Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies -- thick chewy cookie byte

This holiday season I have decided to take a resolution. Yes, it is better to have a resolution for just one month than the dreaded life long one in January. This way I can always concentrate on better stuff in January, like the chocolate covered cupcakes.

So I have resolved to cook more inglish kind of dishes this month. Now inglish does not necessarily mean English; it can be Italian or Moroccan or anything but Bengali. Inglish as in stuff my Grandmother had never heard of and would probably refuse to eat otherwise, stuff my Mother might have heard but never been interested to try them at home, stuff I have heard, probably tasted, some not tasted but never been too enthu to try them out at home.

But all that is going to change for I have had enough of being the "Bong Mom" and cooking or at least blogging about more or less "Bong Food". Six or some uncountable years ago when I started this blog I couldn't cook a charchari from a labra. I couldn't make an ossobuco or pasta carbonara either. But true to my family roots and some crap about passing on my Bengali legacy to my daughters, I went the charchari route. And now see what has happened ? Every person from Madhyamgram to Mangalore and Patuli to Patna is cooking Beef Burgenoff (or maybe stroganoff) and Mushroom Risotto with a flourish and baking perfect pots of de la creme or something. And what am I doing ? Cooking bandhakopir ghonto and still trying to figure out how or why a dessert spoon is different from regular spoon. See what a disgrace I am to my Mother, the poor thing who not only sent me to a inglish school but spent a good part of her life to get me the perfect bloomers for phys ed ? Instead of apple crumble I write posts on kopir datar charchari. And it is not that my finesse in those stuff is exemplary or something and can be compared to anyone's grandmother.

Just plain ordinary, everyday.

But let me also tell you. The entire thing is not my fault alone. Now that I look around, I see grandmothers in Malda were apparently making tarts and vanilla bean cookies at the time mine was merely stirring a Paayesh. No wonder I have no heirloom recipe for such delicacies and am forced to write sentimental posts about Ilish Maacher Tauk. Chhayh !!!

So enough of all that ghyyant-charchari-jhaal-jhol-ombol for December. Ossobuco here I come. Wait, that is too much of a leap for me. For now we will take baby steps with cookies. So oatmeal raisin cookies here I come. And since I have no hand-me-down recipe for such I am following exactly what Smitten Kitchen has.



The larger part of Saturday, I spent making cookies which failed miserably batch after batch. That story I will tell you in the next post. It was this batch of oatmeal raisin cookies which saved us and led to the source of the problem. The wrong oven. As in our new toaster oven which due to its newness or something was blaring off heat at 400F when we set the temp at 350F. No doubt the cookies crumbled or rather burned. The oatmeal raisin cookies being larger in number were baked in the larger, regular oven and that seemed to solve all our troubles.



Though I must say here that we had many self-doubts while beating the butter and sugar, while mixing the flour with the butter and sugar, while adding the oats at which point I asked the husband-man to come and lend his expert hand and also Alton Brown-esque knowledge. He said something about the dough not having enough elasticity.

Loads of crap.

They made pretty good, golden colored oatmeal cookies. They were thick and chewy. They did not taste as good as a Pepperidge Farm Soft-baked oatmeal raisin cookies but then I am partial to soft-baked cookies and I have not grown up with oatmeal cookies to compare against. Given that this recipe was from Smitten Kitchen and looked like hers , I am sure this is how oatmeal cookies should be. BigSis loved and ate many. LS merely liked and used them to draw imperfect circles.





Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Original Recipe

AP Flour -- 3/4th Cup
Baking Soda -- 1/2 tsp

Salt -- 1/4th tsp

Quaker Oats -- 1&1/2 cup

Butter -- 1 stick (at room temperature. This is important)
Egg -- 1 large (at room temp)
Brown Sugar -- 1/3 Cup
Regular White Sugar -- 1/3 Cup
Vanilla Extract -- 1 tsp

Raisins -- 1/2 cup

* I added about 1/4th cup of chocolate chips though the recipe did not ask for it


1. In a bowl whisk together the AP Flour, baking soda and salt.

2. In a wide mouthed bowl cream together the butter and sugar. I used my hand mixer for this which I am not very prone to use. Once the butter and sugar have come together to a creamy consistency and tastes smooth and sweet add the egg. Now beat again until you get a smooth end result.

