Martha Stewart, Mitt Romney and making bank off Salty Peanut & Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

One of the benefits of being around since the middle of the last century is that we Gourmandistanis may confidently say we were hip to Martha Stewart before Martha Stewart became hip. “It’s a good thing” was a catchphrase in our various domiciles as we cooked, stenciled and collected assorted tchotchkes such as the fake topiary Steve dubbed “the puffball on a stick.”  While even Michelle is not as craft-tastic and decorative-ish as she used to be (the puffball, too, has gone by the wayside), we still have an interest in Martha—especially in catching her “Ask Martha” segment on SiriusXM’s “Martha Stewart Living” channel.  “Ask Martha” is Martha, in studio, answering “your questions about cooking, entertaining, gardening, or homekeeping” or simply “how she spent her weekend.”

“Ask Martha” is the icon made accessible, although many moments offer a glimpse of just how remote Martha’s life is from ordinary people’s. She’s the liberal version of Mitt Romney, forever separated from even conceiving of how one might function without an army of helpers. A gardening question leads to a discussion of Martha’s greenhouse, an inquiry about window treatments is answered with assessments of various artisan crafters of bespoke blinds. Of course she’s gracious and polite, though Steve swears he heard chewing sounds during one show as Martha seemed to be eating lunch while offering advice, and from time to time Martha frankly sounds a bit bored. It’s quite possible the movers and shakers at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia may pressure her to keep at it, however, because Martha’s not bringing in the money like she used to. As some equity research weenie says in the article, “Who cares if she’s popular if you can’t monetize it?” Speaking of which, here’s our own little shiv to stick in Omnimedia: the reason for this post, Martha’s phenomenal recipe for “Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.” Here’s a link to the recipe, for free.

And here’s some free advice for Martha—fire whomever came up with that terrible name. It undersells the entire reason for the cookie’s greatness: salty, salty salted whole peanuts, tossed into the batter along with rolled oats, chocolate chunks and a half cup of “natural” peanut butter (as if there’s any other kind). Did we mention these cookies are salty? Mmmmm, yes, as well as chocolaty and sweet. You can save leftover batter in the refrigerator, but make sure to bring it to room temperature before baking so the cookies spread into crisp lattices of oatmeal that barely contain the nuts. Martha’s cookies are the best reason to buy a big can of Virginia roasted peanuts (we have some friends coming home from Virginia for Christmas … hint hint hint) because you’re forced to make big batches. Some hipster in Brooklyn could be shoving aside cartons of black market cigarettes, using his tattooed arms to dig out a few smuggled tins right now. It’s a good thing.

RECIPE NOTES:  The cookie recipe is on Martha’s website. The only thing we changed was to use chopped up bittersweet chocolate instead of semisweet chocolate chips.


  1. I read that in the Times too! I personally think Martha Stewart rules. I remember a show that she did right after she was sprung from prison. She demoed how she made apple streusel in prison with crab apples she scavenged from the prison yard, saltines she sneaked out of the mess, and packets of sugar from the visitors room.

    That’s when I knew she was truly bada**.

    These cookies look like the bomb. Anything salty and sweet is an amazing combo!

    • These are absolutely my favorite cookies. They’re that combination of salty and sweet that Christina Tosi gets all the raves for—though I find her desserts just way too sweet. And I actually love Martha, too. 🙂

  2. I feel that “equity research weenie” is a jab that I will be using more often going forward. What are great Virginia peanuts? I have no expertise in this culinary realm. Is there a brand I should order online? Maybe I could get someone to send me a bag in exchange for California walnuts.

    • You got me curious. I always figured “Virginia peanuts” was just some marketing lingo for salted roasted nuts. But there’s apparently a particular category of peanuts called that. http://bit.ly/Tg3WqH You could obviously use any roasted and salted type, but the ones labeled that way are (now that I think about it) larger.

  3. Nice analogy with Mitt and Martha. “Remote” doesn’t do it justice–and I speak as someone who’s had him as a governor and is married to a woman who appeared on two episodes of her tv show. I found the Times article amusing–and the fact that you saw it as well–since our son is one of those Brooklyn hipsters the Times is talking about. DIY is becoming a hipster obsession (DIY bamboo bicycles in Williamsburg anyone?), and cooking is–surprise!–all about DIY. And right under our noses! The funniest part of the article was her response to tattoos–sounded just like my mother-in-law. Ken

    • They are corporations masquerading as humans indeed. (Read your comment wrong the 1st time through and thought Mittens had been on a show with your wife!) But, god love the young folks!

  4. I grew up under a rock (having a mother who is a Eurocentric culinary snob probably helped) so I had no idea who Martha Stewart was until I made Christmas cookies with a co-worker in Seattle. (She kept talking about “Martha” and I had NO IDEA what she meant.) I love the craft stuff. Her cooking, not so much. These cookies, however, look like the shiznit.

    • That’s funny. The Cookies book is quite good. I give her credit for showing people that it’s not really that hard to cook nice things. I have to laugh at this, though. http://bit.ly/ahfJ7Y I believe the French made pie crusts in much the same manner for centuries before the Pies & Tarts book came out in 1985!

  5. Mmmmmmmmmm! Virginia peanuts are definitely larger — great for eating out of hand and baking, but they’re not the type used most often for making peanut butter (runners are) — you probably already knew that. 🙂

  6. I tried this recipe over the weekend and the cookies are delicious! Thank you so much for sharing… this one is going in my files! 🙂 Hope you both are doing well and enjoying the holiday season.

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