OATMEAL COOKIES THAT ARE CRISP ON THE OUTSIDE, CHEWY IN THE CENTER, AND LOADED WITH FLAVOR FROM THE BROWNED BUTTER, TOASTED OATS AND GROUND PECANS
Santa Cruz, California. I love reading recipes and picking up tips and ideas. With lots of recipes for oatmeal cookies available, there are lots of ideas for improving them. I incorporated tips from several famous chefs into one ultimate oatmeal cookie.
NOTES ON THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE OATMEAL COOKIES
The oatmeal is toasted to add flavor and then some is ground and used as part of the flour to improve the taste and texture of the cookie. The raisins are softened before adding to the dough so they don’t dry out the cookies. White sugar and molasses are used instead of brown sugar, since brown sugar is made from white sugar with molasses added. We use an imitation vanilla which we think has a better vanilla taste when used in baking, and costs a fraction of the price of real vanilla. After the dough is mixed, it is refrigerated overnight, which also improves the taste and texture.
We measure all the larger amounts of ingredients by weight instead of volume. This is easier and much more accurate. We put the bowl on the scale – zero it – add the first ingredient – zero it – add the next – etc. We use a 3 Tablespoon scoop to portion out the dough. This makes all the cookies exactly the same size and it is easy and quick to use.
The nuts can be toasted in a dry frying pan, but we prefer to use an air fryer. A few minutes on 300 degrees will toast them to the perfect amount of crunch. Using an air fryer instead of the stove or oven also saves on energy and lowers our carbon footprint.
After refrigerating the dough overnight, we usually freeze half the batch instead of baking them all. Portioning out the dough and then vacuum sealing them keeps them fresher. We often bake them right out of the freezer, one or two at a time. Individual cookies, or up to four at a time, can be baked in an air fryer. The air fryer doesn’t have to be preheated, and uses only a fraction of the energy of the oven. The secret to using the air fryer is to use a little bit lower temperature than the oven.
NOTES ON TIPS FOR MAKING THE OATMEAL COOKIES
- The cinnamon is bloomed in the browned butter (a tip from Madhur Jaffrey).
- Ground nuts are added for moisture and texture as well as taste (a tip from Shirley O. Corriher).
- Two teaspoons of vanilla are used instead of just one, which improves the flavor (a tip from Sara Moulton)
All of these things added up to the ultimate oatmeal cookie – crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, and loaded with flavor.
NOTES ON HOW THESE OATMEAL COOKIES FIT INTO OUR PLAN TO EAT BETTER:
We have listed the brands for some of the ingredients because ingredients are everything, especially in something small like cookies. We have found that these brands give superior results. And by using brands like Horizon butter and Wholesome sugar we cut our carbon footprint in half and are helping to control climate change.
- 100 grams pecans
- 300 grams rolled oats – old fashioned
- 100 grams Gold Medal unbleached all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 60 grams Horizon butter
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 250 grams Wholesome organic sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Wholesome molasses
- 100 grams Roasted peanut oil
- 2 large eggs one whole egg and one egg yolk
- 2 teaspoon Baker's imitation vanilla flavor
- 200 grams raisins
- Toast the pecans in an air fryer on 300° F for 4-5 minutes, or in a dry skillet on medium-high heat until they just start to brown. Immediately transfer to a plate to cool. After they are cooled, grind half the nuts to a powder, but not so long that they become nut butter. Place the ground nuts in a medium sized bowl. Roughly chop the other half, leaving some whole to place on top of the cookies.
- Toast the oatmeal in a dry skillet on medium-high heat until it just starts to brown. Immediately transfer to a plate to cool After the oatmeal cools, finely grind 50 grams to a fine powder. Add the ground oatmeal to the ground nuts in the medium sized bowl.
- Soak the raisins in hot water (or bourbon for a more adult flavor) for 5 minutes to soften. Then drain and transfer the raisins to a paper towel.
- Put the medium sized bowl with the ground nuts and oatmeal on the scale, zero it and measure in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir together and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until it foams and turns brown, stirring constantly. Immediately pour the browned butter into a large mixing bowl.
- Place the mixing bowl on the scale. Stir in the cinnamon and wait one minute. Zero the scale and then measure in the sugar, molasses, peanut oil, vanilla, egg and yolk, zeroing after each item. Then stir in the flour mixture. Then stir in the oats, nuts and raisins.
- Portion out the dough into balls 3 tablespoons in size. Using a 3 Tablespoon cookie scoop makes this easier and more accurate. Cover the balls with plastic and refrigerate overnight. The next day, place them on the baking sheets, leaving space between each. allow them to come to room temperature thenusing a glass, flatten the cookies into thick disks. Place a whole pecan or two on the top of each cookie. The balls can also be vacuum packed and frozen at this stage.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or bake in an air fryer at 300 degrees).
- Bake 1 tray at a time. Bake until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and centers are still soft – about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a minute and then transfer them to a wire rack. If possible, allow them to cool before serving.