Nora is learning to make cookies but she has a distinct preference for chocolate! A recipe found in a cookbook written by my cousin Jane Purtle was just what Nora ordered! In Food from the Hills, the author recorded family recipes from her family, which happens to be our family, too. My grandmother, Clyde Curley Terrell, and Jane Purtlle’s father, Russell Hill, were half-siblings. My great-grandmother Ernestine Augier Hill Curley was married to Jane’s grandfather, James Hill. After he died, she married my Great Grandfather Curley. These chocolate oatmeal cookies were a favorite in the Hill family.
But there is more to this cookie story. The original oatmeal cookie (without chocolate) recipe was one found in the Home Economics class cookbook from Bullard High School in Bullard, Texas where Jane Purtle’s mother Ruby and my mother, Opal attended. So I am certain Nora’s great-grandmother Opal also made these cookies. Nora’s middle name is Opal. I had fun thinking about all these connections while we made these cookies.
Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup oatmeal ( recipe says Quick, but regular works great and makes a chewier cookie)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (Please note: I substituted 6 Tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder plus 2 Tablespoons oil for the melted baking chocolate)
Break egg in mixing bowl and beat in sugar. Add oil to sugar and eggs. Add milk and oatmeal. Sift flour with salt, baking powder and soda into the first mixture. Add chocolate and beat well. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees until firm around edges but soft in center.
If desired, omit chocolate and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Remove from baking sheet and cool on rack.