Syd's 4th birthday is just around the corner, and I have a quite a bit of fun experimenting on cheap but fun ways to make it entertaining. You can see many of the activities I did over the summer and am planning for his birthday on my Pinterest board here. But the most recent addition to the 'dance of experimentation' was the Oatmeal (a.k.a., healthier than store-bought) Cut-Out Cookies.
The first time I made these, Syd was about 18 months old, and none of us liked them, much. I honestly do not recall where I found the recipe. It was handwritten in his book, so I'm going to assume I copied it hastily out of a magazine. Regardless, they were rather flavorless. However, they did cut out well. That's a bonus, right?
Since Syd's birthday theme is dinosaurs, I thought it would be wonderful to have a simple cookie to go along with his festivities. Bonus - after tweaking the recipe, he wolfed them down, so I think I may have a winner. I was tempted to purchase a dinosaur cutter, but then realized I had his sandwich cutter that made 2 dinosaurs out of his grilled cheese. Problem solved! I did, however, buy a #4 cutter to accompany his brachiosaurus cookies.
Oatmeal Cut-Out Cookies
Preheat the oven to 375* (I think this is a little hot; I went to 350*)
1 cup unsalted butter - (I usually let mine sit out, but I've also found that 15 seconds in the microwave on half-power does the trick nicely.)
1 1/2 cups sugar
Blend these together well until fluffy.
Whisk the dry ingredients together while this blends:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt (I used more - probably 1 1/4 tsp - and I used a coarser salt than the regular table salt - it added a subtle but nice surprise every once in awhile as you bit into the cookies that blended well with the sweetness.)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
Cinnamon - (I'm a nut for cinnamon, so I don't measure. I dump some in and after I've whisked the dry ingredients together, I smell them. If I can't smell cinnamon, I add more. Simple enough. You need to measure to your own taste.)
After the butter is fluffy and the dry ingredients are whisked well:
2 eggs - beat these into the sugar mixture well, one at a time, incorporating each egg well.
1 Tbsp vanilla - (I love vanilla, too - I used vanilla paste instead of extract. Yes, that says Tablespoon - think about all the absorbing ingredients - flour and oatmeal? It needs the extra punch.)
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing well. Afterwards, add in 2 cups of dry oatmeal, folding this in by hand.
Roll the dough to 1/4" and cut-out. Spread on prepared (greased - blech - I used parchment paper) pans. Bake at 350-375* for around 10 minutes or until lightly brown.