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SK’s soft & chewy oatmeal raisin cookies!

June 8, 2009

Snack #3 in my snack series commences!

When I have nothing particularly appealing in the pantry for breakfast, and last night’s dinner yielded no leftovers, and the bread is so stale I can barely cut it…this is a lifesaver! It’s also a particularly satisfying, yet almost healthy snack. I know, they’re loaded with sugar and butter, but at least the oats have plenty of fibre and the raisins have some goodness in them. Or something. You can easily get away with adding some wheatgerm or bran to add extra goodness, and added walnuts make this a rather complete breakfast option (you may want to skip the sugar in your tea, though, or any other sugary things for breakfast or lunch).

oatmealraisincookies-1Like Deb promises, this recipe makes soft cookies, which are a little crispy around the edges just after they’ve cooled (not the next day, but they’re still soft and chewy). They’re rather rich, and of course, do that thing to raisins that make them take on a texture like a special, other-world-y candy. I accidentally added twice as much flour to the butter mixture, so I had to make a double batch with not enough rolled oats, but this recipe accommodated that well. This may have led the mixture to be different, as mine weren’t thick even after freezing. The mixture reminded me of chunky peanut butter, and I didn’t have much fun spreading this out. I’d definitely recommend freezing and then you can usually (with some effort) scoop the mixture out and shape it into rough balls. Anyway, let’s get ready to crumble!

Soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies

from Smitten Kitchen (halved recipe below, makes about sixteen 2″ wide cookies)

115g butter, softened to margerine consistency*
2/3 c light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
3/4 c plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt (up to 1/2 tsp ok)
1 1/2 c rolled oats (I used less which is fine, this quantity is pretty variable)
3/4 cup raisins (again, use your discretion)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional, and you can vary this quantity)

*I know this is hard in winter. I accidentally melted mine, which is ok, just let it sit on the side if cold and it will harden up again. Alternatively, if you chop it up and partially melt it a little, then let it sit, it will be much easier to beat.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and stir in. Add the oats, raisins and walnuts, and stir in until well distributed.

Preheat oven to 175C (350F), with a rack centred. Now you can scoop the mixture onto a baking tray (they spread lots so leave at least an inch and a half between cookies), or chill the dough first and then scoop. It’d best to chill overnight, but if you’re impatient, scoop first, freeze for ten minutes, and then bake. You can do whatever size you want, although I’d stay under golf ball size scoops (they’ll be easier to take off the tray later). Just remember to leave an inch and a half between cookies! These don’t stick too badly to an ungreased tray (if you use a metal spatula/fish slice), but a slight greasing will make dislodging a breeze.

Bake one tray at a time, for about 10 minutes (depending totally on how chilled the dough is and cookie size). Take them out when golden brown at the very edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. When you prod them, even at the edges, they will give in easily, almost like they’re sponges. Let cool on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. These are much more satisfying with a little crispness to the edges (after cooled), as the cookies are very soft when you first pick them up.

Dough can be easily frozen, and you can (with effort) scoop frozen dough and cook it straight away, which is brilliant if you’ve got the oven on anyway a few days later and feel like fresh cookies!

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