|Jay Stephens holds up some bags of his cookies that just seem to disappear from his office when he makes them.|
If you are lucky enough to work on the College of Eastern Utah campus you will get an email from Jay Stephens saying, "I have some of my famous homemade oatmeal cookies in my office for anyone who would like some. First come first served until they are gone."
Jay is the human resources director at CEU and likes to treat the staff with his homemade cookies.
"I started bringing bagels to work when I worked in human resources at human services, but that got expensive, so I started baking cookies." he says. "It went over so well that I have continued the tradition at CEU. Sometimes I find an empty cookie bag with a note that says, 'please refill'"
Jay, his wife April and children, moved to the Price area three years ago after Jay got his masters degree in public administration with an emphasis in human resources at BYU. Originally Jay was born and raised in Beatty, Nev., which is located between Death Valley and the nuclear test range.
"Whenever they'd set off a bomb you'd feel the house shake, and in the early days people in the town would gather on the hill tops to watch the above ground blasts," he said.
That was a memory from his youth, and from those beginnings he was also interested in cooking.
"I've always liked to cook. One summer before graduate school I took a course in Italian cooking at Utah Valley State College. That was fun, but for the most part I don't use recipes," he laughs. "That makes my wife crazy because I can never say use a teaspoon of this, or a quarter cup of that!"
Jay's recipe for oatmeal cookies has been in his family a long time, so long he doesn't remember eating his first one.
"Could be the recipe came from my grandmother" he says, "but we've always made this recipe."
No matter where the recipe came from, it is a big hit with the employees at CEU. Jay cautions that this is a wet cookie dough.
"Don't add more flour or they will be cakey" he says. "And cook them for exactly 12 minutes, or you'll have hockey pucks on your hands!"
Stephens' Family Oatmeal Cookies
Ã¯Â¿Â½ cup vegetable shortening
Ã¯Â¿Â½ cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Ã¯Â¿Â½ cup water
1 tsp vanilla
Mix well. Then add:
Ã¯Â¿Â½ tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
Mix well.Then add:
3 cups quick cooking oats
Drop dough by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for exactly 12 minutes.
Cool on wax paper.