Monday, December 25, 2006

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Someone drizzled chocolate on them while my back was turned.

This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies. I've included a cookie-for-cookie comparison to traditional oatmeal raisin cookies (Quaker's recipe). Differences are primarily a result of decreasing butter and replacing some with oil, decreasing sugar, and replacing all-purpose white flour with whole wheat flour.

But let's face it, a cookie's still a cookie.Ingredients

1 1/2 cups rolled oats, not quick-cooking
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
pinch ground cloves (optional)
pinch ground ginger (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, soft or at room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins

1   Preheat oven to 335°F.

Note: That temperature has a lot of trial and error behind it. Unfortunately, all ovens are different. You may need to bake a few test cookies to determine your optimum temperature.

2   Mix together dry ingredients: oats, flour, spices, baking soda and powder, salt. Set aside.

3   Cream butter with sugar until fluffy and homogenous. Whisk in oil, honey, egg, and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients and raisins for about a minute or just until no dry flour is evident. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Note: I used a refined almond oil which contributes little flavor of its own. Unrefined oils, especially peanut oil, will lend a unique flavor - not that there's anything wrong with that. The oil replaces some of the butter in this recipe to reduce saturated fat. But let's face it, a cookie is a cookie.

4   Use about 1 rounded tablespoon of batter for each cookie. Drop dough loosely onto cookie sheet leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove immediately from pan with a spatula and place carefully onto a flat surface. After about 5 minutes or when sturdy enough to move, transfer to a wire rack for cooling.

Note: Try to keep the batter loose, cookies will cook more evenly.

Insulated cookie sheets do a nice job of baking the cookie without frying the bottom. Although, I regularly use two inexpensive aluminum sheets stacked together for the same effect.

If that drizzled chocolate appeals to you, just melt some chocolate chips or other semi-sweet chocolate bar and spoon designs over the top. Chocolate can be melted in a microwave oven or in a bowl set over simmering water (A double boiler or bain marie performs this function but isn't necessary.)


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