RECIPE: Market Mystery Cookies
I have had this recipe from The Oregonian newspaper over 12 years. The story behind it always tugged at my heartstrings, & the recipe itself is intriguing. I've never made the cookies, however - I just can't imagine scooping 1/4 teaspoonfulls for 200 cookies!
The Oregonian columnist wrote, "The originator of the recipe was an elderly woman who supported herself baking & selling these cookies at the Lancaster County Farmers Market in Wayne, PA. Tiny, less than bite-size, these cookies were sold by weight, not by the dozen. I've watched grown men & children of all ages eat Market Mystery Cookies so fast both hands blurred."
MARKET MYSTERY COOKIES
makes about 200 tiny cookies, a little more than a pound.
This recipe may be doubled, but no more.
1/2 c. butter (1 cube)
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked.
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
Melt butter in top of double boiler over simmering water. Stir in sugar until lump-free & smooth.
Stir in oatmeal, then egg & cook dough, uncovered, for 1 hour over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally.
Remove top of double boiler from heat, add vanilla & stir. Let dough stand at room temperature 1 hour to firm. (Dough is quite runny when hot.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover several cookie sheets with foil. Drop dough by level 1/4 teaspoonfulls, 1/2-inch apart onto cookie sheets. Bake 7 minutes or until well-browned. Cool to lukewarm, when cookies will peel easily from foil. Finish cooling in single layer on baking sheet. Store in tightly covered container.
If too-cold cookies stick, return to the oven briefly to reheat to barely lukewarm.