Sunday 19 February 2012

Soft Oatmeal Cookies

It’s great to be adventurous and try new things but, sometimes, you just want something comforting and familiar.  This week was like that.  Our menu included a lot of old recipes and family favourites.

These oatmeal cookies certainly fall within the “comforting and familiar” category.  They remind my husband of the ones his mom used to bake. I like them because they’re easy to prepare and quite inexpensive to make.  We both enjoy their soft texture and fine flavour.

I would love to tell you that I came up with this recipe myself, but the credit belongs to someone else.  Marion Cunningham included this recipe in her “Fanny Farmer Baking Book,"* and I’ve been making it just as she wrote it for decades.  I haven’t changed it at all.   It’s wonderful just the way it is.

If I have any reservation at all about Ms. Cunningham’s recipe, it would be her portion sizes.  Apparently she made very small cookies.  She estimates that this batch will make sixty cookies.  I usually get about twenty-five out of a batch, so I often double the recipe when baking these.

To make Soft Oatmeal Cookies, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal (not instant)
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (Not pictured.  I usually omit the nuts from the recipe to help keep the cost down.)

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Beat the eggs and add them to the bowl, along with the vanilla.  Beat the mixture until it becomes light and fluffy.

Add the oatmeal and mix it in.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.

Add the flour mixture and the milk to the oatmeal mixture.  Stir until the ingredients are well combined. 

Mix in the raisins.

Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto greased or parchment lined cookie sheets.

Bake the cookies on the middle rack of a 350˚F oven for about 12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are browned.

Remove the cookies to a sheet of brown paper to cool.  Store them in an airtight container.  These cookies freeze well.

“Soft Oatmeal Cookies,” page 200, The Fanny Farmer Baking Book, author Marion Cunningham, publisher Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 1984

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