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Friday, June 28, 2013

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I remember when I was little and Mom would make oatmeal raisin cookies and I thought they were the best cookies ever.  They probably were pretty darn good, but for some reason I can't seem to make good oatmeal raisin cookies.  I thought it was just me.  I thought I was doing something wrong.  I have a friend who is an amazing cook, but can't make a cookie to save her life.  Even frozen cookie dough turns out wrong when she bakes it.  I thought maybe I just wasn't meant to make oatmeal raisin cookies just like my friend.

I asked Mom if the recipe in her book was correct and she assured me it was.  I followed the recipe almost exactly the first time.  I knew before I even baked them that they weren't good.  I could tell by the dough.  The only thing I changed was using butter instead of shortening because I just don't like shortening.  I was highly disappointed.

The second time I made them I folded and used the shortening.  The dough was perfect.  It was fluffy and light.  It wasn't too sticky.  I baked the cookies and the first taste was such a let down.  They looked almost right but they didn't taste right.  I looked over the recipe again and realized there were some ingredients that were definitely missing.

So I asked Mom again.  I noticed there was no salt, baking soda, or baking powder in the recipe.  When I asked her about it she told me she uses self-rising flour and salted margarine instead of all purpose flour (which is all I ever use) and shortening.  I felt mislead.  The recipe didn't specify to use self-rising flour.  If it had I would have added some baking soda or baking powder.  The recipe said to use shortening.  I followed the instructions, I did!

Then I remembered, Dad's girlfriend makes oatmeal raisin cookies that are out of this world.  I have a hard time stopping at a dozen cookies in one sitting.  I asked her where she got her recipe and she said she uses the recipe on the Sun-Maid raisin box.  I am so relieved that I finally have a recipe that I can follow properly, that has all of the ingredients labelled properly.  (Not that I'm complaining about Mom's recipe because as I said they're amazing when she makes them, but apparently that's not my recipe.  Besides, being that the recipe was for her she already knew that she was supposed to use self-rising flour and salted margarine.  I can't fault her for her shorthand.)

These cookies aren't nearly as good as CJ's, but they are some darn good oatmeal raisin cookies.  I think Aaron is thankful that he won't have to eat any more of my low sodium rocks, especially since oatmeal raisin is one of his favorite cookies.

Sun-Maid's Classic Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (plus a little more for us) Sun-Maid natural raisins
1 cup nuts, coarsely chopped (I like walnuts in mine but Aaron doesn't like nuts in his)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter until it is fluffy.  Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar, then the milk, egg, and vanilla and mix again until fluffy.  In another bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and stir with a whisk.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.  Stir in the oats, raisins, and nuts.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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