Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ingredient Study - Oats

Last weekend, I made a bunch of cookies for my friends for the golf tournament. Three kinds, one of them being oatmeal raisin. I was pressed for time that weekend and didn't want to run around town looking for ingredients (that's quite normal here, there are three or four stores I try for most ingredients and one that I try for more obscure imported goods ... like sunflower seeds or large yellow lemons).

I wasn't very happy with the oats that I was using for the cookies. They were very small, over-processed, broken, powdery, etc. Just not very good quality. I'd made some oatmeal with the same oats a few months ago and was highly disappointed with the glop that resulted.

These oats are pictured to the left here. One can easily see that they are just hammered.

Since I've been looking for healthy snacks for my somewhat picky, but oh-so-gwapo son, I decided to look harder for better oats. I wanted a good mouth feel for the cookies so that he would actually eat more than just a bite. Once the little pasaway guy decides that he doesn't like something, the mouth stays closed. I get one chance.

In a way, I like this. His behavior forces me to produce better the first time around. Sometimes I get no chance. That's life with kids. But, when I get one chance, I want ensure that I score a big hit.

Luckily, I found some imported Quaker Oats. Standard, classic Quaker Oats in the 510 gram cardboard can. Just looking at these (to the right), you can see that they are of much, much higher quality.

I guess that's what you get when you pay twice as much for one as the other.

The mouth feel of the cookies I made with the higher quality oats was great. Taste was better. They made a huge difference.

(yes, I made oatmeal cookies again this week ... I need to post the modified recipe that I used along with pictures ... so behind right now!)

While the lower quality oats aren't industrial by any means, they are certainly not up-to-par. Unless I wanted to make glop, I wouldn't buy them again. My family and friends are worth the small added expense (about P50 per 80 cookies).

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