Saturday, September 2, 2017

Baker's Corner: Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I can't believe it is September already! Time is just whizzing by innit? 

Last month was a mixed bag for me. Good because I had a chance to meet up with two really good friends from college on two separate occasions and bad because both kids took turns catching a nasty bug and it was a harrowing time getting them to bounce back to health. Aside from that, I've been busier than usual lately with my in-laws who are here for a few weeks. We just got back from a fun-filled family holiday and I am in the midst of battling a mild case of post-holiday blues 😛 I am expecting two more visits from extended family members within the next couple of weeks which means that I will have plenty to look forward to 😊

If you have gotten to know me through my blog, you would know that I am more of a savoury rather than a sweet tooth gal. But having said that, I obviously won't say no if someone plonks a dessert in front of me. I do have a 'dessert stomach' and something (mildly) sweet is something I don't mind at the end of a meal. I do enjoy baking but it is mostly for others with only a few nibbles reserved for myself. I hadn't baked anything sweet in a while and considering my kids really love when I bake them a rare special treat, I picked this dessert for my next recipe post. 

I like cookies and when it comes to cookies, I am an all-out fan of the soft and chewy kind. Sure I don't mind a crispy edge but the rest of the cookie HAS to be thick and chewy. If you feel the same way, you have to try The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on my blog because all modesty aside, it is pretty darn fantastic! A little shameless self-promotion every now and then is okay right? 😝

The recipe I have for you today is for these yummy Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Let me be upfront and say that the only time I eat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies is when I am at Subway 😀  Not because I love these cookies any less. It is just that I haven't had much opportunity to try them elsewhere. Nevertheless, I do love the giant Oatmeal Raisin cookies at Subway and I have always wanted to try to make them at home. So stoked that I finally got down to it! 

These cookies use simple, easy to find ingredients and are so easy to make. I didn't have to leave my home to buy anything and 40 minutes later, the smell of freshly baked cookies was wafting through my kitchen. Serve it warm with a chilled glass of milk on the side and you will win any popularity contest 😄  This recipe has butter, sugar and flour so don't kid yourself into thinking it is health food just because of the addition of rolled oats. But as with everything else, homemade baked goods made with good quality ingredients will any day be far better than anything you buy outside. The chewy texture of the oats, the plump raisins, the buttery aroma of the cookies and the added perfume from the spices will make anyone's heart sing (just please don't tell me you don't like raisins or cinnamon or both! 😑 ). 

These cookies were family-approved and even my picky toddlers have been demanding one cookie every day so trust me, you don't need any more convincing. Go make! Like, right now!

Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Preparation time: 15-20 min; Baking time: 11-13 min 
Total time: ~ 40 min
Makes: 18-20 cookies
Recipe category: Dessert/Western
Recipe level: Very easy
Recipe source: Adapted from here

Ingredients:

Sift together and mix:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger, Optional but recommended
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, Optional but recommended

Cream together:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract

Then stir in:
1.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not the instant quick-cooking variety)
3/4 cup raisins

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

2. Sift the dry ingredients; give it a good mix and set aside.


3. Combine the wet ingredients with a hand or stand mixer on low.

4. To cream, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the colour lightens.


5. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture just until no flour is visible (over mixing develops the gluten, making a tough cookie so make sure you don't do that). 


6. Now add the oats and raisins and stir gently to incorporate. Again, do not overmix. If you have time, you can chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour or more. If not, you can proceed to make the cookies right away. 



7. Fill a cookie scoop and press against side of bowl, pulling up to level dough (to measure 2 tablespoons of dough).

8. Drop 2-inches apart onto a baking sheet.


9. Bake 11-13 minutes (on center rack), until golden, but still moist beneath cracks on top.


10. Remove from oven; let cookies sit on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



Notes:
  • Slightly reduce the sugar if you don't want your cookies too sweet
  • You can also add desiccated coconut, chopped walnuts or pecans and ground cloves for extra flavour and texture 
  • You can also add in chocolate chips for a different variation
  • For crispier cookies, flatten them out a bit more before baking
  • Chilling the cookie dough for an hour or more before baking results in thicker cookies
  • Cookie dough can be made 3 days ahead of time; cover and refrigerate. Let dough come to room temperature before baking
  • Cookies stay fresh stored in an airtight box at room temperature for up to 1 week


Cheers,
Megha


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