I haven’t been consistently happy with my oatmeal cookie recipe for a while. Sometimes they turn out perfectly, fairly flat, chewy and moist in the middle, with crinkly caramelized edges — not cakey or rounded — butterscotch-esque in flavor. The way they are supposed to. Sometime they don’t follow orders, and stay too puffed, or become a little bit dry, even when they are not overbaked, and less damply dense than I crave.
So, I took the same recipe, but reduced the amount of flour and oats slightly, upped the butter considerably (even in an oatmeal cookie, I am not looking for healthy; it’s still a cookie), took out one egg, increased the salt and the vanilla, changed the sugar ratio a bit to favor the brown variety, and tried it again. I also baked bigger cookies. Only when your cookies are at least 3-inches wide can you approach the nirvana that comes with a cookie that has different texture throughout, a ring of crispness around the very edge, firm but with some give as you head in for the next bite, and finally soft but chewy in the middle.
I also took a page from my favorite chocolate chip (or chunk) recipe, and let the dough rest for 2 days. You could skip this step, or you could leave the dough for as long as 4 days before baking. The resting time allows the dough to absorb all extra liquid and develop a deeper, richer, more caramel-ey flavor, which is the difference between a great cookie and a memorable one (she said opinionatedly).
I am happier now.
(P.S. Because these cookies are big, you’ll be baking only 6 cookies per sheet, which seems like a small number, but remember – these are big cookies, and they need their space. And one cookie is definitely a satisfying serving (also, the recipes makes only about 14 to 16 cookies, so you are talking three sheets and done. Unless you double the recipe. Which you are welcome to do.)
My New Favorite Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (postpone this step if you are planning to refrigerate your dough for a couple of days).
- Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-size bowl.
- Blend the butter and both sugars together in a large bowl with a hand mixer (or a standing mixer), until well blended. Beat in the egg, then beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture gradually mixing on low speed until each batch is incorporated. Mix in the oats, and the raisins.
- Use a ¼ cup measuring cup (or ice cream scoop) to measure out balls of the dough, which should be placed on an ungreased cookie sheet with at least 3 inches in between each ball (you should bake 6 cookies per classic-sized cookie sheet). Use the bottom of a glass to flatten each ball. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days, longer if you like. (You can also layers the flattened disks of dough two layers deep in a container, with parchment or wax paper in between the layers, if that’s easier in terms of fridge space).
- Bake the cookies for about 11 to 16 minutes (see Note! This is important!), until they are golden brown, but still have nice give in the middle. Let them sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Note:If your cookie dough is at room temperature, whether you’ve just made it, or you’ve let it return to room temperature before baking, you must start checking the cookies at 11 minutes. They tend to go from almost done to definitely done very quickly. The longer baking time is if you are baking them straight from the fridge. I need to play around with this a bit more, but I do feel like baking them from room temperature is the most successful in terms of texture and consistency. And having said that, the few that got a bit more crisp-cooked were UN-believable crumbled over a bowl of vanilla ice cream. Nothing to be sad about here.
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