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Melting hearts for half a century

  • TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
                                The recipe for “To My Valentine” oatmeal cutouts first appeared in The Pittsburgh Press in 1958.

    TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

    The recipe for “To My Valentine” oatmeal cutouts first appeared in The Pittsburgh Press in 1958.

Edie Klebacha and her family have been marking Valentine’s Day for more than 50 years — by baking cookies. Not just any cookie — one made from a recipe carefully clipped from the The Pittsburgh Press on Feb. 2, 1958.

What makes the cutout cookies so special, Klebacha says, is that they’re not the sweet sugar cookie everyone expects. The miniature hearts are made with a simple, no-nonsense oatmeal batter that bakes into a crispy-crunchy biscuit.

“It just tastes good, and with the oatmeal, I think it’s a little more nutritious,” she says.

The oatmeal treats are such a huge part of the family’s Valentine food tradition that everyone starts thinking about them weeks ahead, in January. And don’t even think about using the recipe at Christmas.

“I don’t think we’ve ever made them for any other holiday,” she says.

While the recipe clipping didn’t have an author, it appeared on the same page as an advertisement for Great Western Cereal Co.’s Mother Oats, which The Quaker Oats Co. acquired in 1911.

‘TO MY VALENTINE’ OATMEAL COOKIES

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl; whisk to combine.

In separate bowl, cream softened butter with sugar. Add milk, egg and vanilla; stir to combine. Add flour mixture and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Stir in oats.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into heart shapes.

Bake on greased cookie sheets for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just golden, or a little longer if you like a crispy cookie.

When cool, decorate with tinted confectioners’ sugar icing. Makes about 3-1/2 dozen cookies.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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