Back in 1938, Ruth Wakefield of Whitman, MA, found herself inspired with a new idea to satify the sweet cravings of a lodge full of guests. As the US began fully feeling it’s recovery from the great depression, items began to appear in kitchen pantries that were scarce and unaffordable before. The Toll House chocolate chip cookie was born in Ruth’s humble kitchen, using some newly purchased Hershey’s chocolate bars.

Today, the age-old practice of finding new inspiration in everyday items on-hand, continues. Paving the way for home-bakers everywhere to add their own special touch to the original chocolate chip cookie. Here on the Manitoba prairie, I too was inspired to warm up our kitchen, on a chilly, spring day, with aromas of tradition, memories and the unmistakable fragrance of chocolate.

Total Prep Time: 45 minutes

Servings in Recipe: 2 dozen

Serving Size:  1 cookie

PRAIRIE PANTRY COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup margarine or softened butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute), firmly packed
  • 1 cup granular sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cups oats (quick-cook type)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Butter and sugars being combined in a stand mixer for prairie pantry cookies

Credit: Callum Hill

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter or margarine and brown and white sugars until light in color and creamy. The longer you beat them all together, the lighter and creamier the mixture gets. 
  • Crack in both eggs and as they spread across the butter and sugar mixture, dribble in the vanilla extract.
  • Combine all this on medium speed in your mixer, or by hand, until all return to that creamy, dreamy consistency.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient mixture until that magical cookie dough begins to form.
  • In the same bowl that you used to mix your dry ingredients, stir oats, chocolate chips and walnuts together until all are evenly combined.
  • Add the entire amount to your soft dough and slowly fold together (on a slow speed with the dough attachment, if using a stand mixer).
  • Using two tablespoons or a standard ice cream scoop, drop dollops of your heavenly mixture (that already smells good!) onto parchment covered baking sheets. Dollops should be placed at least 2 inches apart to allow for spreading during baking. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes, rotating each baking sheet 180 degrees about half way through.
  • Once done, remove the baking sheets from the oven and inhale that intoxicating chocolatey aroma that has become the stuff of legend. 
  • Place cookies on a wire rack or paper towels to cool.
  • Sample one immediately and luxuriate in your freshly baked, chocolate-chip achievement. 
  • Store the rest in your cookie jar and enjoy the bliss. 
Butter and sugars being combined in a stand mixer for prairie pantry cookies

Credit: Callum Hill

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