Recipe: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

When we were little, mum used to buy bags of Famous Amos cookies for us every so often. I can still remember the first Famous Amos shop I visited was at the now-defunct Specialist Centre along Orchard Road. It was a pretty small shop but perhaps made even smaller given there were always so many people queuing to get their hands on some of those crunchy cookies. Also because they were cleverly located right in front of the lifts that led to John Little, so that definitely helped in boosting the impression of how highly sought after those cookies were.

I recall, mum used to buy those with no-nut chocolate chips one or those with pecan. These days, I treat myself to Famous Amos perhaps bi-annually. That’s not because I don’t fancy it anymore – the cookies are still as good! – but because I can’t bring myself to pay a hand and foot for a few cookies. Kinda expensive no? Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies are definitely my favourite crunchy cookies but at $5 bucks for perhaps 10 small ones? I think I’m better off making my own 😉 I just need that top secret Famous Amos recipe.

Besides the crunchy sort, I also like those that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Think Subway sort of cookies. I came across this oatmeal raisin cookie recipe from David Lebovitz’s blog and waited till I had a couple of good friends come over for a much needed mahjong sesh to make them. I’ve been telling my Mum to make them ‘coz I think she and my sisters would like it too (and also that means I get to have some when I go over for dinner hah!). Actually to think of it, they make quite healthy snacks given it’s main ingredient is half-rolled oats. I also reduced alot of sugar for my batch. Best thing is they don’t take that much time, all the ingredients are highly accessible and affordable! You can make them big like Subway-sized, or you can make them bite-sized (crispier). Perfect for breakfast or a snack 😉

OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES (Makes About 24 cookies)
Adapted from “Flour” by Joanne Chang. Be sure to really beat the butter and sugar together in the stand mixer. (If you don’t have a mixer, Joanne says you can beat it by hand for ten minutes instead.) And feel free to swap out the raisins for any other dried fruit – cranberries, sour cherries, diced apricots, etc.
INGREDIENTS
1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (200 g) packed light brown sugar — In total, I only used 200 g of a mixture of granulated sugar and brown sugar. Just right for me.
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup (245 g) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I didn’t have any at hand and thus didn’t add)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cup (175 g) old–fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
1 1/2 cups (240 g) raisins (if you like “boozy raisins“, poach them in a bit of wine/rum first; i reduced to 200g raisins)

METHOD
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps of baking soda. Stir in the oats and raisins.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly combined. On low speed, or by hand, gradually add the flour and oat mixture to the creamed butter, mixing until completely incorporated.
4. Chill the batter a few hours or overnight, covered. (This step is optional, although recommended by the author.) (I chilled the batter in the freezer for about 45 minutes and it’s more than enough.)
5. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
6. Drop the dough in 1/4 cup (50 g) balls evenly spaced on the baking sheet and flatten the tops slightly with your hand. (I got about 8 cookies per baking sheet.) (Smaller cookies are fine)
7. Midway during baking, rotate the baking sheet and tap the tops of the cookies down somewhat firmly with a spatula to flatten the domes.
8. Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes, until they just start to turn brown across the top, but do not overbake.
Remove from oven and cool completely. (Each batch took me about 10-15 minutes only)

Storage: Once cool, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, or frozen for up to two months.

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