Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Sunset & Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I love winter sunsets. We had a particularly beautiful one this evening, all soft and blended and bright. Have you ever noticed that some sunsets blend from red at the sun to yellow by the sky and then they somehow magically turn to blue sky without ever going green? This sunset was the other kind where it is yellow at the sun and then red and purple to blue. It's the kind of sunset I used to paint when I was a 10-year-old messing around with acrylics. I never did figure out how to blend from yellow to blue by using just the right shade of brown without it looking green.

So tonight after dinner I got a hankering to bake. Since this is a blog about food and about me (and I like to cook), I decided to share this one. I realize there is nothing local or sustainable about this recipe (although you can use steel cut oats grown locally instead of the Quaker oats, which I did), but it's yummy and well loved. It's also lower fat because it doesn't use as much butter. If you love this kind of post let me know, but if you don't want to read about this stuff let me know too and I'll find something else to post about. 

A couple of weeks ago Ryan thought he saw dark chocolate chips on sale. He was excited and bought them.
They aren't dark chocolate chips. They're cinnamon and they're very strong. Not for the faint of heart. So I mentioned that I could use a few up in my oatmeal raisin cookie recipe and they really did work pretty well! I skipped the cinnamon called for in the recipe and instead melted some of the chips (about 1 Tbsp?) into the oatmeal. Then I threw in about 1/4 c of chips at the end in the place of some of the raisins. I also substituted craisins for about half of the whole raisins in the recipe (again, in the cupboard to be used up). This recipe comes from my absolute favorite magazine Cook's Country, February 2009.

1 c raisins, 1/2 c chopped fine & 1/2 c left whole
3/4 c water
6 Tbsp butter
1 3/4 c old fashioned oats (Quaker quick oats or steel cut oats or a mix work fine)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine chopped raisins and water in saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat & simmer until water has evaporated & raisins are plump, about 15 minutes, let cool. Wipe out saucepan (or get another skillet) and melt butter over medium heat. Cook oats, stirring constantly, until just golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in cinnamon & cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, let cool.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. In large bowl, whisk sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in whole & plumped raisins, oat mixture, and flour mixture until just combined.
Roll 2 Tbsp dough into 1 1/2" balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Gently press balls with measuring cup until 1/2" thick.
Bake cookies until edges are light golden & centers are just set, 13 to 16 minutes, switching & rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Cool 10 minutes on sheets, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

These sound delicious! I wonder if they would work with gluten free flower and chocolate chips instead of raisins. Hmm.....