Saturday, April 27, 2013

No raisins

I don’t really like raisins. I never have. On my cereal in the morning, in my lunch every Wednesday (see: food schedule), in my mother’s apple cake. No thanks.


As a result, I spent a good part of my life avoiding oatmeal-raisin cookies. I wanted to like them, because I like oats and oaty things, but I couldn’t, because raisins.

Then one day (when? sometime in the 90s, I think) I discovered craisins – sweetened, dried cranberries. And as much as I dislike raisins is how much I like craisins. And thus was a whole new cookie vista opened up to me.

Oatmeal-craisin cookies
Adapted slightly from the recipe inside the lid of the Quaker Oats tub

I am pretty sure I have my longtime friend (and college defense partner, and fellow cooking junkie) N. to thank for the inspired idea of substituting dried cranberries for raisins in oatmeal cookies. But even if that idea wasn’t hers, she’s the one who first introduced me to this classic recipe, so I will forever associate it with her anyway.

1 cup/4 oz/120 g dried cranberries
½ cup/4 oz/120 ml juice
1½ cup/6 oz/180 g all-purpose/plain flour
1 tsp/5 g baking soda
1 tsp/2 g cinnamon
½ tsp/2 g salt
1 cup/2 sticks/250 g butter, softened
1 cup/5 oz/150 g firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup/3 oz/90 g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp/5 ml vanilla
3 cups/9 oz/270 g rolled oats

Heat cranberries and juice to simmering point in a small saucepan. Cover and set aside.*

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium-to-large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until creamy, 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs and vanilla; beat again until uniformly combined.

Add combined dry ingredients and mix in thoroughly.

Add oats to batter, then drain cranberries and add. Fold in until evenly distributed.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1 in/2.5 cm between cookies.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden brown, rotating sheets halfway through cooking time for even baking.

Cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen.

* I find steeping the cranberries in juice makes them even better and helps keep them from drying out in the heat of the oven.


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