Ahhh oatmeal raisin cookies, the crusty old stalwarts of the lunchbox. They never quite live up to their glamorous cousin, chocolate chip, do they? But they do have the advantage of shipping well and are surprisingly delicious once you get past the boring name. I recently decided to love oatmeal raisin cookies. I think once you’re an adult and are concerned with things such as fibre, income tax, and semi-regular exercise, an appreciation for more adult cookies forms. The closer the resemblance to a nutritious food = the less cookie-eating guilt. Flax bacon cheeseburgers, anyone?
As usual for cookies, this recipe comes out of my beloved Five Roses Guide to Good Cooking circa when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
The first step when baking is to start off by getting good and drunk. Makes all that mixing less tedious.
Just kidding (for now). I used leftover spiced rum from our New Year’s Eve party to soak the raisins in so they would be nice and plump and yummy.
I soaked these raisins overnight and added them to the cookie dough although they are not listed as part of the original recipe. Soaking raisins may seem like a fussy and unnecessary step but I assure you, it is not. All you have to do is put some raisins in a bowl and pour some rum over them! How hard can that be?!
Plus, please note the different between dried up scraggly raisins out of the package and the plump, drunk raisins that have been soaked. The drunk raisins will help keep the cookies moist and fresh in transit.
Now line up all your ingredients for a group photo.
This recipe is dead simple. Also it has no eggs. Mix your dry ingredients:
Add melted shortening:
Add melted butter (and the brown sugar you forgot to add initially):
Add sour milk, aka 1/2 cup of milk with 1/2 tbsp vinegar:
Drain raisins, fold into batter and refridgerate for 30 minutes while you eat a nectarine and dance around your kitchen:
The actual instructions say to roll out the dough and cut into 2-inch rounds. That is way too much work and makes a big mess for you to clean up. I used a tablespoon and made rounded balls of dough. The cookies don’t spread a lot, which is great:
Stack cooled cookies on top of each other in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Once you put the lid on and shake the container gently, the cookies should not move. If they do, either add more cookies or use paper napkins or towels to fill the remaining space. You want the cookies to move as little as possible. Replace the lid and tape it shut with packing tape. I would advise against using a metal tin since plastic containers tend to be more air-tight. If you have a plastic container with a crappy, ill-fitting lid, don’t use it. Use that for your lunch. Use a good one for your cookies so they stay fresh in transit.
GRANDMOTHER’S OATMEAL COOKIES
Adapted from Five Roses Guide to Good Cooking
1 cup raisins soaked overnight or for several hours in 1/2 cup spiced rum, regular rum or red wine
2 cups five roses all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick oats (not steel cut oats)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted (or vegan margarine)
1/2 cup shortening, melted
1/2 cup sour milk made from 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 tbsp vinegar (substitute: almond or rice milk)
Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Stir first 5 ingredients together. Add melted butter and shortening to the dry ingredients. Stir in milk, mixing well. Add raisins and stir gently to combine. Chill dough 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Using a tablespoon or similar, scoop rounded balls of dough into your hand, press gently to make it stick together and flatten slightly into a disc shape. Bake 10-15 minutes or until very lightly browned. I found 12-13 minutes to be perfect, watch your first batch of cookies to see. You may want to take them out early so that they stay relatively moist. Let them cool before you transfer them to a rack or plate.
P.s. I can’t believe I posted the vegan substitutions for the recipe…but stranger things have happened!
P.p.s. Coming up next….brownies and pulled pork!