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Chewy Oatmeal, Carrot and Raisin Cookies

Posted Aug 27 2012 3:03pm
I am perpetually on a hunt for the ideal oatmeal cookie.  Soft, chewy, full of raisins, crispy on the outside. My bookshelf is flooded with a collection of thick chewy cookie recipes, the ones that taste remarkably like a granola bar and less like a cookie. The oatmeal cookie is something that I find extremely challenging. Before this recipe, I had been experimenting with a few others. In one particular attempt, I tried to leave out the flour and add extra oats, eventually trying to produce a cookie that is less dense, thinner, and crispier. The butter must have been a tad too warm, because after 5 minutes in the oven, my cookies had melted into a pool of butter and sugar with some scattered bits of oats. Conversely, I tried a recipe in which I though would result in a soft, crisp, thin cookie, but instead my cookies turned out too thick and overly chewy, a small bite of regret. 

In an attempt to rectify my situation, I turned to Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen . She has an extraordinary gift when it comes to recipe development. Never have I been let down by her carefully thought out recipes. I searched her site for oatmeal cookies, and sure enough, we were on the same quest. To find that perfect oatmeal cookie. She started with the recipe on the side of the Quaker oats tin, and modified it to her own tastes. I did the same, only modifying her modified recipe. 
For my version of Deb's cookies, I added 1/2 cup of grated carrots, a few more raisins, and flax seeds. Left out the walnuts, because quite frankly, I am a no-nuts in my cookie kinda girl. I used half white and half brown sugar and increased the amount by 1/3 cup, making them a tad bit sweeter. 
I was certain that these cookies would come out a bit thicker if the dough was chilled before baking, therefore baking them immediately while the butter is still at room temperature, will help them spread out onto the pan. Chilling the dough firms up the butter, resulting in a thicker cookie as it supports the structure.  If this is how you prefer your cookies, than I suggest the later. I baked them on the lower side, 10 minutes in our new oven. They would have likely taken longer in my previous one, so be careful when you bake. Oven temperatures vary widely, and what works for one, may not for another. Watching in anticipation, the cookies melted and spread. The corners of my mouth rose to form a small smile. The cookies edges started to brown, as I stared through the glass like a small child, barely containing my excitement. I was progressively getting more nervous as the timer moved closer 10, not knowing when to remove them from the oven, being a relatively new introduction to my life (this particular oven). I removed the cookies, let them cool, and then transferred to a wire rack. One bite, as I sunk my teeth into the soft chewy center, they tasted wonderful. If you are looking for something a bit healthier accompanied with a guilt-free eating enjoyment when you scarf down 3 in a row, this is the perfect recipe. I've been enjoying a few for breakfast in the morning with my cup of coffee. 
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