Thursday, October 04, 2007

Oatmeal-Trail Mix Cookies (Page 664)

  • Date: Thursday, October 4, 2007 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

I was craving some cookies, so I tried this recipe. These cookies are odd, but good. There is really a lot going on in these cookies. Practically everything in the pantry goes into them: oats, coconut, raisins, chocolate chips, roasted peanuts, etc... It's a bit much. I like the salty/sweet effect from the contrast of the salted peanuts with the sweetened coconut, but I don't particularly like having chocolate chips and raisins in the same cookie. That said, the texture is nice (chewy, with slightly crispy edges), and I appreciate the high proportion of oats to flour, which gives them a hint of wholesomeness.

The recipe is the same as this one, except the one in The Book also has 1/4 cup granulated sugar in it.

Ah, Thursday night: baking cookies, cleaning my apartment, planning my class for the morning, and of course: answering Webwork emails! Webwork is an online homework system. I choose problems from a database to go with each lecture. The students have to complete them before the following lecture to receive credit. They do the problems, enter their answers online, and the system tells them instantly whether it is right or wrong. If it's wrong, they can try as many times as they want before the deadline. They get full credit as long as they submit the right answer before the assignment is due -- it doesn't matter how many tries it took them. The computer even generates slightly different problems for each student (i.e. functions have different coefficients) to make it harder just to copy from a peer. I've never taught a class before that uses such a tool, but I firmly believe that it is a good idea. The students get a lot of practice, and they are forced to keep trying until they actually get it right. The downside of Webwork: the "Email Instructor" button. Starting at 9pm on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights, my Inbox is flooded with requests for help. At the beginning of the term they were always of the form, "I have the right answer but Webwork says it's wrong." Finally I had to tell them in lecture, "Webwork is never wrong." Now I get emails that say, "I know Webwork is never wrong, but I have the right answer and it won't accept it." Students are always hesitant to believe that their answer might be wrong! In any event, I think it's important to respond to these emails -- if students are asking for help that means they are at least trying to do the problems even though they aren't sure how. Trying hard should be encouraged. It's a bit painful though!

Next semester, I am told, the class I am teaching comes with a person who is paid just to answer Webwork emails! So that "Email Instructor" button won't point to me any more! How exciting!


Anna said...

I guess the one on Epicurious has a typo. It doesn't list the granulated sugar in the ingredient list, but it says "sugars" in the directions.

Teena said...

The one in The Book calls for 1/2 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar.