Everybody's got an oatmeal cookie recipe, and I've always liked the one I use. But this recipe does things a little different than mine (even though the ingredients are the same) so I thought it was important to understand the differences and find out if the cookie was better for it.
In this technique, there are three things that are different from my oatmeal cookie recipe:
- The butter is melted before it's used.
This is common in other Alice Medrich cookie recipes, but more often in others, softened butter is creamed with sugar.
- The dough should rest overnight.
This is frequently a recommendation, but many recipes don't tell you why it's important. I always assumed it was because you want the dough to rest so it doesn't toughen up from over-handling. However in this case, she points out that because the butter is melted, you need that resting time to allow the oats to completely absorb the butter's moisture.
- Bake the cookies directly on a greased cookie sheet.
Lots of recipes say this, but we usually throw some foil on or parchment paper to make clean-up easier, and we're usually no worse for it. But she actually says, 'not on parchment,' and that baking directly on the pan produces a 'great toasted oat flavor, caramelized crunchy brown edges, and flavorful chewy centers.'
I found that baking these on a silpat was the most reliable way to go. And the larger the cookie, the more evenly it baked.
I didn't really believe those slight variations would make a difference, so the first time I made these cookies, I let them rest only for 4 hours, and I baked them on parchment. I wasn't really impressed with the cookie - it was greasy, spread a lot, and stuck to the parchment. I chalked it up to the melted butter, and figured it just wasn't a recipe for me. But just in case, I had saved some of the dough in the fridge for another go. I wasn't going to give up that easily.
The second time, I made sure the dough had rested overnight, and I baked the cookies directly on a greased cookie sheet (much to my chagrin - this means cleaning!). Maybe I left them on the sheet a few minutes too long when they came out of the oven, because they were glued to the pan. When I went at them with a thin flexible spatula, they shattered into pieces all over the pan. They were toasty crunchy pieces, yes - but not a single whole cookie came off the pan. They made an excellent ice cream topping, no doubt!
1 c + 2 T AP flour
2 c rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
16 T butter
3/4 c (packed) light brown sugar, lump free
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 c chopped walnuts
1 c raisins
2 cookie sheets, greased
- Mix the flour, rolled oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together thoroughly with a whisk or fork. Set aside.
- Cut the butter into chunks and melt in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- Whisk in the eggs.
- Stir in the flour mixture just until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Stir in the walnuts and raisins.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- For large cookies, scoop about 2 level tablespoons of dough and place the cookies about 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
For small cookies, scoop 1 level tablespoon of dough.
- Bake 15 - 17 minutes for large cookies, 13 - 15 minutes for small cookies, or until the cookies are deep golden brown.
- Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
- Use a metal pancake turner to transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely before storing or stacking.
Makes 40 3 1/4" cookies or 80 2 1/2" cookies
May be stored, airtight, for several days
This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author.