21 October 2011
Oatmeal cookies were my favorite as a child, and they still are. Maybe because I can feel perfectly fine about eating them for breakfast. After all, the primary ingredient is oats and I use all organic ingredients. My recipe is pretty much the same one my mother used when I was a child. Even though shortening was called for in those days and margarine was considered a healthful alternative to butter, my mother was way ahead of her time and suspected that those man-made ingredients couldn't be good for you.
She and I made these cookies together most times, such as on the day in second grade when I refused to go to school because she had cut my bangs too short. She knew there was no use fighting it when I drew myself up to my full height (how tall could I have been) and informed her that "Tall people don't look good in short bangs." Was I a hoot or what?! It was so typical of me that I wouldn't even remember that incident if she hadn't told me the story several times in my life.
But back to the cookies ... You can bake right away, but I refrigerate the dough for about an hour. This gives the very hearty oats I use (Bob's Red Mill organic extra thick rolled oats) time to absorb a bit of moisture before the cookies are baked. You must try those oats; they give the cookies a certain something! You can refrigerate the dough for a few days or even freeze the unbaked cookies (see instructions below) and enjoy warm cookies another day.
So tell me about your favorite cookie. But don't tell me if you put chocolate chips in your oatmeal cookies. Well, do tell me, but don't expect me to like it!
(Makes 3 1/2 dozen)
1 1/2 packed cups (7.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (Bob's Red Mill organic extra thick)
1 In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
2 In another small bowl, combine chopped walnuts and raisins with 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture, making sure all the raisin pieces are separated.
3 In large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, water and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, then oats, raisins and nuts. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to a few days. (Very cold dough will need to sit at room temperature for a bit to become more scoopable.)
4 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop #40 scoops* (0.8 ounces or approximately 1.5 tablespoons) of dough 3 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. With a glass (I use a 2 1/4-inch diameter 1/3-cup flat-bottomed metal measuring cup), press each scoop into a 2 1/4-inch round. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until brown around the edges but still a little soft in the center.
5 Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container.
* If you don't have one of these 7/8 Ounce Size 40 Stainless Steel Round Squeeze Disher (13-0638) Category: Dishers, you need to get one now! How do people make cookies without it!
To freeze dough: Drop scoops of dough on foil-lined cookie sheet and flatten slightly, as directed above. Freeze, then wrap.
To bake frozen dough: Preheat oven to 350. Place raw cookies 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 15-17 minutes.