Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I have an interesting family dynamic.

I come from a family of four women, including myself, and two men.

Bet you can't guess who rules this roost!

Sometimes I feel bad for my dad and my brother. They are privy to many conversations that I'm sure gross them out don't interest them, and they're pretty good sports about it most of the time. We women understand their guy needs and try to delegate with them the best that we can.

But when it comes to desserts...chocolate is the KING of this house.

And this is no different when it comes to the subject of cookies.

About 99% of the time, the cooking baking that takes place in my parents' house falls under one category: chocolate chip. I mean, when you're outnumbered 2:1, and that majority is hormonal for the better part of a month, it's in your best male interest for chocolate chip cookies to be present in your household.


And so the menfolk of the house defer to the women. However, sometimes the lightbulbs in the men's brains click on, and it finally dawns on them that the best way to manipulate women is to use their own language: subtlety.

Exhibit A:

Last weekend, my brother came home from his post in the Navy. He told me he missed my cookies--mostly ones of the "non-chocolate chip" variety.

He only likes oatmeal raisin cookies.

Exhibit B:

My father asked me what was on my holiday baking list. When I spouted off a laundry list of things, he began to pout and asked me if I knew how to make oatmeal raisin cookies.

Um. Did you miss the past 10 years of your life, Dad?

Exhibit C:

Today, my father went to the grocery store a grand total of three times in a two hour span. When coming home after the first two trips, Dad perused his purchases, muttered various frustrations to himself, proceeded to ask me if _______ was in oatmeal raisin cookies, and zoomed back to Kroger.

I'm a woman. I understand the nuances of subtlety. It didn't take me too long to figure out what the menfolk wanted. So I caved in and happily made them a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies. 

So since it's the holidays, I decided I would give you, my dear friends, a Christmas miracle: a step-by-step tutorial of how to make these cookies. They're not too different from my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip variety, but this will help everyone refresh their brains in the way of cookie making.

So here's the lowdown:

Your helpers include: oats, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter (or butter-flavored shortening--welcome to the rural South, y'all!), salt, raisins, baking soda, nutmeg, vanilla, and eggs.

Baking powder photo-bombed the picture. He's not supposed to be there, but there he is--flauntin' his fine self. So I drew an X over him to ruffle his feathers.

Pfft. Baking powder.

So get yourself some Crisco (if you're an Amy), and grab a spoon because things are about to get messy. They sell Crisco by the stick now--thank goodness--but all I had was a tub. I lived.

Now get yourself some brown sugar.

By the way, you should've tossed that Crisco into your mixing bowl. But I didn't need to tell you that because you are a very intelligent person. Also, my thumb nail doesn't look half bad in this picture.

Ha! Made you look!

Cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy--aka, well-blended.

Look! You cracked some eggs! And they're already up in the corner! And now you're measuring out your vanilla and lookin' like you're on-the-ball! 

Good job!

So now we're going to beat the mixture some more...

...until everything is like so.

Put your finger in it right now; it's delicious.

Not that I would know or anything.

This is the blog debut of my flour canister! I like him because he's nice and sturdy and holds 5 lbs. of flour without any effort. 

Plus he's nice and wide, and it's a lot easier to get my flour when I need it. Like right now.

Dump your flour into your mixing bowl.

And get distracted by crazy pictures of flour messes on your kitchen table.

Get your trusty oats.

And make it rain...


Now measure out your making soda, and make it more precise than me because you're baking and you need exact measurements for these things.


Pour in some salt.

And pour in some glorious cinnamon that smells of all is good in the world.

Measure out some nutmeg, and add it to the mix.


Now mix it.

And mix some more.

And mix until you can mix no more!

...or until everything is combined.

Mmm...getting close.

Now add some raisins.

And fold them in! 

Give your mixer a rest. She's worked really hard today, and you don't wanna burn her out from cooking, do you?

Now comes the fun part when you get to eat form your cookie dough balls into the size of a large walnut--a heaping tablespoon, I'd say. And place them 1-inch apart.

Pop them into the oven, and you'll take out this:

Oh. Hello there.

Nice weather we're having, huh?

You are a keeper, my friend!

Ahh, even the ones that don't have as many raisins are still delicious. Their crispy, buttery oatmeal flavor does not disappoint.

You know things continue cooking when you pull them out of the oven, right? 


Well, these cookies need five minutes of rest right after they're pulled out of the oven. They need to set up and such. And then you can devour them--I promise!

My friends, I hope you enjoyed your tutorial. It takes a teesy bit longer than just snapping photos of the final product, but I really enjoyed walking you through this. Do you like this better than just plain text? Let me know!

And don't worry--I haven't forgotten about giving you the recipe; it's right here!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies  (makes about 40 cookies)

  • 1 cup (2 sicks) butter or butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until all ingredients are well-incorporated. Fold in raisins.

Form cookie dough into large walnut-sized balls (about a heaping tablespoon) and drop them one-inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool for five minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer them to a wire rack or parchment paper to cool. Serve at once or at room temperature. If kept in an airtight container, cookies will last about one week.

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