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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Best Oatmeal Cookies

These are THE BEST oatmeal cookies. Don't believe me? Ask my mom. That's right. She said so. But also, I say so, and a bunch of other people who tried these cookies seemed to agree. Also, they have cranberries. Who could turn down cranberries? They are such a pretty color, and add such a sweet-tart element that plays off the subtle fresh taste of the orange zest in the batter. Try these, they are just what you need right now. Really, I think you need a cookie. You're so thin! You look famished! (By the way, how have you all enjoyed your various events and family time over thanksgiving? Do I sound like anyone's grandma yet? Maybe an aunt?)

But truly, you deserve a cookie. Not crazy about cranberries? Change em out. Go traditional with raisins, shake things up with dried cherries, appease your sweet tooth with dark chocolate chips (orange and chocolate are a great pair!) go nuts (add nuts!).

This recipe works surprisingly well substituting margarine in place of the butter originally in the recipe, I used earth balance, and I swear you can't tell (I really mean it, and I am somewhat of a snob about baking with butter).

Ok, enough chitchat, go make these cookies. Then bring me a couple at my office; I could really use a cookie like this right about now.

The Best Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from this recipe from Gail Gand's Sweet Dreams

Makes 40-48 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups margarine or 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups rolled oats (not instant) 
  • Zest of 2 large oranges (or a little more than 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (unless you are like me, and choose the make the dough in advance, refrigerate it or freeze it and than bake it off the next day- maybe I am just strange like that, I tend to start baking projects past 9pm, then get tired and want to go to bed in the middle.)

2. Cream together the butter and sugars. Doing this with a hand held or standing mixer saves a bit of effort, but is not entirely necessary. Butter will always get fluffier than margarine can, so don't sweat it if you are making this with earth balance and it doesn't really seem "creamed". I swear they will turn out good in the end.

3. Mix in the egg and orange zest.

4. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt and oats.

5. Slowly combine the butter mixture with the oat mixture, then add the dried cranberries.

6. On a greased baking sheet form drop cookies approximately 1 tbsp each in size.

7. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes until outsides are brown and the middle looks solid. Bake a few additional minutes for crispier cookies.

8. Let cool, bring one to your friend Hannah, who is sitting in her office, and once again forgot about her lunch break.

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