April 30 is National Oatmeal Cookie Day. (What an awesome country we have in that it has foodie "holidays"!) So, in my continuing quest for a perfect oatmeal cookie recipe, I turned to Alice Medrich's latest cookbook, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies, another book I want to eventually acquire but prudently borrowed from the library instead.
What caught my eye is that the recipe calls for melting the butter. That immediately made me want to make the cookies with browned butter, similar to what I did with Alton Brown's chocolate chip cookie recipe. Now that recipe has become my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies so I thought I could give Alice Medrich's recipe a boost by doing the same thing. What I also liked about all the recipes in this book is she gives the weight measurement of the ingredients as well as the more traditional volume measurements. If you have a food scale, it's better to weigh out your ingredients rather than volume measure them – it's more accurate that way.
Browned butter smells good and makes everything tastes so much better. Just mixing this cookie dough together was an alluring experience. If I was the type of person to eat cookie dough, I could probably have downed half the batch in raw form. Fortunately, I'm not and it was easy enough to put the bowl of cookie dough in the fridge to cool, unscathed. Harder to wait overnight to bake the cookies. The dough became considerably firmer after being chilled overnight so it was a little difficult to scoop into dough balls. I'd advocate making the dough balls right after you mix the cookie dough and then chilling (not freezing) the dough balls if you want to bake them the next day. The reason for not freezing them immediately is to let the oats absorb the moisture of the dough first.
Overall, this was a good cookie. I underbaked them slightly so the edges weren't as crisp as I think they were meant to be but the middle was gooey. I liked the caramelized taste a lot from the browned butter. The cinnamon doesn't come out very much, probably because the browned butter is more prominent but I consider this another solidly good recipe from Alice Medrich.
(See next page for Browned Butter Oatmeal Cookie recipe)
Browned Butter Oatmeal Cookies
From "Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies" by Alice Medrich
2 cups (6.67 ounces) rolled oats
1/4 cup water
1-1/4 cups (5.625 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup (3.5 ounces) walnuts, chopped (I used milk chocolate chips)
1 cup (5 ounces) raisins (I used milk chocolate chips)
Place the oats in a small bowl and sprinkle with the water.
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
Cut the butter into chunks and melt in a large saucepan over medium heat. (I browned the butter and let it cool for 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients.) 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 of the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the walnuts, raisins and oats. Let the dough stand for at least 1 but preferably 2 hours or (better still) cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
For large cookies, scoop about 2 level tablespoons of dough and place the cookies about 3 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. For small cookies, scoop 1 level tablespoon of dough. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes for large cookies, 10 to 12 minutes for small cookies, or until the cookies are golden brown on top. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Cool the cookies completely before storing or stacking. May be kept in an airtight container for several days.
Carol Ramos blogs at The Pastry Chef's Baking.
Related post: Alton Brown's Chocolate Chip Cookie
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