then stir in the oats, walnuts, and currants.

Drop onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake 13-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack when done.

peaches & cake


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