WSJ Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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!

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • Servings: 14 large cookies
  • Print

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:

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The winning recipe after 4 days of chilling the dough:

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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.

22 thoughts on “WSJ Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  1. Wow! What a difference 4 days makes in the look of the cookie! I did actually enjoy the book club version, now I will have to ‘age’ the batter and try the other way, except I’m not sure cookie batter would be left in my fridge after 4 days, my boys would inhale it by then!

    • Hi Jenna! I should have had you be the taste tester for the second batch of these! I’m glad you enjoyed the first ones!! Storing them on the cookie sheet is harder than it seems. Chilling a ball of dough is one thing but the whole sheet takes up fridge space. Our days of little (and grown big) boys eating us out of house and home are behind us. Enjoy every minute. It will be over in the blink of an eye. Hope the new job is going well. Xo

      Johanne Lamarche

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  2. I am with you that I prefer oatmeal raisin cookie over any chocolatey cookies anytime. My problem was to find ones readily available on the market that I like. The one brand I like, Tate’s, most super market don’t carry it anymore, but I now no longer care because I have your recipe!!!!!
    Thank you..Thank you..Thank you..

    • I love Tate’s too Pang! I have only tried their chocolate chip from Costco but will search for their Oatmeal raisin. I made a mocha frozen cake last summer with Tate’s chic chip. They are a favorite of Ina Garten. Hope you like this version of oatmeal raisins Pang and can chill the dough first.

      Johanne Lamarche

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  3. I LOVE oatmeal cookies, and like you even more than Chocolate chip. My dear father loved them as well so it gave me an excuse to make them and have them once in a while. John doesn’t think he likes them so I never make them. I will be adding this recipe to try through. They just look delicious and sound yummy too!

  4. Oh my gosh, I missed that announcement, too! I just made my favorite oatmeal cookies, but haven’t had a chance to post it – and now this! Well, it I could wait three days for my Tres Leches Cake and two days for my chocolate chip cookie batter to mellow in the fridge, I guess I could wait four days for oatmeal cookies! Think how nice it would be to mix up the batter ahead and stick it in the fridge and then after dinner, pop a few in the oven! Fresh baked cookies without breaking a sweat!

    Lovely post!

    • It was lovely to remember they were made and I did just stick them in the oven. They went in cold as it did not say to let them come to room temp first. I will look forward to your recipe and the tre lèche cake too! What do you think the chilling does and why a random 4 days????

      Johanne Lamarche

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      • There was a lot of “buzz” about chocolate chip cookies in the last few years – I think Cook’s Illustrated was one of the first professional cooks I saw chill the cookie dough before it was baked and it seems to have all culminated with a recipe on the New York Times site. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/09chip.html?_r=

        The author says, “A long hydration time is important because eggs, unlike, say, water, are gelatinous and slow-moving, she said. Making matters worse, the butter coats the flour, acting, she said, “like border patrol guards,” preventing the liquid from getting through to the dry ingredients.”

        I know that cooking from a cold or frozen state usually gives a thicker cookie with less spread – the edges set first. I used to make tons of cookies to send out every X-mas and I often mixed up the dough one night after work and then made the cookies on another. I like ooey, gooey, chewy cookies tho!

        Maybe that was TMI? LOL~ you asked! 🙂

      • I loved your expert answer Mollie! Thank you so much. That’s what I had figured that dehydration occured because when the rested dough can out the cookies seemed dry and you are right they did not spread. Very cool science You are not just a pretty face Mollie….- smart cookie too!!!!

        Johanne Lamarche

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      • lol! I think it is probably even more important with oatmeal – I don’t know about you but I like my cookies with regular, not quick oats. I still haven’t tried those NYT cookies, though! Heck, I’d probably eat all the dough cold from the fridge…salmonella be damed – it would be worth it…

  5. Pingback: 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Favorite Cookies | French Gardener Dishes

  6. I just came across this while looking for another email. I’m going to try these for TBIIs visit next week. Even if chic chip might be his favorite I want to see who can resist these.

    Sent from my iPad

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  7. Pingback: Falling for Cookies! | French Gardener Dishes

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