Oatmeal Cookies - made December 5, 2010 from The Village Baker's Wife by Gayle & Joe Ortiz (book #20)
There are days when I love a good oatmeal chocolate chip cookie even better than a regular chocolate chip cookie. Surprising since I consider a warm chocolate chip cookie one of my top 10 favorite comfort foods and desserts. But, alas, you can't always eat a cookie when it's warm (it has to cool off sometime) and at room temp, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies get a slight edge, probably because a good cookie will have a more chewy texture. Not to mention I feel (falsely) virtuous eating an oatmeal cookie - it's got oats after all. Conveniently ignoring the sugar, butter, flour and chocolate chips, why, it's practically healthy.
The first thing I look for in a good oatmeal cookie recipe is that it has to have more oatmeal than flour. If it doesn't, then it's just a cookie with oatmeal in it but it's not an oatmeal cookie. Let's not even pretend about that. The second thing I check for is what spices are added to it. Cinnamon and only cinnamon is my preference. A pinch of nutmeg I can maybe flex on but otherwise, I don't like overspiced cookies with too many competing flavors. It's an oatmeal cookie and you should be able to taste the oatmeal. Lastly, I always substitute chocolate chips for the raisins. I'm opposed to raisins. Sorry, raisin lovers, but they're grapes gone wrong. The funny thing is, I love grapes. I just don't like raisins.
In any case, this is a good oatmeal cookie recipe from The Village Baker's Wife cookbook. This cookbook is from Gayle's Bakery in Capitola, CA. I've had the good fortune to be able to go to that bakery whenever I visit my friend Jeannie who used to live a few blocks from Gayle's. Capitola is also where the annual Wharf to Wharf 10K race ended up (you start in Santa Cruz and end in Capitola) and there's nothing like stopping off at Gayle's to load up on baked goods after you've run a 10K. My favorite at Gayle's is their "downtowner" which is a flaky pastry sprinkled with cinnamon sugar - yum. I've never tried their oatmeal cookie so I decided to check out their recipe. I used the convection setting on my oven and baked from frozen cookie dough and was pleased with how these turned out. They didn't spread too much so they were thick and I baked them long enough to get the edges nice and crisp while the middles were chewy and moist. I don't advocate really underbaking these since you want to bake them long enough to get the crisp edges but if you do underbake them, they'll still taste good, almost like an oatmeal muffin or scone in texture. I prefer to bake them just long enough to get the crisp texture for most of the cookie but still have them be chewy enough because of the oatmeal in them.
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
3 ½ cups rolled oats (quick-cooking or regular)
1 ¼ cups raisins, soaked and drained (I substituted chocolate chips)
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cram the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing the first one in before adding the second. Mix in the vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the cinnamon, flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix just until incorporated. Add the oats and raisins (or chocolate chips) until incorporated but don’t overmix.
4. Drop by 2 tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown and still soft when gently pressed.