This is a classic cookie that never goes out of favor. Kids and adults love the unique combination of old-fashioned rolled oats with brown sugar and raisins. The hearty, homestyle cookie with chewy edges and soft centers is packed full of different flavors and textures. It’s the kind of cookie that can taste a bit different with each bite. The comfort cookie favorite can be varied a number of ways including the additions of molasses, ground cinnamon and nutmeg, citrus zest, chopped nuts of all types, chocolate chips or chunks, pure vanilla, and more.
Oatmeal cookies are considered a drop cookie. Once the cookie dough is prepared, individual cookies are formed using tablespoon sized measuring spoons, or rolled gently in balls by hand, and dropped onto prepared cookie or baking sheets. The dough balls are often pressed down slightly to begin forming the cookie shape. As the cookie bakes, it spreads a bit further. Ample space is left between cookies to avoid cookies crowding one another and edges touching each other.
For consistently good cookies of any style, it is always wise to use fresh, high-quality ingredients and follow your recipe exactly the first time through to ensure success and gauge the results. When you make alterations to an original recipe, it is easier to quantify the taste and texture changes as you alter the ingredients, baking times, and make additions and subtractions.
Old Fashioned Oats
There are a number of oats products available in supermarkets, specialty food stores, and online. Most oatmeal cookie recipes call for rolled oats, also known as old-fashioned rolled oats. Old-fashioned oats have a hearty, chewy texture. Rolled oats are a whole grain that is steamed, rolled, flattened and lightly toasted.
The Creaming Method
Oatmeal raisin cookie recipes generally employ the creaming method. The baking technique calls for beating fat (butter in most cookie recipes) and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. Making cookies usually does not require creaming butter and sugar together until “light and fluffy”. Instead, cream at low speed for a minute or two. Creaming too long can result in cookies spreading too thin. A stand mixer with a paddle attachment is a great choice for creaming butter and sugar, but the task can be accomplished with hand mixer, food processor, or manually.
For best results, raise the temperature of the butter to 65 to 70 F. before beginning the creaming process. Remove butter from the refrigerator and set it out for about 30 minutes. Remove butter from wrapper and chop into smaller pieces to accelerate the process.
Raisins can be anywhere from very dry to fairly moist. The dried fruit can easily be rehydrated to add extra moisture and alter the flavor and texture. Add raisins to a small bowl and cover with boiling water, warmed orange juice or apple cider, hot tea, warmed rum, bourbon, cognac, or liqueur. Let them steep from 5 to 30 minutes and then drain thoroughly. Alternately, the raisins and steeping liquid can be added to a small saucepan and gently heated for several minutes over low heat. Remove from the heat, cover the saucepan, and steep for up to an hour. Drain thoroughly.
Expensive equipment is not necessary to begin baking homemade cookies.
Four matching cookie sheets are nice for making multiple batches of cookies and having cool cookie sheets for each batch headed to the oven. We bake cookies using 1 or 2 sheets at a time. Having clean, cool, prepared cookie sheets for the next batch is desirable.
Cookie sheets or baking sheets can be covered with parchment paper or silicone baking mats for easy removal of cookies from the sheet after baking. Baking on parchment or mats also means cleanup mat be faster.
OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES WITH CINNAMON AND NUTMEG
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch crushed sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raisins, plumped
- Arrange parchment paper on 2 cookie sheets.
- Add all-purpose flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and crushed sea salt to large bowl.
- Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Add softened unsalted butter to medium mixing bowl. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute.
- Add the light brown sugar and beat until sugar dissolves into butter, about 2 minutes.
- Beat in 3 egg whites for 1 minute.
- Add pure vanilla. Beat for 1 minute.
- Stir in flour mixture with large wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Stir in old fashioned rolled oats and raisins.
- Cover and refrigerate dough for 15 minutes.
- Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Use tablespoon measuring spoon or small ice cream scoop and form dough into 1-inch balls. Drop 3-inches apart onto cookie sheets. Flatten slightly.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until cookie edges are light brown.
- Rotate the cookie sheets top to bottom and front to back toward the end of baking time.
- Cool for several minutes on cookie sheets and then transfer cookies to wire rack or plate to finish cooling.