Monday, April 1, 2013

The Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Previously on The Quest for the Perfect Oatmeal Cookie:

     I have done it!  After meticulously following and judging six different oatmeal raisin cookie recipes (yielding a total of about 12 dozen cookies) I am happy to announce that I have crafted the Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.  This is an oatmeal raisin cookie far more significant than any other.  They combine everything I liked about the recipes I tried.  Just take a look at it's ratings:

Name of Recipe:  The Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie (recipe by me)
Time: 1 hour 15 min (including 30 min chilling time)
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
Special Characteristics: soaks raisins; has baking soda and baking powder; uses  coarse salt and old-fashioned oats; dough is refrigerated for 30 minutes
Taste: rich dark brown sugar taste; hint of nutmeg and cinnamon; flavorful raisins; hint of salt to balance sweetness; welcoming oat flavor
Texture: soft and chewy; slightly crisp on the outside; plump, juicy raisins
Appearance: nice wrinkled edges, cracks on surface, and golden brown color
Effort: Easy, and doesn't leave a mess in your kitchen
Overall Grade:  A+

      Need I say more?  These cookies are amazing. Try making these. If you've never cared for oatmeal raisin cookies, these will change your mind.  

      I know there are a lot of recipes that profess to be "the best" or "the ultimate" but really, this recipe is more trustworthy than any of those. Why?  Well for starters, I tried and judged those recipes myself. The experience of baking all those cookies really enlightened me on what techniques and ingredients made a cookie special.  To name some: coarse salt and dark brown sugar have bolder flavors, chilling the dough makes the cookie thicker, soaking the raisins keeps them juicy, and baking powder gives the cookies nice, appealing cracks on the surface.

      You may be wondering how I came up with this almost magical formula for the best oatmeal raisin cookie.   Well, for starters I looked at the recipes I tested and saw what was common.  For example, all of the recipes had 2 eggs.  

      Then I found the ratios of some of the essential ingredients in each recipe, and I connected the ratios to certain aspects of the cookie. For instance, I saw that recipes with a higher amount of oats and lower amount of flour had more of an oat taste.  Recipes with more butter and less sugar were flatter and crispier.  More sugar means a sweeter taste.  Then, I manipulated these ratios to determine what I believed would be the ratio of ingredients in The Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  This took some calculating, but I decided on these ratios:
  • Butter to sugar:   3: 5
  • Brown sugar to white sugar:  1.5: 1
  • Flour to oats: .93: 1
  • Oats to Raisins: 1.2: 1
     After that, I just threw in some ingredients and techniques that I saw worked in other recipes.

These cookies are really easy to make, too.  

Soak some raisins in hot water.
And drain them.
Whisk together the dry ingredients. 
Cream together the butter and sugars.
Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
Stir in the dry ingredients. Don't over-mix.
Fold in the oats and raisins until evenly distributed. Chill the dough. 
Scoop the dough onto the baking sheets.
Let cool a bit and enjoy!
     I'm glad that I finally found the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.  And it feels good using my own recipe, too.  It was definitely worth going through all those recipes.  I'll probably do some test like this again sometime.  What should I test next?  Apple pie?  More cookies?  


The Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

makes 4 dozen cookies


1-3/4 cup plus 2 tbs (8.4 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher or coarse salt
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (4.8 oz) white granulated sugar
1 cup (7.2 oz) packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup raisins, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and drained


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to combine.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Mix in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.
  3. With a wooden spoon, stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Fold in the oats and raisins until evenly distributed.
  4. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Prepare baking sheets by spraying with nonstick spray or lining with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop 2 tbs of cookie dough onto the baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden and the center of the cookie is set. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool further.  

No comments:

Post a Comment