Portland Farmers’ Market (PSU – Saturdays and Wednesdays)
It’s an elusive cookie, to be sure. That is to say, you can find it only at The Farmers’ Market at Portland State University – on Saturdays and Wednesdays (and only during Farmers’ Market season, obviously). So, like many things that are truly worthwhile, you may need to stray a little bit out of your way in order to get this bad boy in your mouth. But… if you’re so inclined, do it.
The Market Gourmet is run by a woman named Monica, also known as “The Tart Lady.” As her moniker suggests, she is mostly known for her sweet and savory tarts (blue cheese, hazelnut, pear and caramelized onions) and humble yet spot-on cakes (a simple almond or a deep, dense chocolate with seasonal fruit, for example).
But sitting alongside these mainstage offerings is a more than respectable array of solid, pleasing…COOKIES. Chocolate espresso, coconut cowgirl, basic chocolate chip (with and without nuts) have been on display during most of my visits, but when I stopped by the market yesterday for the first time this season (I know, I know, it’s mid July already!) to get my long-overdue Market Gourmet fix, I limited myself to just two:
Oatmeal currant and chocolate-covered coconut macaroon.
Right now I’m talkin’ ’bout the first one. Details on the mac to follow.
Like any solid oatmeal cookie, there’s really not too much to tell you. Except for this:
Upon first glance, it is undersized. But check out the girth; this mother is fat. FAT. And not that I have anything against nuts across the board, but I’ve come to realize that I dig an oatmeal raisin cookie SANS nuts. Because the fewer nuts there are in the cookie, the more room there is for brown sugary, oatey, fruity goodness – the true “raisin” d’etre (ouch!) of an oatmeal cookie, if ya ask me. Incidentally, The fact that this version employs currants in lieu of the more typical raisins seems appropriate, given its limited surface area. I think full-sized raisins might overcrowd the cookie base, actually; currants are more fitting with the overall scale, here.
I can also tell you this: the flavor is spot-on. No overbearing cinnamon (just the right amount), and I’m betting that the sugar is dark brown as opposed to golden – of which I also approve heartily. Why anyone opts for golden brown when they could be using dark brown confuses me as much as why some people would rather eat Hershey’s Kiss instead of deep, dark 65% (or higher) bar. It just doesn’t add up, frankly. It is also quite clear to me (and my mouth) that we’re dealing with grade-A ingredients (good butter, whole, non-instant oats, etc.).
I managed to hold out on the sampling until I arrived at my sister’s house not long after buying them, and shared them with her and my four-year-old nieces. Surprisingly, the girls snatched up the oatmeal cookies more quickly, even, than the chocolate mac (and not for lack of coconut affection, etiher).
And this, if you know these little chocolate gobblins, is saying something.