Wednesday, March 4, 2015

oatmeal cookies.

It was only after I purchased 10 pounds of Anson Mills oats that I realized exactly how much 10 pounds of oats is.   

It is a lot of oats.  A lot, a lot of oats.  
So yeah, I own 10 pounds of oats.  I had convinced myself that I would never get sick of oatmeal, but oatmeal is one of those foods that you can get sick of rather easily (even after doctoring it up with all sorts of goodies) so after my 15th bowl, I decided it was time to finally explore the gloriousness that is the Anson Mills library of recipes and that is where I stumbled across a recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies.  

Oatmeal raisin cookies are completely and utterly under-appreciated.  I will be the first to say that my favorite cookie from Levain Bakery is their oatmeal raisin (I know there are chocolate chip fans out there crying) but most others don't share this sentiment.  Oatmeal cookies lack all the magical qualities that most other cookies have, namely chocolate.  This is why whenever I make an oatmeal based cookie, I always doctor it up,  Adding in chocolate and dried cherries and omitting the raisins. That resulting cookie is a crowd-pleaser.  It retains all of it's oatmeal cookie charm while being something people can't get enough of.  This particular recipe produces a cookie that is so absurdly perfect that I already have plans to make it again this weekend.  It's a cross between a cookie and granola and it's glorious.  Crisp edges give way to a perfectly soft and chewy center.   It's not cloyingly sweet and the Anson Mills oats provide a nutty flavor that most find irresistible.  Coupled with chocolate and dried cherries you have one hell of a cookie. 

(I think it may be the cookie of summer picnics which is quite an honor to be bestowed!)   

Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe adapted slightly from Anson Mills

Of course you can follow the traditional path and use raisins.  If you do, I recommend 3/4 - 1 cup of raisins depending on your raisin to cookie preference.   

7.5 ounces (1½ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour 
7.9 ounces (1½ cups) oats (and I encourage you to get Anson Mills!!)
½ teaspoon baking powder
Scant ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg
2.4 ounces (½ cup) dried cherries
¾ cup chocolate chips or chunked chocolate
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted European-style butter, room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup packed) dark brown sugar
3 ounces (⅓ cup plus 4 teaspoons) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon or nutmeg into a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the dried cherries and chocolate chips and stir to combine, breaking up any clumps with your fingers.
Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat-beater attachment until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add both sugars and beat on medium speed until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is light and aerated, pausing once to scrape down the bowl, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, add the egg and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Detach the bowl from the mixer and scrape it down. Using the rubber spatula, stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until an evenly moistened dough forms.

Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop just shy of 2 inches in diameter, form sixteen 2-inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. (At this point the cookies can be transferred to the fridge for up to 36 hours or to the freezer for a month.) Flatten the balls slightly with moistened palms. Bake 1 sheet at a time until golden brown on the bottoms and tops, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through. Slide the parchment sheet onto a cooling rack and let the cookies cool for 15 minutes.

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