Monday, June 9, 2008


I'm back in the cookie business! Our friends, Tom and Sara, have opened a photography studio at the base (Cherry Point Naval Air Station, about 1/2 hour from New Bern). Their grand opening is this Thursday, June 12; and I offered to bring cookies. Tom asked for chocolate chip, peanut butter and oatmeal. So I started with oatmeal; but what I should tell you right off is that I'm not an oatmeal cookie fan. Oatmeal cookies just don't excite me. This recipe is from a very old cookbook, one that I got when I was first married in 1963. I've used the recipe before and the cookies were great, for oatmeal cookies that is. This time, the first batch came out with a great flavor, but they were a little dry. I gave the first batch to Sara to take to her grandkids who can dunk them in milk. For the second batch, I reduced the flour from 2 cups to 1-1/2 cups, and eliminated the 2 Tbsp. of raisin water that the recipe called for. If I make them again, I'll use 1-3/4 cups flour. These cookies are crispy on the edges and nicely chewy inside with an excellent flavor. You'll get 2 dozen 3-1/2" cookies with this recipe. Oh, and the recipe calls for walnuts which I think would be really good, but Tom doesn't like nuts, so I kept them out. Even though these cookies are quite good, I'm still not an oatmeal cookie fan. I mean you'll never catch me saying, "I'm dying for an oatmeal cookie," yet I will enjoy eating one now and then.
Oatmeal Drop Cookies
Rating: 9 out of 10
1 cup seedless raisins (or 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts)
1/2 cup orange juice or water
1-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup sugar + 1-1/2 tsp. Stevia)
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned (not quick) oats

Grease baking sheets lightly, or line pans with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400F. Heat juice and raisins in small pot; simmer 3 minutes; drain.
Sift flour, then measure (spoon lightly and level) into a medium bowl. Add salt, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk together; set aside. (If at all possible, use whole nutmegs and grate them yourself. The flavor difference is remarkable.) (In a large microwaveable mixing bowl, melt the butter and let it cool slightly. Add the sugar and molasses and whisk till it's smooth and well combined.
Add egg and vanilla and whisk till smooth. Add flour mixture and just mix till barely combined.
Now fold in oats and drained raisins and and drop about 2 Tbsp. batter onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 10-11 minutes, or till light brown. (The molasses will make the cookies brown rather quickly.) Let stand on baking pan a minute, then remove to cake rack to finish cooling. Store in container with tight-fitting cover with waxed paper between layers, or freeze. Yield: 24 3-1/2" cookies.

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