Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thick & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cranberry Cookies

This post is actually coming from Auntie Lollie's soul since anyone that knows Lori knows she never cooks on weeknights, let alone baking for the office.

I've often thought of oatmeal cookies as boring but can "hit the spot",  just as a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a shortbread cookie is acceptable at times.  But today, after lunch, the guys and I stopped into Border's for our afternoon dopio and they happened to have samples of their cranberry raising oatmeal cookie.  Kevin was our "Mikey" and gave it a try and was surprisingly impressed.  So i decided to brave the world of coffee house samples and i, too, thought it was great.  So i'm now determined to find a delicious oatmeal cookie.  I checked some of my fellow bloggers and decided that Smitten Kitchen had what sounded like the best -- the Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with a little tweaking by Auntie Lollie.  My modifications were:
  • i used natural demerara instead of brown sugar.  Demerara is a natural, unrefined cane sugar so it's coarser that regular brown sugar and provides more texture.  Also, because it's unrefined you can taste the molasses.
  • i like to make sure the butter and eggs are closer to room temperature.  I keep the egg out as long as it takes the butter to soften.
  • i figured no need to stop with raisins.  I LOVE golden raisins and happened to have just enough that i bought at the farmer's market last week.  I also decided to add dried cranberries.  
  • i'm thinking that adding some chopped up semi-sweet chocolate pieces could also be a nice touch.  
Light Demerara (natural cane sugar)

Chewy little nuggets with golden raisins and cranberries.
    Because i have now made them, i think i should have used more sugar, or perhaps the demerara isn't as sweet as regular brown sugar.  I like them, but they're not as sweet as the coffee house cookie i had yesterday.  Also, they didn't puff up as much as i would have thought.  They're thick, but they're a small cookie.  I did use a small scooper.  I'll let the judges at my office decide if there are any issues with this cookie.  One piece of advice that Smitten Kitchen gives is the importance in chilling the dough before baking the cookies in order to get a really thick, chewy cookie.  So, while writing the post my dough is chillin' in the fridge.  She doesn't say how long to chill, so i'll play it by ear.  Ok, i've decided it will chill overnight.

    1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
    2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed (i used natural demerara)
    1 egg (i suggest room temperature)
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon salt (i used a dash more because i like a little more salt in my baked goods)
    1 1/2 cups rolled oats
    3/4 cup raisins (i used 1/2 golden raisins and 1/2 dried cranberries)
    1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350° F.

    In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
    In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.
    Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture.  Stir in the oats, raisins, cranberries, and walnuts, if using them.

    At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them.  I opted for the former.  You could also bake them right away if you're impatient, but Smitten Kitchen suggests chilling them for the extra thick cookie.

    Place the cookies two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top.  Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

    Hopefully I (or someone from my office) will post reactions.


    1. As usuall, very appetizing "and tasty too!!". The sugar could definitely be less sweet than regular and could also thicken up the batter because I believe it is not as fine as brown sugar. The photos are great...really lovely and the whole site is fun. Keep um a commin.

    2. your pictures are getting progressively better :)