January

January 20, Mary M. Dalton

Dalton’s Cookies

As a Southern woman, I’ve been schooled in the ways of loving people with food from the cradle. All of my best recipes come from my Pamma (you’ll see her pound cake recipe on December 8); this cookie recipe is one she made up from scratch in all its variations and called “Nutritious Poppin’ Fresh Cookies.”

For decades now, I’ve baked Pamma’s Cookies for family, friends, students, and co-workers. But, to me, they have become Dalton’s Cookies.

I used to take batches of them to Women’s Hospital in Greensboro, NC after my son was born. Dalton Phillip Smoot was delivered by emergency surgery 28 weeks into my pregnancy and lived in the NICU for four months and two days before I was able to bring him home (still weighing less than six pounds). I think I wanted to take care of the people taking care of my son and sharing cookies was a natural way for me to do that.

Why don’t you bake some of Dalton’s Cookies for someone you love?

  • 2 ¼ cups plain flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (a dash)
  • 1 cup margarine or butter, softened (I use butter)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (sometimes I put a little more in)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 12 oz. package of chocolate chips (my grandmother used 6 oz. – but this is chocolate! – and I do use the semi-sweet chips)
  • 1 cup peanut butter

(By the way, my grandmother sometimes used a cup of coconut or a cup of wheatgerm instead of the peanut butter.  She also often used a cup of chopped pecans. Instead of that, I sometimes use crunchy peanut butter.)

Combine brown sugar and butter. Mix in eggs. Then add flour, soda, salt. After that is mixed well, add peanut butter. When peanut butter has been combined with other ingredients, add oats.  Finish by stirring in chocolate chips.

Spoon dough onto cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven until the tops of the cookie are lightly brown at the peaks. (I don’t overcook to keep them chewy.) You will need to let one tray cool a little before you lift them onto waxed paper or a tray to finish cooling.

–Mary M. Dalton

Jamestown, North Carolina

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