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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oatmeal cookies for my mom

Mother's day was this weekend, and so I surprised my mother with one of her favorite things: Oatmeal cookies. I have my own personal favorite oatmeal cookies posted on this blog already, crispy with orange zest and cranberries, but I wanted to make her a more traditional soft, chewy oatmeal raisin cookie.

I am so lucky to have my mother in my life, she is the most supportive and generous person, not only is she always there for me and my sister at a moments notice, she is emotionally supportive to so many family members and friends. I think she is the kind of person that people think of when they just need someone to talk to, and she has close, nurturing relationships with so many people it is astonishing.

She has also taught me my entire life that it is more than OK to march to your own drummer, follow your passions, and not let anyone make you feel unimportant or wrong for being yourself. She is such a passionate person, and when she likes something she REALLY LIKES IT and is not afraid to let it show. Just ask her about the lengths she has gone to for her favorite hobby, standing in the pit at Bruce Springsteen concerts every time he tours- She has traveled to other states to see him, and stood outside all day in the winter to get those prime GA spots.

As I get older, I notice how nice it is to get to know your parents in a more grown up way, and it has been fun talking to her about when she was in her mid twenties and had just moved to Boston, I can tell so many ways we are so alike, and some ways we are different, but the coolest part is I can tell that if I met her 24 year old self, we would probably be friends.

As an odd coincidence, the apartment I am in now (which I found and moved to while my parents were out of the country) turns out to be just 2 blocks from her first apartment in Boston. She moved here for library school, right around my age, and found a roommate in the classifieds in a local paper. I moved back to the Boston area from the Berkshires two years ago, found my place and roommates on Craigslist, and now that I am going back to school I have even been considering programs at her old school. I currently am studying her undergrad major, too.

I love you Mom, thanks for being so awesome. You deserve lots of oatmeal cookies!

Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies
From Baking Illustrated

I stuck to the exact directions here, didn't change anything (except some comments I'm sure you'll spot), as I know that the cook's illustrated people put in much more thought and science than I do (though I did make the cookies smaller rather than larger, so I could feel better about eating several...I adjusted the cooking time accordingly). I ended up wishing I had smushed the cookies a little flatter, but other than that was quite happy with them. The fresh nutmeg is really what makes them fantastic. In the strange way in which the Stop & Shop near my house always runs out of really normal items, I could not find a single bag of raisins on my trip there, and so used dried cherries. What's up with the out of stock raisins, S&S? Also, that time I went to you for red onions, tangerines and and boneless chicken thighs and you were out of all them was way uncool, too.

These are particularly good warmed up a bit before you eat them, even just 15 seconds in the microwave- you won't regret it. Maybe served warm and with a small scoop of french vanilla ice cream?

On with the recipe...

Yield: 18 cookies
1½ cups (7½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
16 Tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1½ cups raisins

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. ( I actually just used a silcone mat and called it a day)

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. Find excuses to have to eat a lot of the raw batter.

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.


  1. The cookies made a nice gift, I'm sure, but so does this post. What a nice letter of appreciation and love.

    Also, thanks for posting the recipe. Chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are in my top 5 list of favourite cookies!

  2. Thanks Andrea, I bet she will see this soon, as she does read my blog :)

    Oatmeal cookies are awesome! I love that you can pretend they are actually healthy for you as you eat them-- oatmeal can lower your cholesterol! The sugar and butter not so much.


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