Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

When I was a child, my grandmother always made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for me. Much as I love(d) chocolate, the oatmeal part of the cookie was always my favorite. I asked her about the recipe once and she said it was on the oatmeal box. Unfortunately, she passed away not long after that while I was still too young to be baking myself.

I tried to replicate those cookies for years. The recipe on the oatmeal box didn't taste anything like them. The recipes in the standard cookbooks didn't taste anything like them. I finally gave up. Those cookies will have to remain a fond memory.

I still enjoy oatmeal cookies, though. I especially like the oatmeal cookies part of Oatmeal Scotchies but when I tried them without the butterscotch chips, they weren't particularly outstanding. When I made oatmeal scotchies recently, I noticed a recipe for oatmeal cookies on the cover of the oatmeal box that was similar but with small differences. I had another meeting to go to for the Rutgers Gardens Volunteers and these seemed like a good choice to bring. Just one problem. I had to make them ahead of time and I wasn't sure if raisins could be frozen and then thawed successfully.

I consulted with another avid baker. She had never tried it with raisins specifically but had been successful with other dried fruits. I decided to go ahead with the experiment. Boy, am I glad I did! These cookies, while nothing like my grandmother's, are outstanding. Even frozen and then thawed, they were moist and delicious. And a big hit at the meeting.

Verdict: Yum! This one's a keeper!

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(Source: Top of the Quaker Old-Fashioned Oatmeal box)

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.
3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
4. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
5. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well.
6. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

About 4 dozen

Bar Cookies: Bake 30 to 35 minutes in ungreased 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan.

Recycle: vanilla extract bottle

Compost: eggshells

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