Monday, June 7, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

While walking down the hallway at work one day, I was overcome by an intense need for oatmeal raisin cookies - really good ones.  Alas, all I could find was an apple (South Beach friendly!) and a desire to hunt down some healthy-ish recipes for future use.
I found two that piqued my interest, and I think some combination of them would be perfect.  I'm debating trying each recipe as is to figure things out, or just going for it and doing what I think will work (and if you know me, you know I'll do the latter).  See, the big difference I noticed was milk vs applesauce.  A quick trip over to Calorie King (a favorite site of mine - especially if you're counting) proved my hunch.  1/4 c of lowfat milk is 26 cal with oh, we'll say 1 g fat.  1/4 c of unsweetened applesauce is 49 cal with no-ish fat.  I think swapping 1 g of fat for 23 calories makes sense, but I'm not baking expert.
Plus, I know I can't possibly make these cookies without things like cinnamon (what the hell?!), so yes, a combination is required.

Here is the plan:
1 cup whole wheat flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or Splenda)
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar (the Splenda stuff if you're following)
1 large egg
1/4 cup 1% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup dark raisins (or dried cranberries)

Preaheat oven to 375 and prep baking sheets with parchment or silpat.
Sift dry flour, baking powder & soda, and salt together into a small bowl.
In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar, then add the egg, milk, vanilla & cinnamon.
Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture bit by bit; then fold in the oats and raisins.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the baking sheets, and bake for 8-12 minutes (keep an eye on them!).
Cool on a wire rack.

The worry is over the oats.  One recipe calls for quick cooking, the other cautions against using instant.  I don't know my oats from a hole in the ground, so luckily the nice folks over at Cook's Thesaurus taught me that:
quick oats = quick-cooking oats = quick oatmeal = quick-cooking oatmeal = easy oats       
These are thin flakes of oatmeal that cook up in about three or four minutes.  They're a good choice for oatmeal cookies.   Substitutes:  rolled oats (More nutritious and chewy, takes longer to cook. If substituting rolled oats for quick oats in a cookie recipe, consider refrigerating the dough for 20 minutes before baking-- otherwise the cookies may become too flat and thin)

Aside from type of oat concerns, one recipe calls for 2 1/4 c, the other for only 1 1/3.  HOW MANY OATS WILL IT TAKE?!  I know that mares eat oats, and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy (thanks Grandpa!), but not how many oats I should put into my cookies.  I think I'll start with 1 1/2 cups and see what my dough looks like and tweak from there.  But then again, I do NOT understand baking and that might be an absolutely horrible idea.  Especially since the more oat recipe has less baking powder, and the less oat recipe has more baking powder and OMG PANIC ATTACK.
Okay, deep breath, let me think this through.  If I use whole wheat flour, I think I will definitely need more lift so I might need some additional leavening from the powder and will have to add more.

They turned out a bit more like oat balls than oat cookies, and they're pretty dry - but they taste darn good.  More tweaking is clearly needed.

Who is going to eat these sad little bastardizations until I find a recipe that works?!

** thoughts: add more butter or milk, or a tbsp or two of water & brown sugar to increase moisture content and flattenability of finished cookies.
A handy reference in the science played by each ingredient.


Quinn said...

No cinnamon! What the H? Yum. Cooookie! That is all.

Amanda said...

Quinn she was looking out for me since she knows I'm her biggest blog fan and I'm allergic to cinnamon.

ALSO, there is NOTHING worse than reaching for what you think is a chocolate chip cookie and finding out it's really an oatmeal raisin cookie.