Give Your Cookies a Helpful Oat Bottom

Give Your Cookies a Helpful Oat Bottom

Recently, I found myself in possession of a pathetic amount of groats. Not enough to make a snack, but enough to feel wasteful if it met the trash can. Although this small conundrum was frustrating at first, I ended up with a “when life gives you lemons’’ discovery. It turns out you can make better cookies by giving them oat bottoms.

I found oats are especially effective with drop cookies, or any cookie with a tacky or wet dough. All you have to do it pour some oat flakes out onto a plate, or the hollow side of the oat canister’s lid, then scoop the raw cookie dough balls as usual and press the bottom of each one into the oats. Place the cookies on the baking sheet, oat-side down, and bake as usual. The oats stay put as the batter relaxes, cooks, and welds to the oat flakes.

When I tried this, I found the bottoms browned delightfully, with the oats toasting in the excess butter that normally slakes off onto the parchment paper. This was beneficial thricely: I got toasty oat flavours, crispy cookie bottoms that stayed that way even the next day, and a spotless sheet pan, ready for the next round of cookies. The thing that really sealed the deal was how all of my cookies popped off the sheet pan effortlessly. Cookies that have loose batters, lots of meltable chocolate, or general wide-spreading tendencies can stick or rip when you try to remove them from the pan. Giving them an oat bottom creates a helpful non-stick barrier and a subtle framework of support.

This little trick works with standard drop cookies and the roll-out cookie cutter variety. Roll-out cookie dough is less sticky, so instead of dunking the bottoms in oats, when you’re rolling out the dough on a floured surface, scatter some oats down there too. Strange–or on the nose–as it may seem, this even works for oatmeal cookies.

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