Spectacularly Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

IMG_9614First of all, let it be known to one and all that I am not a food blogger. There are somewhere in the ballpark of a gazillion food bloggers out there who do an amazing job and have incredible skills both in the kitchen and in writing and in photographing their food…

…and I am not one of them.

I do, however, love to bake. This week when I mentioned these cookies on Facebook I had a hilariously disproportionate response to them—a response that was driven into two distinct camps:

A) OH, MY GOD, I LOVE OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES THEY ARE THE BEST THING SINCE A SHIRTLESS JASON MOMOA WALKED OUT OF THE OCEAN.

or,

B) OH, MY GOD, I DETEST OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES THEY ARE THE WORST THING SINCE CROCS.

IMG_9615A quick word to those of you who have deep-rooted trust issues concerning raisins: first of all, let’s just acknowledge that if this is your big stumbling block in life, you’ve had it pretty good so far. Secondly, those sweet, little wrinkled nuggets of deliciousness are substitutable. Instead of raisins, toss in chocolate chips. Or, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. Or, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Or, if you want to go with something fruity instead of decadent, use cranberries (or, cranberries and white chocolate chips). Or dried, chopped apricots (or dried chopped mango, or papaya). What I’m saying here is that this recipe is made to modify.

Also, this recipe was sort of a happy accident. I had my mom’s recipe and some ideas that I found online for making them chewy, and then I didn’t have all the ingredients I needed, and then I flat-out forgot some ingredients (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Whoops!), so…

Yeah. In my kitchen, improvisation (and apparently forgetfulness) happens.

Luckily, it was a success. I had to fend off the hordes in order to have just three left to photograph, and I have one kid who is trying to bargain his way into me making them every damn day. So I salute you, serendipity, for tinkering in the kitchen with me, and with my gratitude, dive into the ingredient list.

Ingredients (in order of use):

1 C. butter, room temp

1 C. brown dark brown sugar

1/2 C. granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 T. pear glaze*

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. baking soda

1 3/4 C. flour

3 C. old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 C. Raisins (or whatever)

*You could use molasses here, or maple syrup. Honestly, I kinda want to try peanut butter (smooth, and maybe blended with half the butter first?). I have a pantry full of pear glaze that I canned last summer, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Get Down to Business:

Whip the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping the bowl as you need. Next, the vanilla. Next, the pear glaze. Beat until it’s nice and goopy (technical word. Impressive, I know). Work your way down the rest of the recipe, adding one ingredient at a time until incorporated. You’ll probably want to fold in the raisins with a rubber spatula.

Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Using your hands, roll dough into balls, pop back into the fridge for fifteen minutes (the colder the dough is going into the oven, the softer the cookie will be). Bake at 350 degrees (be sure to preheat oven) for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack. 

Voila! Your cookies are done! With our family of six they were pretty much gone in less time than it took me to make them, but it was totally worth it. I hope you try ’em, and love ’em!

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TRUE STORY: Baking is Magic

Myndi’s Magical Blueberry Lemon Scones. They’re my favorite scone. They’re the only scone, really. ONE SCONE TO RULE THEM ALL AND IN THE DARKNESS MAKE THEM FAT AND HAPPY.

Ahem.

IMG_4607I thought you might like the recipe. Because I mean, look at this. Holy. Freaking. Yum.

(And also because I’m a lazy blogger and recipes are an easy out.)

Couple things: I love using buttermilk in this recipe. It gives it a lovely twang. And sometimes I substitute limes for lemons because I’M WILD LIKE THAT. Also? One cup blueberries? Yeah, maybe go ahead and toss a few more in there. #nosuchthingastoomanyblueberries

Seriously, though. Go make these, brew a fresh pot of coffee, and enjoy!

MYNDI’S MAGICAL BLUEBERRY LEMON SCONES

  • 2 C. Flour
  • 1/4 Sugar (or honey)
  • 1 T. Baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 6 T Butter
  • 1/2 C. Milk (I ❤ using buttermilk, but don’t always have it on hand)
  • 1/4 C. lemon juice (I prefer fresh, but pre-squeezed is fine, too)
  • 2 T. Lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C. fresh blueberries (but I always stub my toe here)

HERE’S WHAT TO DO:

Pre-heat that oven. 400 degrees, thank you. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, set it aside.

Toss your dry ingredients into a bowl (I use my stand mixer…which actually lost a screw the last time I used it but still seems to be working fine. I suppose that’s a bunny-trail story for another day…). Mix them with a whisk so everything is incorporated.

Cut the butter into small pieces and put on top of the dry ingredients. Mix on low speeds with your paddle attachment until your dough is loads of little pieces.

Add your wet ingredients (not the blueberries, not yet!) and mix until just incorporated. This is a quick-bread, so you don’t want to over do it or your end result will be rock-like. 🙂

Flour a flat surface and turn your dough out onto it. Fold the blueberries into the dough by hand. Some will squish. That’s okay.

Once the blueberries are in, you can either form the dough into a circle or rectangle (use your hands. A roller will squish it too much). If you choose the circle shape, cut it like a pie into triangles. If you do the rectangle, make triangles by cutting off the end of the dough, and then cutting that portion at an angle (that might be the clumsiest way to describe what I mean). I use a pizza cutter for this task.

Put them on your baking tray a couple inches apart and bake ’em for 17-ish minutes. You want them to be golden brown.

Pull ’em out and glaze those delish heavenly triangles with THIS:

MYNDI’S MAGICAL LEMON (or lime) GLAZE:

  • 1/2 C Powdered sugar
  • 1 T Tablespoon lemon juice
  • A pinch (or more) of lemon zest
  • (If you used limes for the scones, then use limes here, too)

Then eat! 🙂

TRUE STORY: Baking is Magic

As always, loads of love,

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p.s. You should probably wear this while you’re baking.

 

EAT IT: Pie to Die For

Last autumn I learned something new about my dad: he loves coconut cream pie. How I’d gone 35 years without knowing this little fact (especially when one of my favorite things to do is bake him goodies) is beyond me. I made it my mission to find a really great recipe – preferably meringue-free – and bring it to our Thanksgiving feast (along with his other favorite pie, pecan).

You guys, listen up. I have never liked coconut cream pie (or pecan for that matter). Sweetened coconut tastes weird to me and ugh, it’s so stringy. So when I stumbled on this recipe from Carina at Today’s Mama, I honestly didn’t think I’d dig it. In fact, I didn’t even try a bite of it until after I’d heard a gazillion compliments and saw that the pie was nearly gone. This pie isn’t good. It isn’t great, it isn’t divine, it isn’t lovely, it isn’t swoon-worthy.

THIS PIE IS THE KIND OF PIE WARS ARE STARTED OVER – EPIC WARS THAT BARDS THE WORLD OVER SING ABOUT CENTURIES LATER. THIS PIE IS THE PIE THAT ENDS ALL PIES.

A couple of things make all the difference. Finely shredded un-sweetened coconut. Coconut milk. And instead of toasting my own coconut for the top (and this is the only departure I made from her recipe), I used Dang Toasted Coconut Chips (which are utterly divine and ought to be a regular part of your snack-time repertoire).

Normally if I use a recipe and make a bunch of changes to it, I’ll just re-type the recipe here and link to the original, but I’m telling you this recipe is perfect as it is. Click on over to Carina’s, give this pie a try (poet, didn’t know it, yadda, yadda). You’ll totally be so so so so glad you did.

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