Oatmeal Raisin Cookies to Start the New Year

Happy New Year!!

Did you stay up to watch the ball drop? I didn’t. I tried, but I didn’t make it this year. I was too tired from…not doing all that much actually. On New Year’s Eve, the chemist bf and I went to see the new Avatar movie, got Chinese take-out, and spent some time watching repeats of RuPaul’s Drag Race (the new season is starting very soon). But, I was itching to get one last bake in before the new year. Plus, I needed an “excuse” to try out my new stand mixer, right?

One of the my Christmas gifts this year was the 6 quart bowl lift, KitchenAid stand mixer that I had been wanting for a very long time. For now, it’s living at the bf’s condo, but I plan to use it often. Ever since I opened it, I’ve been wanting to test it out. I just needed some time while staying at his place to do so.

After making the Genoise cake a few weeks ago, I wanted to test out another recipe from the new cookbook I purchased back in November. (Here’s that post.) This time, I wanted something simpler, like a cookie. After paging through some of the recipes, and checking inventory of the chemist’s pantry, I settled on Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Rose Levy Beranbaum is an exceptional baker. She has a high standard for her recipes and uses techniques that most other home-cook recipe developers don’t use. She also really understands how the ingredients behave in a recipe and knows exactly what to do to make her recipes stand out from the crowd. Up until now, I had only read about this online, but after making this recipe, I can tell that this woman means business in the world of dessert.

Making It

Have you ever made an oatmeal raisin cookie without regular sugar? I hadn’t until this recipe. I was a little skeptical, to be honest. There is still sugar in the recipe, but it’s all brown sugar.

I placed the single stick of butter into the bowl of my new mixer and started combining it with the brown sugar. Shortly after starting the creaming process, most of the butter was pasted to the sides of the bowl and the paddle wasn’t mixing anything. So, I scraped and started it again. I had to do this a couple of times before the two ingredients were well combined. Now, granted, this bowl is a bit bigger than what I’m used to working with. And there wasn’t too much in the bowl. I remember reading online that some people have trouble initially mixing ingredients for a small batter.

And this one was a small batter. The recipe yield was only 18 cookies. That really isn’t a whole lot of batter. That said, I was impressed with its power and I can’t wait to use it again.

I then added the egg and vanilla, and combined. That’s when the mixer seems to have enough stuff in it to not cause mixing issues.

My mixer came with a pouring shield which I was very excited about. I was able to easily pour the flour into the mixer while it was running and didn’t have to worry about the poof of flour. This will also be useful for adding wet mixtures to batters as it will also keep the splashes from getting on the counter.

Once the dough was done, I folded in the raisins by hand. I opted to omit both the nuts and the chocolate chips. Instead, I just added more raisins (probably too many, come to find out). Now it was time for the dough to chill for at least 30 minutes before doing the next steps.

Baking It

After the dough chilled, I removed it from the fridge and divided it in half, like the recipe said to do. I then proceeded to pull off 9 bits of dough, roll them into a small ball with my hands, and place them on the baking sheet. I then flattered each ball into a thick disc.

While this sheet was baking, I rolled the other portion of dough into balls, flattened them out and placed the cookie sheet in the freezer. I didn’t want to bake these cookies at the time. But now that I have dough in the freezer, I can bake off one or two whenever I wish. Cookies anytime!! (I eventually placed the frozen discs in a freezer-safe bag for proper storage.)

The recipe said to bake the cookies at 325 degrees for six minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake for another 2 to 6 minutes. Well, I knew when it was time to turn the pan that an additional two minutes wouldn’t be enough. So I set the time for 4 minutes. They still weren’t done, so I set the timer for 2 more minutes. At the end of the baking time, I thought they could have used another minute or two, but I had a request to take them out and leave them under-baked.

Did you know that the best way to eat oatmeal raisin cookies is under-baked? No? Don’t worry, I didn’t either.

Tasting It

Once the cookies were cool enough to eat, it was time to try them. With the first bite, I knew my instincts were correct: they did need to bake longer. But they had an excellent taste. The use of only brown sugar gave them a slight molasses flavor that wouldn’t otherwise be archived.

Since the cookies weren’t baked all the way through, some of the oats were tough. Their color also wasn’t as “golden brown” as I would have liked them to be. Still, I love the free-form shape and lack of uniform size that came from just pulling chunks of dough off the ball. I usually use a cookie scoop with making cookies to ensure consistent size. As I stated earlier, I do think that these cookies had too many raisins.

When I go to bake the other half of the dough, I’ll be sure to bake them longer and allow the sugar to turn the cookie a little bit darker shade before pulling them from the oven. Still, this recipe was quite easy and if I hadn’t been using my lovely new mixer, probably would have come together much quicker. There’s always a learning curve when using something new!

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