One of my summer goals was to find the perfect oatmeal cookie. (Question: Is it weird to have goals during the most un-goal-oriented time of year? Even if the goals aren't really GOALS?)
My friends, the cookie has been found.
Baby, summer is OVER. This depresses me to no end. It even smells like fall now.
And this summer was special, because it was the first summer I wore a bikini. Believe it or not, for the past 17 years I've never bared my midriff. Not even once. As a little girl I saw bikinis as something that only "Big Girls" wore. By the time I hit puberty I was so uncomfortable in my body that the thought of exposing more flesh to the world seemed more degrading than exhilerating. And then a few years went and that's how I became the only teenage girl on the planet who wears a one piece.
I wore my one piece with pride. I was at the forefront of a one-girl movement to return to morals, "COVER THY FLESH" and all that jazz. It was like my own personal 11th commandment.
And then I realized that I was at the forefront of a ONE-PERSON MOVEMENT.
And to be frank, that just seemed stupid and self-righteous.
For most of my life I've held almost as big a grudge against oatmeal cookies as against bikinis. Generally, I regard cookies as a shameless excuse to eat chocolate chips. So oatmeal cookies always seemed like a waste of a cookie, because of the serious lack of chocolate. (And yes I know, you can put chocolate chips in an oatmeal cookie, only then it's a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie and that's not an oatmeal cookie.)
These cookies, however, convinced me that there are some oatmeal cookies worth living for. I spiced mine up a bit by adding slivered almond instead of walnuts, a handful of unsweetened coconut and diced dried apricots. And they were delicious and and wonderful wonderful. It was a new experience for me. Kind of like wearing a bikini.
P.S. If you have ravenous hordes at your house it's a very good idea to double the recipe.
Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (I often use a half teaspoon, but I like more salt in my baked goods)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.
At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slighly less thick.
The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.