Lee's Kitchen: An oatmeal cookie recipe so good the page is dirty
A few days after I made banana bread (about six overripe bananas I had, to which I added five overripe ones from Noank friends), I decided it was time to make cookies.
After all, I had already thawed two pounds of unsalted butter and, while looking for the chocolate chips (wafers, actually), I saw an unopened package of cinnamon chips and an unopened package of candied ginger.
So I searched for my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and could not find it under any headings — oatmeal, cookie, cinnamon, nothing. And it wasn’t in my paper file, either. Is it possible I never wrote about them? Anything is possible, I guess, so I found the same book I used for banana bread and didn’t even have to use the index; I just leafed through the nearly 600 pages and it opened to Big and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies.
I have probably made that recipe so many times that it had three or four different stains on it and perhaps pages had been dampened, too.
As with many recipes, I double this one. They freeze beautifully. I pay little attention to raisins (not crazy about raisins, anyway) and for this recipe I use those two ingredients I love: cinnamon chips and candied ginger. How much of each? The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of raisins, so I use 1 cup of cinnamon chips and half a cup of candied ginger; I chop the latter coarsely with a sharp knife. But you can use any combination for this recipe or none at all if you just want a delicious oatmeal cookie.
Big and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
From “The Best Recipe” by editors of Cook’s Illustrated (Boston Common Press, 1999)
Yield: about 18 large cookies
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar*
1 cup granulated sugar*
2 large eggs
3 cups rolled oatmeal
1 1/2 cups raisins (optional)
Adjust oven racks to low and middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
Whisk flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg in medium bowl.
Either by hand or with electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Stir dry ingredients into butter-sugar mixture with wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Stir in oats and optional raisins (or chips or candied ginger or dried cranberries).
Working with generous 2 tablespoons of dough each time, roll dough into 2-inch balls. (I often make smaller cookies.) Place balls on parchment- lined cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each ball.
Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. (Halfway through baking, turn cookie sheet from front to back and also switch them from top to bottom.) Slide cookies, on parchment, to cooling rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes before peeling cookies from parchment.
*I have found that 3/4 cup of each sugar is plenty sweet enough.
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