March 21, 2014 by
Now, let’s face it. Oatmeal cookies kind of get a bad reputation. Basically, well, because they’re made mostly of what many people consider the most healthy yet mushy and tasteless breakfast food of all – oatmeal. And, usually raisins – which I personally consider to be Satan’s candy.
Many times, through many recipes, oatmeal cookies tend to be overly dry, or overly soft & doughy. Not much flavor is another negative in the oatmeal cookie column. And no amount of added chocolate chips or dried fruit will fix it.
In my quest to come up with a good oatmeal cookie (because, yes, I do like them; always have), I made many batches, researched recipes old and new, and ate more cookies than I care to admit. I even made my husband take them to work to use his co-workers as tasters.
I finally hit upon the idea of making the cookies with dark brown sugar, adding some oat flour, and a little maple syrup for flavor. It just made a wonderful combination.
Oh. And as for the dried fruit – I use dried cherries and cranberries. They are my two favorite dried fruits and I simply like the way they go together. However, you can use any dried fruit you like: apricots, apples, blueberries, and, yes, raisins.
You can also use chocolate, white, or cinnamon chips as well. If you want to.
Now, admittedly, I tend to make these cookies rather large. That’s because making cookies is not one of my favorite things to do. I simply don’t have the patience for it. I tend to only bake cookies during the holidays – these included. You can make them any size you like. But, I will say this recipe makes a lot of cookies. With the larger size that I bake, this recipe will still make about 5 dozen. Smaller cookies? At least 6 dozen.
Dried cherries (l) and dried cranberries (r)
Dark brown and granulated sugars.
From top left: Maple Syrup, Vanilla Extract, Nutmeg (c), Baking Soda, Salt
Oat and all-purpose flours.
The all-important oats.
And, of course, butter and eggs.
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c. oat flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 c. rolled oats
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. dried cherries
1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line your baking sheets with foil and parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides as needed.
Creaming together the butter and sugars. Be sure you make the mixture as fluffy and well-mixed as possible.
3. Turn down the heat to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Adding the eggs. Be sure you mix in each egg thoroughly. This will help to dissolve the sugar and make a homogenous mixture.
4. Add in the vanilla and syrup. Beat on medium-low speed until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Adding the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
5. Sift together the dry ingredients – all-purpose flour, oat flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
I have vivid memories of my mom using this sifter. She gifted it to me when my husband & I moved into our house. It’s still my favorite.
The dry ingredients ready for sifting.
6. Turn the mixer to low speed and, in small scoopfuls (about 1/4 cup), add the dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Adding the dry ingredients. You want to add about 1/4 cup at a time. This ensures complete incorporation and a whole lot less mess.
The dough after all of the dry ingredients have been mixed in.
7. Turn the mixer off, lower the bowl or lift the top of the mixer, and add the oats and fruit. Lift the bowl or lower the top of the mixer, and, on very low speed, fold them into the dough. (You can also do this step by hand.)
Mixing in the oats and fruit. Do this on very low speed. My mixer was quite full at this point.
Cookie dough. Done.
8. Drop tablespoons full of batter onto the baking sheets. Leave at least 2 – 3 inches in between. These cookies spread a lot.
Take a nice heaping scoop of dough, smooth it off , and drop it on the baking sheet. These are soup spoons, by the way.
The cookies ready for the oven. These are going to spread out a lot; so, don’t crowd too many onto a sheet. This is a half sheet pan (11-1/2″ x 17″).
9. Bake the cookies 15 – 18 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the cooking time. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. (This will result in a fairly crispy cookie. If you want the cookies slightly chewier, reduce the baking time by 2 – 3 minutes.)
See how much they spread?
Try to resist. I dare you.