Oatmeal Raisin Cookies:
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (210 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups (260 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (140 grams) dark raisins
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until creamy and smooth (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until incorporated. Stir in the rolled oats and raisins.
For large cookies, use a generous 1/4 cup of batter (I like to use an ice cream scoop) and place six cookies on each baking sheet. Flatten the cookies slightly so they are about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick. Bake the cookies for about 14 - 18 minutes rotating the cookie sheets halfway through the baking time. The cookies are done when golden brown around the edges but still a little soft in the centers. (The longer the cookies bake the more crispy they will be.) Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. These cookies will keep several days at room temperature.
Makes about 18 large cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are hard to beat. Their edges are crisp, their flavor is sweet, and their texture is wonderfully soft and chewy. They are great for breakfast, or as a snack, or crumbled in a trifle, layered with yogurt and fresh fruit. While plump and juicy raisins seem to be the favorite in these cookies, you could use dried cherries or cranberries during the holiday season, or you can add some chopped nuts or even milk or dark chocolate chips.
Jean Anderson in her book The American Century Cookbook tells us that the first recipe she found for Oatmeal Cookies was in the 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. That recipe, although called an Oatmeal Cookie, only contained 1/2 cup of rolled oats. During the Second World War, The Quaker Oats Company published a recipe for Oatmeal Cookies that called for shortening, as butter was in short supply. Today we like our cookies nice and buttery, so butter has come to replace the shortening. And we also like our Oatmeal Cookies bursting with rolled oats, so for this recipe we are using a whooping three cups. I like to use old-fashioned not quick-cooking rolled oats. I prefer their flavor and thickness. While both may start with oats that are cleaned, toasted, and hulled to become what we call oat groats, the difference between the two is in the thickness of the oats after the oat groats have been steamed and flattened.
The pairing of Oatmeal Cookies with raisins is perfect. Although I like to use dark raisins in these cookies you could also use golden raisins. Both dark and golden raisins are simply dried Thompson seedless grapes. The difference is that dark raisins are sun dried which gives them that dark shriveled appearance, whereas golden raisins are treated with sulfur dioxide first to prevent them from turning dark and then air dried to keep them a golden yellow color. Raisins, like dates, have a high sugar content, and are a good source of vitamins and iron. Because of their high sugar content they retain moisture which keeps these cookies soft for several days.