Friday, November 14, 2014

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The perfect balance of sweet, crisp and chewy, these classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are the perfect combination of nutty oats and plump, juicy raisins. Some versions also include chopped walnuts, pecans and even chocolate chips or dried cranberries, but however they're made, it's amazing how quickly they disappear. And no wonder, they're pretty close to being the ultimate comfort food, for who can resist the smell of fresh baked cookies straight from the oven?

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Makes 50-60

1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
3 cups quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Soak the raisins in hot water for 10 minutes before using, then blot dry — this will make them lovely and plump for the cookies. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, and mix well. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars until creamy, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix in the vanilla, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture, then stir in the oats and plump raisins.

Drop or roll the dough in rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto parchment lined baking sheets, and bake 9-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool one minute on the cookie sheet, then using a spatula, remove to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will continue to firm up on the baking sheet during this time. Once cool, store the cookies in an air-tight container.