Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Cookie Monster...

After a colleague’s throw away comment about soft-baked cookies last week I’ve been craving some oatmeal raisin goodness... a little bit spicy, a lot soft and chewy, and all wrapped up in the delusion that they're healthy! 

I'm forever thankful for the invention of American baking - I rarely use cookie or brownies recipes from anywhere else.  They always seem to end with delicious treats, minimal washing up and the oh so easy cup measurements mean no need to break out the scales (ideal!). 
I’m a firm believer in the Martha Stewart team when it comes to knowing their stuff about baking.  I’ve never tried a cookie or brownie recipe from their website which didn’t work.  These cookies I spotted when browsing for some soft-baked goodies didn’t disappoint... 

I was visiting the boyf. in Plymouth this weekend and decided I would bake a batch while I was down there.  Knowing full well that the boys' house would be very unlikely to own even the most basic of baking ingredients I ended up taking them all with me in a series of zip locks.  Just what you need on a five hour bus ride!  The cookies came out perfectly soft and spicy.  The two of us ate the whole batch within a day – definitely a good way to cheer up a rainy weekend in July...
Caught in the act - "testing" the cookie dough...
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.  Line two baking sheets with parchment (or as I did, grease and flour two sheets).

Cream together the butter, sugar and salt.  Add the egg, vanilla and water and mix until combined.

Mix the flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and mace/nutmeg.  I used small porridge oats because I love the flapjackesque (not sure the spell checker will like that one!) texture.
Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed butter and add the raisins, stirring until well mixed.

Using a 1½-inch ice cream scoop (I know I thought this was a strange idea when I first saw it too – it really does work though!), scoop the dough onto the sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake until the edges of the cookies just begin to brown (approximately 20 minutes).  If in doubt under cook rather than over cook - if they're in for too long then they lose the soft chewy texture.  Let them cool on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Back in London, cycling to work yesterday was cold and wet.  Having run out of cookies, I ended up making a second batch last night (obviously the first round of 12 cookies weren’t enough to quench the cravings!).  If this weather continues I may emerge from another month of summer the size of a bus...

I used a combination of oatmeal and porridge oats this time, they're slightly crumblier but equally delicious and now I can ride to work with the knowledge that although I'm getting soaked, I have desk cookies to look forward to!

125g butter, room temperature
1 cup Demerara sugar
¼tsp salt
1 egg, large
1tsp vanilla essence
¼cup water
¾cup plain flour
2 cups oatmeal/porridge oats
1tsp cinnamon
¼tsp baking powder
¼tsp baking soda
¼tsp mace
¾cup raisins   


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