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Question about Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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jellysquare's picture
jellysquare

Question about Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

When I was a kid, quite a while ago, I made oatmeal raisin cookies with my aunt that had ground up soaked raisins in them.  They were both chewy AND crisp around the edges.  They would puff up in the baking, but flatten as they cooled.  You had to let them cool on a flat surface, otherwise they conformed to what ever they draped over.  Unfortunately I lost the recipe and have been trying to recreate them from memory 50 years later.  However I never get quite the same results as we did then.  They are not quite as chewy and are more dense.

Here is the recipe as I am trying to make them now.  Can anyone tell me what I need more or less of to get a chewier result:

1/2 cup each of butter and shortening

1 cup each of brown and white granulated sugar

2 eggs

2-1/2 cups each of oatmeal and flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup packed raisins

Water

Pack raisins into a one cup measure.  Pour enough water over the raisins to cover.  Either microwave for two minutes or bring to a boil in a small pot.  Let cool.  Drain off liquid, before putting raisins in processor or blender, process until finely chopped.  Cream butter, add sugar, beat until well mixed, beat in eggs, flour and oatmeal.  Add raisins.  Drop by spoonfuls, or #70 scoop (for a 2" cookie) on parchment paper covered or lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375° for 10-11 minutes.

jcking's picture
jcking

butter = 5 sticks (2.5 cups) 567 g, 20 oz (soft not melting/oozing)

dark brown sugar = 1.5 cups, 340 g, 12 oz ( if firm/pebbles spin in food proc with sugar)

sugar = 1 cup, 198 g, 7 oz

eggs = 2 large, 100 g, 3.5 oz

vanilla extract = 2 tsps  9 g, .3 oz (wisk eggs and vanilla together before adding to mix)

AP Flour = 3 cups, 411 g, 14.5 oz ( with B powder and cinn pulse in food proc)

baking powder = 2 tsps, 10 g, .4 oz

ground cinnamon = 2 tsps, 7 g, .2 oz

Rolled Oats = 6 cups  468 g, 16.75 oz (plain ole regular oatmeal, old fashion, not quick, instant or fancy)

raisins = 2 cups, 227 g, 8 oz ( optional soak in dark rum overnite)

 

Jim

 

jellysquare's picture
jellysquare

I will try this recipe, you don't mention if the raisins are ground up or processed.  Also we did not use any flavoring other than the vanilla.

jcking's picture
jcking

How you treat the raisins is up to you. If the whole raisins are not soaked, the ones on the outside of the cookie will be hard and dry. If not soaked, then grinding them up would only leave small pieces in the mix so there would be little, if any, dry raisins on the outside.

Jim

codruta's picture
codruta

jellysquare, Try the recipe from Joy of Baking, or, better, Smitten Kitchen. They are quite similar, but I prefer the latter (she colds the dough in the fridge, adds more raisins and optional hazelnuts, walnuts). I made them soooo many times, and are exactly how you say you want them. Don't bake them too long, because they became too crisp when they cool. If you want them chewy, you have to remove them from the oven when the middle is still soft, and the margins begin to brown. Use old fashion rolled oats, not the instant ones. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum half an hour, and use a spoon (or your hands, but work quick, the warmth of your hands will melt the butter- I prefer a spoon, or an icecream scoop) to make the cookies. Don't flatten them too much, because they will become equally crisp. You want the middle thicker than the edges. Take a look on my blog, see if you like them, and ask me if you think I can help you. Here is the link: oatmeal-raisin-cookies

Please leave a reply, to know if my answer helped.

codruta

jellysquare's picture
jellysquare

Thank you.  I looked at those recipes and they don't use ground or processed (chopped) raisins.  That was definitely in the recipe we made many years ago.  My aunt did not have a food processor or blender, so we ground them in a meat grinder, by hand.  We would drop spoonfuls of dough, which puffed up as it baked and then they flattened all by themselves, when removed from the oven.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That is a typical description of baking soda in the cookie dough, so I think keeping the soda in the recipe is important.  

About the grinding of the raisins, that sounds like a personal trick so that the "Oh, I can't stand raisins!" crowd won't turn up their noses and cause a fuss.  You could take any recipe with raisins and run them thru the grinder or prepare just as you describe.  Keep in mind that earlier raisins had to be washed before using to rid them of dust and dirt before using.  (I still do.)  Now they come in sealed packages and claim to be pre-washed so they can go directly into dough or batter or just eaten straight.  That means that it is possible that some moisture adjustments might be made between the old recipe and now, even if you had the old recipe in your hand.    So I would try the recipe making them with ground raisins and try making a few cookies playing with the moisture content.  :)

paulm's picture
paulm

Here is a recipe from America's Test Kitchen that produces thin and crispy oatmeal cookies:

Salty Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

A dusting of salt atop sweets such as chocolate and caramel is nothing new, but we recently came across Kayak Cookies, which gives a different item the salt treatment: their Salty Oats cookies. After sprinkling a few grains on our Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies, we were hooked. Similar to its effect on caramel, salt's contrasting flavor adds a new dimension to the cookies and accentuates their rich, buttery taste. We prefer the texture and flavor of a coarse-grained sea salt, like Maldon or fleur de sel, but kosher salt can be used. If using kosher salt, reduce the amount sprinkled over the cookies to 1/4 teaspoon.