3. To the wet ingredients aka butter+sugar+egg, add the flour mix gradually. I mixed with a rubber spatula until the flour blended into the buttery goodness

4. By this time the dough was pretty tight and it seemed impossible for 1& 1/2 cup of oat to mix into it. But voila !!! As you mix the oat in with the spatula it does all go in. Be patient. Stir in the raisins next. And the chocolate chips if using.

5.Chill the dough for half hour.

6. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Meanwhile scoop out portions of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Don't crowd them and give them enough space, for those blobs will expand.

7. Bake them for 10-12 minutes. Now this time will totally depend on your oven. In my larger regular oven by 12 minutes the cookies started having a golden edge. However in my new toaster oven, by 8-9 minutes the edges were getting burned.

8. Take out the cookies when the edges are golden but the center is still a tad soft. As Smitten Kitchen's Deb says, let them remain on the hot cookie sheet for 5 mins. Only after that cool them in a rack.

These oatmeal raisin cookies were thick, chewy, very oatmeal-y. The two adults and the almost 9 year old loved it. The four year old was more in love with the baking process than the cookie itself.

40 comments:

  1. i have a love-hate relationship with raisins but this is probably one of the few ways i can digest it (literally!)

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    Replies
    1. I like raisins but never though about the raisins separately in this cookie :) I also added chocolate chips

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  2. What an interesting post! Visualizing "grandmothers in Malda cooking tarts or vanilla bean cookies" made me laugh so hard. I am going to try baking your inglish cookie. Also, your bengali recipes are all so good, not ordinary at all.

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    1. Ahem but if grandmothers in Malda are making tarts, then this is definitely ordinary

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  3. Very nice and interesting post....

    Did you get a chance to check the website www.ezedcal.com/ta to manage editorial calendar easily for your blog and show your editorial calendar in your blog easily (optional)
    Thanks & Regards
    Malar

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  4. Super-like this post :)

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  5. You made me look up Patuli and Madhyamgram! Now I want to visit there, don't ask me why, they look and sound like any other crowded dusty suburb!

    And oh those bloomers! {shudder}





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless you are doing research on crowded dusty suburbs. Yes, and first time the school said we should get navy colored a particular kind of bloomers only, my poor mom was really harassed finding them in the right store which at least understood what "bloomers" were.

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  6. Sandeepadi
    Khujle otameal-raisin cookieser recipe onek blog-e pawa jay (though I myself love Smitten Kitchen too) kintu kopir-data charchori, bandhakopir ghonto egulo khub kom bloge eto shundor kore describe kora thaake. Ashakori eta puropuri baad debe na... Tomar resolution-ta New Year Resolution na (shudhu Holiday season resolution dekhe khub khushi holam ;)

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays.
    Sutapa :)

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    Replies
    1. Na,na pagol. Ota baad dile khabo ki ? Cookie kheye ki jobon katabo naki ? Tobe shobai dekhi ei shob cokkie-tokkie khub kore tai ektu praane ichche jaglo

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  7. Love this cookies, crunchy munchy cookies looks marvellous.

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  8. I love your blog. These are delicious! My personal innovation is to use sultana raisins and butterscotch chips. They echo the brown sugar and buttery flavor. really good.

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    Replies
    1. Mmmmm butterscotch chips. Great idea Laurie. Thanks

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  9. I love you cookies, I'm on the lower side to use raisins for its juicy tenderness with crunchy cookies. Can we use dried cranberries instead of raisins?

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, why not ? Also add butterscotch chips as Laurie above said or chocolate chips like I did

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  10. Sandeepa,

    Being so far away from home where cookies and tarts are so easily available in a grocery store, i really look forward to your bong recipes...cause that is what i miss and crave so much. Having said that when my friends here boast of their baking skills i feel a little left out so thank you for also touching upon the "Inglish" dishes this december, will surely try them and hopefully feel a part of the crowd who bake pies and tarts and cookies so well.

