Feb 4, 2011

Here's To You Mrs. Robinson (And Your Oatmeal Lace Cookies)



"... makes about 2 doz. so double for more than a few people." Or if you are Tara and plan on your only nourishment being Oatmeal Lace Cookies in one twenty-four period. Which is basically like eating a stick of butter with some oats sprinkled in.

So Kathleen is not the only one in cookie-making mode, a biological response apparently to the snow, snow, snow. I have, gasp, also been on a baking kick. It's weird, I know. But my Aunt Lynda's Oatmeal Lace Cookies are like crunchy, buttery, oaty, can't-eat-just-eleven, amazing. And really easy. You basically just melt butter and then bake.

The only trick is mushing the mixture down really, really flat so they come out with holes in them. Like lace. Or a modest Kathleen top.




My Enabler. I now start salivating as I scrape. And these cookies take a lot of scraping. They are very, very thin and adhesive. I can't think of a joke to make about that description. This is not funny. It's dead serious.

I have made exactly five batches in four days. And I'm the only one who eats them in our house. You do the math. To make batch number five, I had to buy a new box of butter at the ransacked empty-shelved snow-pocalypse grocery store this afternoon. What exactly do people do with all those eggs when they're snowed in? Maybe they make cookies that require more than just butter.


What jump started this baking jag (besides the snow-mammal-trigger) was a coworker brought these cookies to work the other day. I was like "oh my god! those are my Aunt Lynda's Oatmeal Lace Cookies!" Then I found out coworker B, got the recipe from coworker A, who got the recipe from Kathleen, who got it from my mom, who got it from Aunt Lynda.

But I have the original recipe card.

And the coolest thing about that recipe card? Besides all the stains (butter) and brown spots (butter) and creases (butter addiction fidgeting), is that it says "Lynda Robinson." Which was our Aunt Lynda's now completely foreign and wrong-sounding name from when she was married a loooonnng time ago to a man who was, gasp, not our Uncle Pete (black banana bread Uncle Pete). Apparently a Mr. Robinson.

Just today Lynda called me (hunting down my mom because she didn't answer her phone, which is so going to be me and Kathleen some day) and I told her I was literally making her Oatmeal Lace Cookies that very second.

She laughed, because she said she didn't even remember ever making them. That it must have been from a former life.

A former life indeed, Mrs. Robinson:
- where she was living in a 1970 Austin, Texas
- where she was the lead singer of the folk band "The Whistlers"
- on the forefront of the emerging local folk-rock scene
- where she would open for folk heroes like Willie Nelson
- and hang out (sm*ke out) with Janice Joplin
- then apparently whip them up a batch of Oatmeal Lace Cookies
- meanwhile our eighteen-year old mom is playing with puppies on the back porch because she doesn't really like that stinky braided red bandana guy (Willie) or that raspy loud lady (Janice) or to drink or (sm*ke)... right
- where "The Whistlers" were eventually discovered by a California record exec
- where Mrs. Robinson and the band traveled to sign a contract
- where it fell through when Mr. Robinson (who was the songwriter and led the band) didn't like the deal
- perhaps because the execs liked the idea of a solo Mrs. Robinson a little too much?
- so she followed him back to Austin
- and eventually followed a different life

The disclaimer to this whole account? Basically this chronology is based on the eavesdroppings of a twelve-year old girl (me) who liked to listen to her mom and her mom's sisters talk and talk while riding in the backseat of long car trips while the little kids snoozed. It was like a lullabye that never put me to sleep.

And you thought this was a post about your cookies.

So forgive me Aunt Lynda (mom, sister, wife, pianist, organist, artist, best baker, best cook, best road-tripper, best singer my dad said he ever heard) if I got the facts a little wrong. But it's so irresistibly poetic.

Like butter, really.


  1. Oh! And they're healthy too! Oats = Health. It's true.

  2. Kathleen, you know you are totally next. Here's To You Mrs... oh wait, you never changed your name the first time... oh wait, it was hyphenated. That's just not very poetic at all.

  3. I am coworker C but I guess you only can pass down a recipe so many times... because mine didn't look or taste as good as Kathleen's, coworker a, coworker b or I'm sure Aunt Lynda's. Sigh.

  4. Shoot. I missed that Kande. You are anything but a C.

  5. What beautiful crispy looking cookies. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cookies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com

  6. Your aunt Lynda sounds like she had quite the "other" life.

  7. She did, Vanessa. Not a boring one, that's for sure.