Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Adams Point

For a date day a few weeks ago, my husband and I went on a walking tour of the four apartments we lived in in the Adams Point neighborhood of Oakland between 1999-2005 and then again for one year in 2009-10 (following a four-year detour to attend grad school in Boston, before we moved into our current home in the Laurel neighborhood). Which is probably why, for the next cookie in this "sweet on Oakland" project, I turned to the Adams Point neighborhood for inspiration.

Problem is, that neighborhood, as lovely as it is, is mostly residential. Its history revolves essentially around the family who owned the land - the Adams family - who were eventually forced by the city to sell the huge, increasingly centrally located plot of land for development in the early 1900s. But of course my memories of the area are wrapped up in all the things we could easily walk to - uptown and Bart in one direction, Piedmont in another, Grand Lake/Lakeshore clockwise from there, and of course the lake itself. The thing that drew me to the area initially was the office building where I worked throughout my college years (now one of the Kaiser buildings - I had a parking spot in a lot where the cathedral now stands). That and food. One or two mornings a week I'd walk to Arizmendi for scones (we'd share an oat scone and a currant scone). Occasionally on a Sunday morning we'd walk a little further to Lynn & Lu's for their amazing oatmeal pancakes with blueberry compote. There are more food memories, of course, but for this recipe, I essentially made a cookie version of Arizmendi's oat scone - the dried blueberries (instead of currants) are a nod to that blueberry compote at Lynn & Lu's. I threw in some chocolate because chocolate makes any oatmeal cookie recipe exponentially better.

I had help with the scone > cookie conversion from this blog post and cross-checked my chemistry with Smitten Kitchen's thick, chewy oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. The end result is a more cake-like cookie that really does taste a lot like Arizmendi's oat scone (I think the key ingredient is heavy cream). Enough back story; here's the recipe:


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate (I like the pound plus bar at Trader Joes!)


Whisk together flours (don't forget to sift the white flour!), baking soda, and salt and set aside. Cream butter and sugar for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy. Add egg and cream and mix well. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet just until mixed. Using a wooden spoon (yes, this is essential), mix in the oats, dried blueberries, and chocolate. 

Chill dough in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Chilling the dough makes it easier to scoop and allows the oats to soak up the cream. 

Scoop cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon (I like to use a #40 scoop) mounds, spacing them apart on a parchment paper or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-13 minutes, until the edges are light brown.