Recipe 101: Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Though a cookie hallmark, the  Oatmeal Raisin cookie tends to get a bad rap. They’re just not the sexiest of cookies. It’s a cookie whose star ingredient is most commonly associated with a healthy breakfast and/or Quakers.  However, this old standard is filled with untapped potential. With a simple addition of blackstrap rum and a pinch of salt on top, this oatmeal raisin cookie gets a little makeover that adds some big flavor.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies: This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (leave them out of the fridge for a few hours).
  • 1-cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. Blackstrap or Dark Rum (Black Strap will give you a more intense rum flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
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Steel-Cut Oats look very different from traditional or even 1-Minute oats. However, the texture they add to the cookie is awesome and worth exploring.

Dry ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 t Baking Soda
  • 1t kosher salt (if you are using salted butter, reduce this to 1/2 tsp. of salt)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups steel-cut oats (you can use regular or even 1 minute oats. I just like the chewier texture of steel-cut oats)
  • 1 ½ cups Raisins* (I used golden raisins, but any basic raisin will do)
  • A tablespoon or two of sea salt  or kosher salt to finish of the cookies

*Note: The Raisins I used were larger than the average raisins you typically see in the little red boxes, so I roughly chopped them up so they would disperse more evenly throughout the cookie dough. However, cutting dried fruit can make it sticky causing it to clump together. To prevent clumping, I like to coat the raisins/dried fruit with a thin dusting of flour. Just mix about a teaspoon of flour with your chopped fruit in a bowl. If you are happy with the size of your raisins, skip the chopping and the flour.)

Equipment:

  • Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, or an Electric mixer with a large mixing bowl, (or a wooden spoon and your arm). I use a Kitchen Aid.
  • 9X13 Baking sheets
  • Silicone baking Sheets or Parchment paper to line baking sheets (In a pinch you can grease your baking sheets with butter, Shortening, or a non-stick cooking spray).
  • Separate mixing Bowl for dry ingredients
  • Whisk or spoon to mix dry ingredients
  • Rubber spatula to scrape sides of bowl down

The Process:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line your baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set pans aside

2) Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl using a whisk or a spatula: flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon

3) Cream the butter, brown sugar and white sugar on medium speed (Kitchen Aid speed of 4-6) for 5-7 minutes to incorporate air. The batter should be fluffy and almost mousse-like in consistency.

4) One at a time, on medium speed, add the eggs to the mixture. Then add the vanilla and molasses.

5) When the wet ingredients are combined, stop the mixer and scrape the side of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on for a minute or two to ensure the wet ingredients are thoroughly combined. Turn off the mixer

6) Add the 1/2 the dry ingredients. Start mixing the dough on lowest speed to begin combining the ingredients (reduces splatter). Then gradually turn the speed up back to medium speed. Mix until dry ingredients are barely combined (about 1 minute tops). Scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula and repeat this step with the rest of the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix or the cookies will become tough. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

7) Add your oats to the dough. Turn the mixer to low-medium speed (kitchen aid speed of 3 or 4) until the oats are just combined and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the raisins and repeat.

8) With spoons or an ice cream scoop, spoon out 1 tablespoon sized balls onto your prepped baking sheet. Cookies should be about 1 inch (or 2 fingers width) apart.  You will be able to fit about 12 cookies onto each pan.

9) Sprinkle each cookie with a small pinch of sea salt  just on the top (a pinch in this case would be 1/16 of a teaspoon for those who want to be very precise).

10) Bake for 10-12  minutes rotating the pan half way through cooking. *If Baking two sheets in the oven switch sheets half way through baking so they bake evenly

11) Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes. Then move them to a wire rack on the counter to finish cooling for about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.IMG_4116

Cookies and Salt Baking Tip: To keep cookies from drying out (especially a butter based cookie like chocolate chip or this oatmeal raisin cookie), place a few slices of bread in with the cookies. Unlike apple slices, which are often recommended for storing cookies, the bread doesn’t impart it own flavor on to the cookies. It simply keeps things fresh.

I received neither raisins nor oatmeal for this posts, thank you, God. However, that old Quaker Oatmeal dude is probably loaded by now; the least he could have done was buy me a free glass of wine. Yeesh.

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