Stone Ground Bakery in Agoura Hills, just off the 101 between Calabasas and Ventura, is one of those L.A. shopping mall treasures, a great bakery trapped in anonymous concrete that you find only if you know the happy repeat customers--or have exited to get gas and discovered great bread instead.
A kosher bakery run by a Lutheran from Hohenlimburg, Germany, Stone Ground has amazing challah, all braided by hand, and bear claws that operate like currency in my house. They also have great over-sized oatmeal cookies, the recipe for which is on the next page. They're kosher, thus made with margarine, but feel free to use butter instead, which owner-baker Abby Franke admits makes the cookies taste even better. Of course it does.
From: Abby Franke of Stone Ground Bakery
Note: This recipe is measured in weight rather than volume, which is more accurate and the preferred method of most bakers (and Europeans). If you don't have one, an inexpensive kitchen scale is a seriously useful cooking tool.
8.5 ounces brown sugar
8 ounces sugar
1/4 ounce baking soda
1/2 ounce salt
12 ounces trans-fat-free margarine (or substitute unsalted butter)
10 ounces honey
1/4 ounce vanilla
10 ounces all-purpose flour
4 ounces cake flour
18 ounces rolled oats
1/4 ounces baking powder
about 4 ounces water
1. By hand or in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the sugars, baking soda, salt, margarine (or butter), honey and vanilla together until combined.
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2. Add the remaining ingredients (flours, oats, baking powder and water) to the mixture and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
3. Using a 4-ounce ice cream scoop (or a spoon or your hands), scoop out or form 4 ounce balls of dough on cookie sheets. Leave plenty of room between the balls of dough. Freeze the trays of dough for at least half an hour or longer.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Cool on racks.
Stone Ground Bakery: 5005 Kanan Road, Agoura Hills; (818) 597-8774.