To ensure that the cookies bake evenly and are crisp throughout, bake them 1 tray at a time. Place them on the baking sheet in 3 rows, with 3 cookies in the outer rows and 2 cookies in the center row. If you reuse a baking sheet, allow the cookies on it to cool at least 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack, then reline the sheet with fresh parchment before baking more cookies. We developed this recipe using Quaker Old Fashioned Rolled Oats. Other brands of old-fashioned oats can be substituted but may cause the cookies to spread more. Do not use instant or quick- cooking oats.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks), softened but still cool, about 65 degrees
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (1 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Instructions
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.

  • 2. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth, 10 seconds. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated, 20 seconds. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.

  • 3. Divide dough into 24 equal portions, each about 2 tablespoons (or use #30 cookie scoop), then roll between palms into balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart, 8 dough balls per sheet (see note above). Using fingertips, gently press each dough ball to 3/4-inch thickness. Lightly sprinkle sea salt evenly over flattened dough balls before baking.

  • 4. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, edges are crisp, and centers yield to slight pressure when pressed, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely on sheet.

I would think you could add raisins (either whole or chopped up) and even chopped walnuts or pecans.

Paul

jellysquare's picture
jellysquare

Maybe the ground raisins, will make them chewy AND crispy.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

cookie sort of like matrimonial cake, which is oatmeal base and topping with cooked dates in the middle. A sort of made up recipe to give a similar feel but without the dates (maybe she didn't like dates) and less raisins than a similar cake would have taken (1 cup to several cups) and a whole lot less work in many ways.

I can remember the oatmeal cookies my mother made, they weren't sweet (I think she used less sugar than called for) and they were thicker than any I've ever managed to make from any recipe, and chewy! And full of plump soft raisins. I think she used the Quaker Oat recipe and adjusted it to suit her.

I can't for the life of me see why it has to have so much sugar, and that causes it to spread terribly. I know I made the cookies off the chocolate chip package with the tons of sugar, and wound up with huge flat chips of cookies not a nice soft cookie, that had chocolate chips in them, these were hard crisp chunks of cookies with chocolate chips. I now have a recipe that is deluxe, and the cookies are nice, not spread all over the place, not over done, and not so sweet to rot your teeth from 50 feet!

Try taking a bit of the sugar out of the recipe, and the reason for the baking soda in the recipe is that it reacted with the cream of tarter in the raisins to help raise the cookies, cream of tarter is made from grape skins left over from pressing grapes for wine (or at least it used to be) which is why so many recipes with raisins have soda.

 

whosinthekitchen's picture
whosinthekitchen

Crisp vs chewy

To increase the chewy factor once the sugar quantity has been settled (and I go for less rather than more), half way through the bake tme remove the cookie sheet and tap it down (drop) to the counter from about three inches.  The 'rise' forms bubbles.  The baking process crisps the edges of eaach bubble so to speak creating that crispy effect. 'Dropping' the cookies (the bakingsheet actually) mid bake releases the air bubbles before the crisp edges ( of the interior bubbles) are formed decreasing te crispy factor and increasing the chewy factor.

I also believe the ''memory" factor of how we remember treats from Mom an GrandMa have an ellusive element wrapped in discovery and love that filled us with awe and wonder as we have culinary experiences.  We get close, but childhood memories aren't to be under rated for effect.  I still try to create the chocolate muffins we would come home to, hot from the oven.  Like many before me, Mom never used typical measuring tools in the kitchen; she measured with finger tips, palms and judged by how the spoon moved through, or how the batter or dough looked on the spoon.  She was a bit of a magician!

Enjoy the search for the perfect crisp vs chewy texture of your childhood cookie delights.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Recipe found by searching "ground raisins oatmeal cookies" :

http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/baked-good/oldfashioned-recipe-crinkle-top-oatmealraisin-cookies-145985

Baking 911 is always helpful:

http://www.baking911.com/_disc10/000005e6.htm

Another recipe:

http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,1610,153188-241194,00.html

I think the comments about the baking soda are important. I know that type of sugar and which fat (shortening vs butter) is also important. Seems you have that covered in the original proposed recipe with both butter and shortening.

 

jellysquare's picture
jellysquare

Thank you for the links, I had searched using those words in the past and never got anywhere.  I looked at the crinkle top from the kitchn and I think that is the closest I have come.  Seems that her recipe is a hand me down.

jellysquare's picture
jellysquare

Tried the above recipe, with two changes--I soaked and drained the raisins and used half brown sugar and gran. sugar.  The cookies came out just like I remembered. Crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle.  They also puffed up and flattened out after baking.  I did not do the roll in the sugar thing either.