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I keep 99 percent of my recipes on my computer so that I can access them anywhere in the world I might be. Sometimes I open documents to share with friends, sometimes I need to retrieve a recipe to make in another location, and sometimes I just want to keep my recipes in a place for posterity. One category – “Things I Love” – is the subset I go to time and time again to peruse beloved family recipes and old old old, tried but true recipes that never disappoint.
My previously published recipe for raisin oatmeal cookies was one of those all-time faves. I should mention that I try lots of new recipes (I do have a folder called “Things to try”.) However, to be very clear, once I land on what I perceive to be the perfect, never fail formula I am risk-averse with certain things – think chicken soup, apricot strudel, Caesar salad. My raisin oatmeal cookies were one of those tried and true faves, so I felt I didn’t need to search any longer for a superior recipe.
So what prompted me to go into uncharted territory? After all, I don’t even like raisins. For some unknown reason, my other half had a hankering for raisin oatmeal cookies, my son Daniel was coming to visit and I wanted to have some treats ready to go in my freezer. And then, as if the universe was conspiring, I stumbled upon a recipe in a newspaper* with the title: The Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe We’ve Ever Tried – accompanied by a photo that made my mouth water.
I compared the list of ingredients to my original recipe, and found the same components….BUT the quantities were really different and the method of preparation took a u-turn as well. All righty then, after reading comments from cooks who actually made these, I decided to go forth and bake, incorporating some of the suggestions from bakers’ comments. I used salted butter then cut the added salt down. The original recipe called for keeping the measured, flattened cookies in the fridge for four days, but I have no time and no patience for such a thing. I wanted and needed them pronto and couldn’t see myself waiting four days to try them. (Just so you know, I made the first cookie sheet’s worth and refrigerated the others on the tray for 15 minutes or so) . Finally, I used a bit less granulated sugar.
Let me tell you what. My condo building smelled like a bakery, and these really huge cookies hit the mark. My husband and I cut one in half to try it, then we cut another in half to be sure it was really good (it was!). Then I packed up a half dozen to take to my daughter’s house for dessert and received a text later that night that said:
Cookies are AMAZING.
J had a brilliant idea and we shared one with some vanilla ice cream. OH MY GOD. I would almost give up chocolate chippers for them! (Don’t tell anyone)
Makes 15 cookies
- 1 cup raisins (I love Trader Joe’s Thompson raisins – very small and plump and superior for these cookies)
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1½ sticks salted butter, slightly softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats
- 1 large egg
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Soak raisins in hot water for 20 minutes, then drain and shake so all the water is removed.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center of the oven. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
With an electric mixer cream together butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down frequently. Do not to overbeat.
Add flour mixture to creamed butter and sugar and mix on low speed until just combined. Everything will look way too dry, but do not fret. Mix in oats, followed by drained raisins, egg and vanilla and beat until just combined.
Use a ¼-cup ice cream scoop (or do this by hand) and measure dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover the sheet of balled cookies with a piece of waxed paper and flatten each blob with the base of a flat bottomed measuring cup so they are around 3 ½ inches across.
To bake cookies: put one sheet of cookies at a time in the preheated oven. Bake until cookies are golden-brown on the outside but still soft in the middle, about 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them rest on the cookie sheet for five minutes, then transfer with a spatula to a rack to cool.
These stay perfectly in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for up to a month.
- The cookies are about 4 ½ inches in diameter after baking, so I suggest putting only five cookies per sheet and baking one at a time mid-oven. Before baking, they measured three inches in diameter so you need to allow for the spreading that takes place.
- The original newspaper recipe included a note that this recipe was “Adapted from Melissa Weller of Sadelle’s, New York City.” Bravo, Melissa … BRAVO! Very very well done!