On Sunday night I was seized by the urge to bake a version of these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Bon Appétit Magazine. I wasn’t craving cookies, actually I didn’t have any intention of eating the cookies – I just really wanted to cook something new. And this cookie recipe had been haunting me for a few days.
And thus we’ve arrived at the crux of the problem. The reason I have way too much food in my house for a single girl. (Seriously, in case of apocalypse, everyone should assemble at my house and I can keep us alive) And the reason I should really change my career to something food-related. So that I don’t bake two dozen cookies on a Sunday evening for no reason at all.
Luckily, I found a solution that allowed me to bake cookies, and keep myself from having two dozen cookies around the house in need of a home. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
First off, I pulled up a copy of the recipe. Why is it cookie recipes always make so many damn cookies? The original recipe says it makes 4 dozen. I can’t think of many circumstances when I would need 4 dozen cookies – that’s just excessive. So I cut the recipe in half. Which of course means the entire time I’m cooking I have to re-calculate the recipe and constantly remind myself not to put in the original amounts. Unfortunately, I’m usually singing and dancing around my kitchen in a very distracted manner and forget and end up putting in twice as much butter as necessary or something to that effect. But this time I think I came through un-scathed. Who knows? I guess there’s a possibility that I accidently doubled the baking powder at some point but the cookies turned out okay, so I’m not going to question them.
The original recipe called for just raisins, but I didn’t have any raisins. Plus I find it fundamentally odd when people over the age of 4 eat raisins. It may be just me, but when I picture raisins I picture those tiny snack boxes that adult fingers don’t fit in to. Plus, eating an oatmeal raisin cookie that looked like it was a chocolate chip cookie is, frankly, why I have trust issues. Which I always have on hand. So I ended up switching out the raisins for cranberries, adding walnuts (because I love cranberries and walnuts together), and dark chocolate chips because…well let’s be serious, you don’t need a reason to add dark chocolate chips. Therefore, I’m going to re-christen these cookies “Everything Cookies.” Because there’s a whole lot of everything packed into these cookies and it sounds so much better than “Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Dark Chocolate (Whole Wheat) Cookies.” Phew, that’s a mouthful! And not as tasty as a mouthful of cookie!
Makes two dozen cookies
– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– ¼ teaspoon baking powder
– ¼ teaspoon baking soda
– ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
– Pinch ground nutmeg
– ½ teaspoon cinnamon
– ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
– ½ cup light brown sugar
– ¼ cup sugar
– 2 large eggs
– ½ teaspoon vanilla
– 1 cup old fashioned oats
– ¾ cup dried fruit (I went with cranberries)
– ¼ cup chopped walnuts
– ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
Mix the first six (dry) ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. Cream the softened butter together with the brown and white sugars. This process is much easier using a mixer of some kind, but I obsessively do it by hand. I figure if I’m going to make full-on sugary, fatty cookies – I’m going to work for it. Once the butter and sugar are thoroughly combined (which is a time-consuming process), add eggs and vanilla. Then add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine. For me, this part was a little dry so I added a few splashes of milk and it came together after that. Fold in the oats, fruit, etc. It will look like this.
So here’s where my idea comes in. The original Bon Appétit article was to roll the cookie dough up into a log and then freeze it, so you have a log of frozen cookie dough ready to use when you need it. It also suggests that you can just slice off the cookies you need and bake them up, thus helping with portion control. While I like this idea, I don’t like the idea of having to slice portions off of a frozen log of cookie dough. That doesn’t sound like it would be as easy as they’re making it out to be. Sure, I’ll just saw through this log of dough and end up with perfect little round cookies and no injuries? Highly unlikely.
So I decided to roll the dough into balls and freeze on a cookie sheet, then store in a ziplock bag. Here are the cookies all rolled up and ready for the freezer.
And, after freezing for 2 and a half hours, happily hanging out in their storage bag.
Now, when I want a cookie I can just pop a cookie dough ball or two into the oven and enjoy a fresh baked cookie! That’s an idea I can get behind.
I know what you’re thinking, you didn’t read through this whole recipe not to have some cookies get baked! I figured I’d cook up two as testers so I popped them into the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Here they are:
They were delicious! They have a very trail-mix like texture to them. And they were warm and chewy. For future reference for baking the frozen balls, I would bake them at the same temperature but they might need a minute or two longer to account for the lower starting temperature of the dough. I’ll update this post once I bake one from frozen if there is a huge difference! 🙂
Update: I baked two cookies up from frozen last night at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and it worked beautifully! 🙂 it didn’t look like it was going so well for the first 5 minutes or so but after that they evened up and turned out even better than the first batch! 🙂