The perfect oatmeal cookie

Chewy and moist and yet still crispy around the edges. This may just be the perfect oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.

By , In Praise of Leftovers

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    The perfect oatmeal raisin cookie is moist with crispy edges.
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I have finally found it – the perfect, crave-it oatmeal raisin cookie. Chewy, moist, crispy around the edges. Thanks to Alice Medrich, of course. And thanks to the continuing inspiration of my big, fat cookie jar from the antique mall. It really looks forlorn when it's empty.

For his birthday, I gave my father-in-law a jar of these and told him I'd refill the jar indefinitely with whatever he wanted. I gave him lots of choices this time around – brown butter snickerdoodles, molasses, salted chocolate. But he said he wanted oatmeal raisin again. This time, I was smart and made a double batch.

My friend Emily was supposed to come up last weekend. We've been planning it for a long time and had characteristically assembled little collections of gifts and hand-me-downs to exchange. We'd been sending anticipation texts, and Loretta spruced up her room. (That's where Emily sleeps when she comes.) But it didn't work out. We are both sad, but it was the right thing. And the silver lining, as I told her, was that I still felt like she was here and that my regular life was on hold. I didn't check e-mail. I played lots of card games with Wyatt. We went to the farmers market, the Ski to Sea parade, and the street fair. I made pancakes twice for the kids and am halfway through two new books. I sorted my craft supplies, slept in, made and photographed these cookies, and put off folding the laundry. Yancey and I managed a last-minute afternoon date and I exercised every day. In short, just what I needed.

Recommended: Brownie bonanza: A collection of brownies, blondies, and bars

I hope you're able to find some time like that soon. You might even find yourself reaching for your mixing bowls.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
As with many of Alice's recipes, you've got to think ahead with these so you can refrigerate the dough. It helps the oats soak up the butter and makes all the difference. I doubled the batch and did half dark raisins and half golden raisins. You could also add nuts, other dried fruit, or a bit of flaked salt on top. Yum.

2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup water

1-1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 sticks unsalted butter

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup raisins

1. Place the oats in a small bowl and sprinkle with water. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.

2. Cut the butter into chunks and melt in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugars, vanilla, and salt. Add the egg and stir briskly. Stir in the flour mixture just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the raisins and oats. Let the dough sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

4. For large cookies, scoop about 2 level tablespoons of dough and place the cookies about 3 inches apart on the lined pans. For small cookies scoop 1 level tablespoon of dough. Bake for 12-15 minutes for large cookies and 10-12 minutes for small ones, or until the cookies are just barely golden on top and they still look a tad undone. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time.

5. Cool the cookies completely before storing or stacking. 

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