So, in order to understand why I felt the urge to whip up oatmeal raisin cookies in the midst of holiday baking season, you’ll need to know a little more about me. You already know that I love food and love to bake. And for the most part, I’m a girl’s girl. But… There’s a bit of tomboy lurking beneath the surface that comes out from time to time. Maybe you caught wind of my love for hockey and football when I made the Pittsburgh Penguins cookies earlier in the year for the Stanley Cup Finals or when I made the Pittsburgh Steelers cookies for the start of football season this fall. But wait, there’s more… Not only am I a crazy hockey and football fan (and currently waaaay too into my fantasy football team – it’s my first year playing), but I can’t get enough of the NHL09 game on PlayStation. My Chief Culinary Consultant and I can play for hours on end. I’m not even all that good, but winning every 4 or 5 games keeps me pretty well addicted.
So, where do the oatmeal raisin cookies come in? Well, over Thanksgiving weekend we were watching a Pens game and the announcers were talking about Matt Cooke, a scrappy 3rd liner (apologies for the hockey talk), who is affectionately nicknamed “Cookie”. They told a story about being on a recent road trip and at breakfast in the team hotel, Matt Cooke requested a cookie, saying that he eats a cookie everyday. And the cookie he requested? Oatmeal Raisin. First of all, it made me hungry for them as soon as I heard, and secondly, it was too fun a story and I felt like I HAD to make them.
Now, let’s talk about these cookies. They are absolutely incredible. Not only are they outright massive in size, but the flavor is awesome, they are thick and chewy (which I love), and neither the oats nor the raisins overpower the other. The “secret” ingredient in this recipe is that it includes no cinnamon like many other oatmeal raisin cookies, but rather just a smidge of nutmeg. It’s enough to bring all of the flavors of the cookie together and yet it plays a rather silent part. If you didn’t know it was in there, you probably wouldn’t be able to detect it. I love subtle, sneaky flavors like that. You definitely don’t want to over bake these cookies, so keep a close eye on them. The recipe says 22 to 25 minutes; I baked the first batch for 22 minutes and they were definitely overdone. The second batch I baked for 20 minutes and they were much, much better. I may shave another minute or two off the next time I make them. Keep in mind that everyone’s ovens are different, so baking times can always vary.
So here you go, Matt Cooke – an oatmeal raisin cookie. I’ll be at the game tomorrow night – perhaps you could either score a goal or level Hossa for me?
1. Adjust the oven racks to the low and middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt together in a medium bowl.
3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time.
4. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture with a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Stir in the oats and raisins.
5. Working with a generous 2 Tablespoons of dough each time, roll the dough into 2-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
6. Bake until the cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies with a wide metal spatula to a wire rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes.