Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Oatmeal Raisin Pecan Cookies

Every morning that my little girl wakes up, she is hungry. No hellos, good mornings or other greeting. 'num num? num num?!' she desperately calls out. To an outsider it may appear that we never feed her, when its actually quite the opposite. A big request lately that has been accompanying the num nums is 'cookie?' The fact that she always has this forlorn tone doesn't help her seem any less pitiful. So yesterday I finally kowtowed to her request, and I definitely got the sense from her that she knew this was inevitable. 

I don't know why oatmeal raisin cookies seem like a 'healthy' cookie option to me. There's the same amount of sugar and butter, yet the subtle bump in nutritional value from the oatmeal and raisins gets me every time. I adore nuts in my oatmeal cookies, so pecans were a must. I wanted to try something else besides cinnamon, and some ground cardamom found its way in there too. Just adding a pinch of it adds this wonderfully subtle floral note to the cookie. 

INGREDIENTS

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cardamom
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups pecans, almonds or walnuts coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325*. Ensure the racks are in the middle 2 slots in the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpat. 

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cardamom in a medium bowl and stir well with a whisk. Set aside.

Mix the butter and sugars on medium high speed in a standing mixer till light and fluffy, about 3 - 6 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer on medium, ensuring the first is fully incorporated before adding the second. Scrape the bowl a couple times during these additions. 

Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low till just incorporated. Turn off the mixer and add the nuts, oats and raisins. Mix till just combined.

Measure out the dough into 1/4 cup increments and lightly roll into a ball. Place on lined cookie sheets and flatten slightly with palm. Bake for 22 - 25 minutes, 2 sheets at a time, rotating them on the racks and turning sheets 180* halfway through cooking time. When done, cookies should be lightly golden brown at the edges and set, but still look soft and squidgy in the center. 

Remove from oven and let the cookies cool on the sheets for 10 minutes. Place the cookies on cooling racks to finish cooling. These cookies are good warm, but even better the 2nd day if stored in an air tight glass container. Yields about 20 cookies.

Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen

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