eNTeNG SUPER loved these – Mabelle Feliciano’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

16 12 2008
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Mabelle Feliciano's Perfect Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, beautifully nestled on one of my Crown Ming Fine China dinner plates.

THERE’S SOMETHING nice to be said about something custom-made.  That’s why, I guess, that even in these times of a ‘looming’ financial crisis, some ladies still go to haute couture.  And some gentlemen still opt for bespoke suits.  My youngest brother, for one, has a nice three-piece that I get to borrow from time to time.  And Batman even had a new gray suit made for one of his friends’ wedding.

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Which was why I just found it so sweet that my good friend and fellow engineer, Mabelle Feliciano baked me my ‘own’ batch of her chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for the holidays.  They were my own because, as she said thru IM sent right after she had handed me the beautifully packaged treats, ‘I didn’t put dessicated coconut in them.’  Such thoughtfulness…  and willingness to adapt her recipe to my liking!  Not remembering that I had personally articulated to her my explicit dislike for anything coconut, I had to ask her how she knew.  And her response made me appreciate her home-baked cookies all the more.  She learned about it when, in our last meeting, I totally passed up insistent offers of Goldilocks macaroons, totally dismissing the existence of the golden yellow croquembouche-like mound right in front of me.  Unlike in the French sense wherein macaroons are made with almond paste, macaroons in the Philippines are made with dessicated coconut.

 

Yes, I turned down the macaroons politely.  And clearly, Mabelle was paying attention and took down a mental note: “No coconut for eNTeNG.”

 

I didn’t actually know Mabelle usually makes her oatmeal cookies with dessicated coconut.  All I know up to that point was that she had struck me as someone who had promise as a home baker, from when she first had me try her cookies to when she gave me a sealed Ziploc bag that contained a slice of her cream-cheese-frosting-less carrot cake (that was so moist and yummy!).

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They just look so perfect, don’t they?

 

Daintily tied by her “Yaya (Nanny)” with a lace-like white ribbon (Oh, Lucy Torres-Gomez would’ve been so proud!), Mabelle’s latest offering got me so excited.  At the same time, it left me chiding myself for deliberately leaving my camera behind at home.  You see, eversine I started this blog, anything edible has needed to be photographed first before devoured.  I mean, just in case it would merit to be ‘immortalized’ on these pages!

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Mabelle's Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies are so drool-worthy! (*wink*)

 

I resigned to the fact that I had to wait till I got home.  So everytime I would leave my desk to run to meetings, I would steal glances at the cookies and, pregnant with thought, would check myself if I could still resist the urge to take a quick bite.  I could, up until the afternoon, when, with the caution of a secret agent (Chuck!) on a special clandestine intelligence operation, I carefully pulled the ribbon to one side, lifted the lid and stole one cookie!

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As I brought the cookie closer and closer to my mouth, I closed my eyes and prepared myself to be satisfied.  I thought about the one thing that could only be tart and sweet, hearty and crunchy, chewy, and taste good with a tall glass of ice-cold milk – the oatmeal cookie.  I sunk my teeth in, and chewed.  And chewed some more.  I took the experience in.  Then, I opened my eyes, and with a smile on my lips affirmed that ‘preparing to be satisfied’ was underestimating the pleasures one cookie – this cookie – could give me!

 

Quite obviously, the oatmeal cookie – and its many incarnations with raisins, dried fruits, pecans, and chocolate chips – has become a staple in many a home baker’s repertoire.  But what Mabelle has done to her version is the classic example of making a good dessert really well.  This may sound cliché-ish but yes, her cookies managed to blow me away.  I didn’t expect it to happen and even I had doubts at first (sometimes something so good can feel ‘too good to be true’), so, even when it was risking curtailing my own ultimate oatmeal cookie experience, I decided to share a couple with some people whose opinions I trust – Brother being one of them.

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Now that's a perfectly baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookie!

 

And their initial reactions, running the gamut of muffled ‘Mmmm…’s’ to bold, unbridled declarations of ‘Ang sarap!’ (This is so delicious!), only established and strengthened my own claim.

 

Once at home, I brought out a different plate to nestle these perfect cookies in.  I took out a Crown Ming Fine China from my 24-piece collection as I felt it served as the perfect pedestal for such yummy confections.  Comfortably positioned on the plate, I gained a deeper appreciation of the goodness of Mabelle’s chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

 

The cookies had a uniform size and shape that told me how well the batter was mixed and portioned on the sheet pan.  They were all golden brown in color, with the surface glistening under the light.  The chocolate chips were so generous as they visibly dotted the top of the cookies, as well as the perfectly baked, brown-crusted bottom.  With such physical attributes, I intially expected to ‘cringe’ with sweetness on the first bite.  But quite ironically, all I got from the cookies was a scrumptious goodness that belied the number of the chocolate chips.  The cookies let out an undeniable crispiness and crunch with each bite, before giving way to a chewy center punctuated with the giving creaminess of the chocolate chips, making known the layers of contrasting textures that could sure please even the most jaded cookie lover.

 

While I would have expected tartness in an oatmeal cookie (from raisins of course!), I didn’t feel Mabelle’s cookies to be lacking at all, as these small flat sweet discs flawlessly captured the essence of richness, crumbly consistency, and sweetness that didn’t drown out, but rather highlighted, the goodness of the old-fashioned rolled oats.  I asked her how she came to be such a good baker (I just had to know!).  And I was quite touched to learn that what she has just striven to make are treats – cakes, cookies, bread – that she hopes her kids would love.

 

I still maintain that Otis Spunkmeyer makes the best commercially available oatmeal cookies out there.  But Mabelle does make a mean, unapologetic version of this classic treat.  Enjoying four of the six cookies in the rectangular tub she gave me, I didn’t miss Otis at all.

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One of the true tests of a perfectly baked cookie - the bottom crust.

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3 responses

16 12 2008
lao

are u collecting cookies for christmas?
well i guess that’s what u get when u befriend everybody… 🙂

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16 12 2008
entengvince

Hi there my Bored Gaga (Pretty Diane)!

I’m not really collecting. Just accepting with thanks anything that comes along. It feels good to be remembered by friends. With or without any gifts or treats, your humble eNTeNG loves you all.

Specific to the cookies, I’ve received quite a lot actually. But I’ve only talked about three (so far) here in my blog.

Ciao for now!

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17 12 2008
eyes only

yung mga pagkain mo dito parang – – – – – , – – – – – ! 🙂

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