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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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OK OK. I totally understand if you're a little annoyed. Maybe even a little angry? Or perhaps you just got fed up and have stopped reading. I am here though. I've come back to try to charm you (hopefully) again. These photos may not be stellar, but the recipe, ohhhh the recipe!

For some strange reason, many people do not like oatmeal raisin cookies. I'm not sure whether the oats, the raisins, or the hazy veil of healthfulness puts people off. If you are nodding along, wondering why on earth I would share a recipe for something so.....yucky, let me plead with you. Please, please, please just hear me out.

I might be a little bit biased, as oatmeal raisin cookies are undoubtedly my favorite, but these really are wonderful. I have known them to make converts out of chocolate chip devotees and peanut butter aficionados alike. One little nub of the sweet-salty dough is enough to send me over the edge, and so many others have fallen to its delicious wiles.


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The brown sugar brings a toasty, caramelized flavor to the cookies, and the oats are hearty and sweet in their own right. The bit of salt heightens all of the other tastes and rounds out the flavor, providing a little savory echo in the background of the cookie. The cookie feels substantial, but it doesn't weigh you down. It is perfect.

Uh oh. I seem to have forgotten something. Perhaps the most despised part of the oatmeal raisin cookie. The raisin. Before you run screaming away from the computer, let me make a suggestion. Ready? Substitute chocolate! In fact, really any tasty morsel would be welcome in these cookies- M&Ms, cinnamon sugar pecans, dried cranberries, candied ginger.

That is truly one of the best things about these cookies. They are infinitely adaptable. They can be made with all number of add-ins and in every size from a tiny little poof of oat-y goodness to a massive treat meant to be shared. Or not. I cannot sing their praises enough. Everyone here liked them so much that I barely had time to snap a picture or two. They are that good.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Makes 36 

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups oats
1 cup raisins (or chocolate chips or nuts or anything that strikes your fancy)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper Cream together the sugar and butter in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract. Beat in the egg until smooth. Add the water and continue to beat; the dough will look a little lumpy, almost as if it had curdled. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Add the oats and toss together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Fold in the raisins. Drop tablespoons of dough onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool on a wire rack.

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