Food on Friday: A raisin cravin’

By Julia Westhoff

I can’t say what it was exactly that set off my intense and immediate need for all things raisin. Raisins are a frequent flier at our house – the girls gobble them down feverishly – but I’d never really gone for them. Then one day I thought, gosh, an oatmeal raisin cookie would really hit the spot right now. So I made a batch. Then I made another, and another, and another. I experimented with recipes, finally landing on the perfect one. And I played around with the raisins, ranging from your standard small purple, to the slightly exotic golden, and eventually making my way to the glorious Jumbo Raisin Medley that I found at Trader Joe’s. It contains 3 kinds of raisins (!), all much larger than your average variety. The Jumbo Raisin Medley immediately made it on my Trader Joe’s Top 10 list (after the chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels but before the squeezable container of sweetened condensed milk). I bought four bags on the spot, and I’ve loved adding them to oatmeal, homemade trail mix, and of course, oatmeal raisin cookies.

I debated whether or not to give you yet another cookie recipe. But darn it, I couldn’t sleep at night in good conscience if I knew I was withholding it. I tinkered with the salt and butter content, as well as adding the “resting” step that I found so vital in David Lebovitz’s cookie recipes. I’ve substituted up to half of the oats with steel cut – I like the crunch that they add, but they’re good either way.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups raisins

1. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. Combine butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla and beat on high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens.
3. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture just until no flour is visible.
4. Add the oats and raisins; stir to incorporate.
5. Let dough rest in fridge overnight (recommended, but not necessary).
6. Drop about 2 tablespoons worth of dough 2-inches apart onto baking sheet (I use a Silpat sheet, you may want to grease your baking sheet otherwise).
7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 11-13 minutes (on center rack), until golden, but still moist beneath cracks on top.
8. Remove from oven; let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.