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Monday, May 2, 2011

Carol's Oatmeal Cookies

Carol’s Oatmeal Cookies

I’ll share with you one of my best cookie recipes and trust that you will enjoy it as much as it deserves!  The cookies are divine…

Medium bowl:
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Medium bowl:
1 ¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 ¼ cups combination of bittersweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips or chunks, chopped
½ cup golden raisins

Large bowl:
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) of butter
1 ½ cups of dark brown sugar

Small bowl:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions.  Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit in convection bake or to 350 degrees Fahrenheit in regular bake.  Line 2 large (12” x 18’’) baking sheets with parchment paper.  Recipe makes 36-40 cookies.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.

In another medium bowl, stir together oats, chips, dried cranberries, nuts and raisins.

Beat softened butter and brown sugar together until no sugar lumps remain.  Add egg and vanilla, beat until fluffy and incorporated.  All of this can be done easily in a stand mixer.  If, like me, you don’t have one, arm muscles and a heavy wooden spoon work just as well.

Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Gradually add nuts, fruits, oats and chips mixture until just incorporated.

Give dough a final stir with a rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.

Using a #30 or #40 spring loaded ice-cream-type scoop, carve out dough and drop these (generous 1 tablespoon size) globs onto the cookie sheets.  Gently press the globs down to about 1 inch thickness.

If baking at 325 degrees convection bake, time is 11 to 12 minutes.  No need to rotate pans.  If baking at 350 degrees regular bake, time is approximately 14 to 15 minutes.  Pans must be rotated half way through baking time.  Note:  these times will depend on the vagaries of each oven.

Cookies are done when they are medium brown, the edges have begun to set but the centers are still soft.  The cookies will seem underdone and will look raw, wet and shiny in the cracks.  DO NOT OVERBAKE!  Cookies that are properly baked will bend, not snap and will cool to be moist, chewy and flavourful.

Apparently, these cookies will keep up to 5 days in an airtight cookie tin or a zipper-locked bag.  Frankly, I wouldn’t know as mine never make it beyond 48 hours.

Time well spent in the kitchen…
Happy munching!

The beginnings of this recipe came from Cooks Illustrated Magazine, All-Time Best Recipes 2009.  http://www.cooksillustrated.com/

From that helpful start, many batches of cookies and some experimenting, my recipe has evolved into “Carol’s Oatmeal Cookies.”

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