Monday, June 14, 2010

Me versus the Oatmeal Cookie

First, it is June.  The month that summer is to begin.  It has rained more than
half of the month already!  Very atypical weather...but it isn't weather I wanted
to talk about today.

I've had this hunger for the most scrumptious Oatmeal Raisin cookies
that a man at work made several years ago.  These cookies are a little
spicy and the chewy/crunchy type of cookie that I love.  When he
brought the cookies to work I asked for the recipe and Mr. Co-Worker
typed it up for me in an email.  But then no one in my family is crazy for
raisins so I didn't make the recipe until about a month ago.

And they flopped...oh boy..did they flop. 

Whoever invented parchment paper for cookie sheets should get a
Nobel Peace Prize!   Thankfully I am a firm believer/user in parchment
paper so when my first batch of Nummy Oatmeal Raisin cookies all
melted/baked together into one big hard mess...I could pick up the
parchment paper and throw it into the garbage. 

For about 30 seconds I thought about blogging about that
Night-of-Cookie-Horror but I was too embarrassed.  See, when I
re-read the recipe, I realized there was no flour.  The recipe didn't
have it listed but I had set the flour canister out on my cupboard in
preparation of using it.  What cookie doesn't have flour in it?  I
threw some flour in the remaining batter and those cookies turned
out okay.

Back at work the next day, I asked Mr. Cookie-Recipe-Man if
his cookies truly didn't have any flour in them and he looked at me as
if I'd been born on the moon.  He affirmed the fact there should be
flour but then he looked at the printed copy of the recipe I handed
him.  He looked at me in horror and I looked back at him embarrassed.
It was really embarrassing when he said "you didn't try baking these
without flour, did you....."

The first pan I did....and what a mess it made!!

I got an updated copy of the recipe that day.  A copy right from
the cookbook. 

Today, on this rainy-day-off-from-work, I decided to make the
cookies again.  After all, I had the original recipe now! 

Super-Awesome Chewy Oatmeal Crasin Cookies (from the
Dessert Bible by Christopher Kimball

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

The recipe states to stir this by hand with a wooden spoon until pale yellow and very light.  I used my Kitchen Aid and I forgot to add the brown sugar in this picture.  Actually, it was after I added the eggs that I remembered the brown sugar.  I wasn't off to the greatest start on this recipe again!
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
Beat until fluffy
Stir in 2 1/4 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats).
Now the spices are to be added.  And here is where I really regressed and my cookies had no chance of turning out at all "awesome" as in the name.  I opened my spice cupboard and in the middle of cookie-making, decided to clean the cupboard.  Oh yes, I was easily distracted today and the butter/sugar/egg mixture sat in my mixer getting warmer and warmer next to the preheated oven.  Silly me!  But, here is a picture of my cleaned up cupboard.  Every spice container was wiped off and the whole cupboard was emptied and wiped out.

Back to the recipe:
In a separate bowl, whisk together
1 1/4 cup flour (see note below)
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. ground cloves

Fold the dry ingredients into the oatmeal mixture using a rubber spatula (I used the mixer).  Add 1 cup craisins or raisins.

Place dough in heaping tablespoons on parchment paper. 
I left the raisins out of this batch.  The men in my family begged me not to so I gave

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes.  Actually, I have dark cookie sheets so I pulled mine out at 13 minutes of baking.  The author of the recipe states that the most common mistake when baking these cookies is to take them out of the oven too late and they get crisp.

Well, I am 1 for 1.  My first pan of cookies didn't melt together but they were flat.  Not chewy but crispy.  I stirred in more flour to bake the rest of the dough.

Note: I realize I did not stay focused while making this batch.  I also realize I used my mixer instead of hand stirring as the recipe states.  I still think the recipe needs more flour than what it calls for.  Be mindful of this if you decide to tackle this recipe. 

Here is the finished product.  And they aren't bad.
On another day, I will try this recipe again.
And I'll follow the directions and not get distracted
Did I just hear someone laugh.....

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