On September 19, 2015 The Wall Street Journal declared the oatmeal raisin cookie the unlikely “it” dessert of 2015. How Had I missed this announcement? I have been a lover of good oatmeal cookies all my life. Will choose it over the more popular chocolate chip cookie everytime. Now I was actually on trend! The Journal called this recipe “The Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookie We’ve Ever Tried”. That designation was enough of a challenge for me. I would have to try it and see for myself!
We all know of the health benefits of oatmeal: lowering bad cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, and helping to fight high blood pressure. So baking it in an oatmeal cookie seems virtuous, as far as cookies go…. Oatmeal cookie batter can be doctored with a lot of add-ins to jazz them up such as coconut, swapping the raisins for other fruit, adding spices and nuts and even chocolate chips. But a good classic oatmeal raisin cookie is worth it’s weight in gold and the one I prefer. This recipe comes from Sadelle’s Bakery and Restaurant in NY City and is modeled after a cookie at Bouchon Bakery, where the chef, Melissa Weller, had previously worked. The key to this recipe is to age the batter for FOUR days before baking the cookies…WHAT???? The first time I made them, I had not read this detail and baked them immediately as I was serving them at a book club meeting that night. Who has time to wait 4 days to bake cookies anyways? What difference could it possibly make? Well, the first batch was good but nothing to write about. We thought they were too salty and tasted of baking soda too much. The second batch with the chilling made for sublime cookies: crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with the flavors pefectly in harmony. As if they had been magically transformed. The chilled batch were drier going into to oven and did not spread while baking.. Try it and let me know if you agree and if this recipe is your new favorite, as it is in our family!
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 c raisins
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T plus 1 t ground cinnamon
2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t fine sea salt
1 1/2 sticks of slightly softened unsalted butter
1 c light brown sugar, firmly packed
6 T granulated sugar
2 c old-fashioned or rolled oats
1 extra-large egg
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
Soak raisins in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Using an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, scrapping down sides frequently. Do not over eat.
Add flour mixture to creamed butter on low until combined. Mix in oats, followed by drained raisins, egg and vanilla.
Use a 1/4 c scoop to measure dough and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten each blob with the bottom of the measuring cup. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 days to age dough.
to bake cookies: Preheat oven to 350F. Bake in center rack about 17 minutes, until cookies are golden-brown but still soft in the middle. Remove from oven and rest on the baking sheet a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.
Adapted from Melissa Weller of Sadelle’s, NY City.
The un chilled first batch, next 2 photos:
The winning recipe after 4 days of chilling the dough:
To read the original WSJ article, please click here.
To read a NY Times piece explaining what prolonged chilling achieves for cookie dough, please click here.