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A Cookie Story: Ragi Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Redux

2012 October 19

Remember my post on the Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever? If you don’t, here it is, again. Can’t miss it three times in a row, can you?

Well, a few things have happened since that post went live.

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First, we’ve started baking them again at Sharana, mostly to be sold to Lycée français de Pondichéry teachers, parents, friends, and then set into concentric orbits from there. Vandana, who runs the cafe at the French Institute, is selling them there, too. They’re hugely popular, as before. Kids love them, parents do, too, and Anandhi at Sharana has a job because of them. A Sharana blog post on these very cookies went live last week.

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Second, several of you who know me or know Sharana’s projects or both have used the recipe to bake batches of cookies. Some of you have been good enough to send along photos. My former student and beautiful friend Carrie sent in a few images of her baking ragi cookies with her gorgeous babies (who of course turned the occasion into a party) for a women’s gathering led by her yoga instructor; these are featured below with Carrie’s narrative and my grateful thanks. Nothing makes me happier than the knowledge that kids and kindred spirits the world over are enjoying our beloved cookies. Spread the love! (& consider making a bake sale donation to Sharana?)

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If you send a photo of your cookies or group or event, I’ll happily feature it here and on Pâticheri’s Facebook page as an acknowledgment. Plus I’ll send you a sampling of hand-made notecards (in the style of my graphic illustrations) I’m in the process of creating as a gesture of thanks.

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Oh, and the third thing that happened? I think my photos of the cookies got a heck of a lot better, don’t you?

Here’s Carrie’s Ragi Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie story, without further ado:

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The kids have been waiting to make these cookies since the flour arrived in the mail over a month ago.  I got busy, and didn’t have an occasion to make them (if I make a batch of cookies without intended recipients, I’ll eat an embarrassing amount), and every time Georgia would tell me she wanted me to make cookies and I answered that I didn’t have the proper ingredients, she brought me the bag of Raji flour (she knew its purpose because its arrival in a box on our doorstep was special and had to be explained).  When I finally landed an opportunity – a potluck where I quickly signed up for “sweets” – we bought the chocolate and got to work.  This was the most they’d ever helped me in the kitchen.  They poured in every ingredient but the eggs, and because I was doubling the recipe, having two of them actually eliminated my need to calculate any duplications. 🙂

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This is a terrible photo, but the only one I have of the cookies themselves.  They were too cake-y in the beginning (I think I over-mixed the oatmeal), but by the last two batches in the oven I realized I’d forgotten to use the convection setting, which, once instated, made for a nice crispy exterior with soft insides.  SO satisfying.  Still, I will fold my oatmeal much more carefully next time.

Pâticheri: Folding shouldn’t matter too much, actually. I love crisp-outside-soft-inside cookies myself, but if you prefer these crispier, increase your baking time slightly or use smaller cookie dough dollops or both. The ones from Sharana are always on the crisper side.

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Elliot deemed eating the cookies as an occasion – a birthday – and chose to don Georgia’s bike helmet for the “party”.

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The cookies were well-received.

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There were chocolate faces.
(I don’t understand how this happens – chocolate would NEVER escape the insides of my mouth.)

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And the photo I SO wish were clearer, bigger – the ladies for whom I made the cookies enjoyed them immensely.  This group was gathered by my friend Beth (seated, in the middle), a yoga instructor to most of the women here.  She hosts a periodic gathering at her house for these women to discuss topics relating to life and goodness and search.  Most of these women I’d never met, but the conversations demanded such a candidness, I left there feeling like I knew stories of old friends.  These women seek deeper spans of world than the one they live, and were eager to eat the cookies of the NGO cafe in India.  The batch was large, so even though we all ate several, many women took some home in little baggies.  I will make them for the next gathering and hopefully improve them by not attacking the oatmeal.  My daughter has already brought me the flour twice.

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One Response Post a comment
  1. October 22, 2012

    I loveeeee two things about this post: one the use of an indigenous ingredient to make something universally recognise, the cookie. And that jobs, and bake sales are happening because of it! Well done. We get millet too in Nigeria, even though I havent had it in ages. I used to love the nutty, toasted flavour! Stay well

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