Cookies are a great dessert. Simple to make, entirely portable, perfectly sized, and always delicious. I’ve been making cookies for as long as I can remember – in fact, they were probably the first thing I ever made. I’ve always had a soft sport for chewy oatmeal cookies, and plain old chocolate chip cookies. Individually they are always fantastic, but putting them together makes pretty much the most perfect cookie combination I can imagine. There’s just something about the way it feels to bite into an oatmeal cookie that is crispy and crunchy and chewy all at the same time, studded with bittersweet chocolate and sweet dried fruit. It’s a euphoric experience!
I’m admittedly a big fan of the recipe on the lid of the Quaker Oats containers for oatmeal raisin cookies – those cookies are insanely delicious. With raisins alone, or some chocolate chips added to the mix – there’s almost nothing better. Who knew?! But when I made these cookies, there wasn’t a Quaker Oats container in sight, so I went for something new and different, and was glad I did.
I’ll take my oatmeal cookies almost any way – I like them plain, with raisins, with cranberries, with walnuts, with chocolate… and especially with all of those things combined. It’s like a flavor party in your mouth! The cranberries in these cookies happened almost accidentally, since we didn’t have raisins, but I loved the flavor they lent – tart and sweet, a fun play with the bitter chocolate. Since I can’t ever get enough chocolate, I added some chocolate chips in lieu of nuts, and that worked great. I’ve been known to make a chocolate chip raisin oatmeal cookie most commonly, and while that is a serious favorite, these were great for a change.
The cinnamon in the cookies adds a lovely hint of spice, and brings a certain warmth to the cookie like only it can do. I found that straight out of the oven, the cinnamon flavor was more prominent, but once the cookies cooled a bit it was harder to detect. I think it’s a really nice touch here.
These cookies were gone in a snap – somehow eating cookies with oats in them always makes me feel like doubling my intake is completely acceptable… I never said I had good logic in baking (and consumption)! I substituted a bit of whole wheat flour to the recipe, which I always do in oatmeal cookies because I find little taste difference, so why not add some nutrition?
These cookies should please pretty much anyone, they are so buttery and delicious, and so cozy, if you can imagine a dessert being that way. Who could say no to something that looks like this?! They’re especially fun because you can add whatever flavorings tickle your fancy, so they can always be personalized for a specific taste or preference. And the best thing about oatmeal cookies? They feel like coming home to me. Home, SWEET, home.
Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
3/4 cup chocolate chips, chopped (optional, could also use walnuts)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
1) In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the creamed butter mixture. Stir in the oats, cranberries and chocolate chips, if using.
2) At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and chill the whole tray before baking. Chilling the cookies makes for a chewier, thicker end result, but if you can’t wait you can also go ahead and bake them right away. I chilled my dough for about 30-45 minutes.
3) The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes, taking them out when golden around the edges but still a little undercooked-looking in the middle. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.