And now moving on to our topic at hand: oatmeal cookies. Did you know that Americans used to have an aversion to eating oats? Before 1850, many Americans considered oats to be animal food only. No oatmeal for them, thank you very much. But around 1860, a brilliant German immigrant took his steel-cut oats and marketed them as a delicious, nutritious, and cheap breakfast dish. And then it wasn't long before someone realized that adding oats to butter and sugar would make an excellent cookie. And voila! The oatmeal cookie was born.
So here we have a traditional oatmeal-raisin cookie that is just about perfect. It's chewy, it's moist, it sets up well without being too flat. It's everything an oatmeal cookie should be.
If you're a raisin hater, replace the raisins with chocolate chips and omit the cinnamon and nutmeg (though I personally like having a bit of spice with my chocolate).
Recipe from the All-American Dessert Book
Pictures by Caroline
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups old fashioned oats*
1 1/2 cups raisins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease several large baking sheets (or use a non-stick mat like a Silpat, which happens to be one of the prizes for the best cookie submitted for our contest!).
- In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl combine the butter and sugars. With a mixer on low, then medium speed, beat until the mixture is well blended and ligthened, about 1 1/2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, honey, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes longer.
- Beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins until evenly distributed. Let stand to firm up for 10 minutes.
- Shape dough into balls. Bake for 9 to 14 minutes, or until slightly darker at the edges and almost firm when lightly pressed in the centers. Let cool on cooling rack.