Thursday, June 30, 2016

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Working as a chef instructor with 18 Reasons in Oakland and Berkeley, we tend to lean on oatmeal as a healthy go-to for breakfast ideas when teaching classes. Invariably I'll come upon the cookie recipe inside the cap for Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats so decided to make it a few times. The only tweak I've made to the recipe is replacing the 1/2 cup of butter with 45% leaf lard and 55% butter to get a slightly richer mouth feel to the cookies. I've heard that lard actually contains *less* saturated fat than does butter so I suppose that's a win, right? Also note that I add the sugar into the fat gradually rather than all at once and combine the dry ingredients separately prior to adding into the wet.

Silpats are great if you plan to bake a lot but parchment works fine too

Softened butter and leaf lard

'creaming' the fats and sugars

Brown and white sugars

Rolled oats and raisins

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
6 tablespoons leaf lard softened (or substitute butter completely)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350°F.
In a large standing mixing bowl, beat butter (and leaf lard if using) at medium-high speed. Once it is soft, gradually add in the sugars while still beating until incorporated and creamed - i.e. the consistency of wet sand.
Reduce mixing speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt through a sifter or sieve then whisk together to combine.
Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients then stir in the oats and the raisins. Lay out parchment paper or a silpat onto cookie sheets then drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto them.

Put the sheets into the pre-heated oven and bake 8-12 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from oven to cool for about 5 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack. Store tightly covered. This should make about 4 dozen cookies.

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