    Thank You,
    B

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    Replies
    1. Arrre I am an awful baker. Don't know why I fail so bad. Guess I have this nature to not follow rules which doesn't help in baking.

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  11. Your post is so funny. I would like to cook more firingee food as well, but I feel more comfortable cooking 'unadulterated bong food'. I am trying to start cooking more diverse food but no resolution yet.

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    1. Resolutions are to be broken so you know what might happen :) But I hope , I do learn something along the way

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  12. Ooh, I do like this resolution of yours! The selfish me hopes you post many non-sweet, non-baking Inglish stuff this month :) I like the pic of BS picking up the cookie

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    Replies
    1. No word verifying nor moderation. How are you keeping spammers at bay, San?

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    2. Vani, I noticed that spammers usually spam my older posts. So I have set up e-mail notification for posts which are a week old. That way when I get those comments I label them as "Spam" but don't have to be bothered with comments on current post.
      Try that. Word Verif and captcha is a pain

      Delete
    3. Will try, thanks. Yeah, that captcha thing is a pain for sure. Cannot even make out sometimes what those twisted things are.

      Delete
  13. Ok next is risotto or osso bucco? I never baked the oatmeal one, like how LS used those cookies :)

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    Replies
    1. that will take some time to arrive at ;-)

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  14. Nice resolution Sandeepa. I made a similar one but if I bake once during this month will consider that a success but I have been collecting all the cake and cookie recipes that every magazine and newspaper puts out.

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    1. Oh,my today's attempt was a failure. I cannot do sweet anymore, savory cookies it has to be

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  15. No way ..please dont stop the bong recipes. Yours is the blog that is training me in the art of cooking homemade food and so far it is working great! As of inglish recipes, theres a whole bunch going around and honestly, after staying here for 5 years as a grad student, I already feel the absence of good food (this part of the world does not care about good food...I mean barbecue is no food?)...your blog stands out in its simple and yet exotic flavors of delicious homemade food. Slurp! Slurp!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks and all and no way am I going to stop writing about what we eat at home, which turns out to be Bengali and Indian food. I love eating different cuisines when eating out but not too adventurous at home

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  16. I hardly knew even about kerala dishes and there are so many Indian dishes i only started knowing after blogging , delicious looking cookies i love that mugs too.

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  17. You are so funny Sandeepa. Made me laugh so much .Cant wait for your book! And Smitten Kitchen cookies are fabulous.

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  18. Excellent way of telling, and nice article to take
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    ReplyDelete
  19. Uhuh I too nave not used raisins in cookies yet. Who says that who are not good in baking? And please Sandeepa we all love your blog for your story narration and basic bangali der khabar so think about it...

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  20. I love oatmeal raisin cookies and yours look scrumptious. Looking forward to your risotto and osso bucco too :) and cheers for 2013!

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  21. We come to your blog because of all those non glamourous recipes! Cookie and all can be found in any other blog. Ilish macher tauk wouldn't be found anywhere else!

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  22. Fun post. You should re-name the cookie as Inglish-Vinglish cookie. Wish you and your family Happy Holidays in your lovely new abode.

    Best,
    SD from SF

    PS: Scott's book is already in #7th position and this is pre-release. When is yours coming out?

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  23. You can have your fun with Ingligh Vinglish recipes, but if you won't give me the tips on the Bong-Wong dishes, where would I find them...! I mean ofcourse nowdays if I look up charchari I'd probably get hundreds of recipes back, but who'd paint me the lifelike background of the sunny summer day, the banyan tree and the favorite arm chair on which you sat and watched your grandmom and mom make it! Love your Bong recipes and Bong-dipped (read oozing :-) ) sentiments of your blog-stories! Keep writing!! :-)

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  24. I love love love Raisins ....and Oatmeal cookies are my fav. Love the post :)

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