Tuesday 4 February 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ugh. It has just been a lacklustre week, I'm afraid. No one thing in particular, just a general build-up of bleurgh and hmph, topped with meh, with not nearly enough silly animal videos appearing on my Facebook news feed.

At least there's always www.cakewrecks.com ...

And cookies. But only if you make them yourself.

Often when I am wandering the aisles of my local supermarket, my eye is caught by little brown bags near the tills. Each contains 5 cookies, and they are usually on sale for just £1. Most of the time, I manage to stop myself from buying the bags by simply saying to myself if I really want cookies I should spend the time and effort making them myself. The flip side of this, of course, is that I then don't have just five cookies, I have LOTS AND LOTS OF COOKIES!!!

My general favourite cookie is a classic oatmeal raisin cookie. I guess this is mainly because it is so hard to go wrong with them - the oats pretty much guarantee they will be chewy, and they make you feel you are somehow being wholesome by eating them, what with all those whole grain oats and dried fruit. Of course, that is all a lie, as you'll know as soon as you start to make them (news flash: cookies are never healthy) but I like to pretend.

Last time I made these I used dark muscovado sugar and they were pretty darned good. This time, I only had dark brown sugar (yes, they are different - the former is less processed so still retains some of the goodness of molasses) and they were good, just not as good.

I thought I'd try using my food processor to mix the cookies. I started with the brown sugar and butter.

So yeah, the food processor didn't work so well on this one. I was kind of annoyed as it meant another bowl to wash, but it just wasn't working, even with the butter at room temperature for once. In a bowl was just fine - thankfully the baby had fallen asleep so I had use of both hands, always a plus.

Then in went some caster sugar, two eggs, and some vanilla.

Until it was a gloopy, happy mixture.

In my scales' measuring bowl I put flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Both my children asked, when trying the cookies, "is that cinnamon I taste?" It was.

I made sure to mix all those dry ingredients together to distribute all the spices and raising agents before adding it to the big mix. No one wants a spice free cookie. NO ONE.

Then all that got mixed up.

And then last but not least, in went my oats and raisins. The bigger the better for your rolled oats here, but quick oats will work fine too. And sultanas instead of raisins are satisfactory. Any dried fruit, really. One of my friends once just used one big measurement of muesli instead of mixing oats and raisins and said they were the best oatmeal cookies she'd ever made, so there's that idea too.

The final mix. Sad to think that our kids will never get to make mix tapes for their friends and/or romantic interests.

Then I used two spoons to plop lumps of the mixture onto lined trays.

My daughter regularly asked me if I was done with the spoons yet.

Then after 8 minutes in the oven, out they came. I like them to look brown at the edges and just slightly underdone in the middle, as they will cook a bit more as they cool. Muscovado sugar also helps prevent them drying better than dark brown sugar does.

Nestled in their tin. Looks like I've got more than five...now who wants a cookie? Don't they look good for you?

Oatmeal Cookies - adapted from Joy of Cooking


    • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1 cup butter 
    • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 3 1/2 cups rolled whole oats


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180C.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix butter and brown sugar. Add caster sugar, vanilla, and eggs and mix until well blended.
  4. Sift (yes, again!) flour mixture into butter mixture and mix well.
  5. Fold in raisins (or chocolate chips or chocolate covered raisins) and oats.
  6. Spoon 1.5 inch balls onto non-stick cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 6-9 minutes, rotating half way through baking. They will look slightly underdone in the middle but brown at the edges and will continue cooking while they cool.

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