Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Mama's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I am pretty sure that these
are the world's, and most likely the universe's, best oatmeal raisin cookies.

And I am lucky enough to be the daughter of a woman who has the recipe.

The secret to these perfect cookies: giving the raisins a little extra love and care.
If you just stirred in plain old raisins, these cookies would be okay. If you, instead, soak the raisins for an hour in a mixture of beaten eggs and vanilla...
now you're talking divine.

For the rest of these cookies, you should start by toasting some pecans, as toasting nuts, and especially pecans, makes them way better.
After this point, these cookies precede as cookies normally do. Make sure your butter is at room temperature, and combine it with brown and white sugar. I've ramped up the brown sugar in these cookies, because I have found it makes them extra chewy.
Beat for three minutes, until light and fluffy.
Next, incorporate your flour a little bit at a time.
Next, stir in the raisin-mix, oats, and chopped toasted pecans.
The dough will be somewhat stiff.
Now, roll pieces of the dough into generous 1 1/2 inch balls.
And, flatten slightly.
If you are responsible, you should leave 2 inches between each cookie.
If you are like me, your first batch will probably spread into each other.

Let them cool on the sheet briefly, and then remove to a wire rack.
Here's to you, Mama!

My Mama's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (adapted from Colorado Cache Cookbook and Joy of Cooking)
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups flours
1 tsp salt
1 slightly heaping tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts*

Combine the eggs, raisins, and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, and mix well. Blend in the egg-raisin mixture, oats, and chopped nuts. Dough will be stiff.

Shape the dough into generous 1 1/2 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly. Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let stand briefly, then remove to a rack to cool.

*To toast the nuts: Put the nuts in a dry skillet over medium/medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until they become fragrant. Remove immediately, as nuts have a tendency to burn if they are left on too long.

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