Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Big Batch Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

It's a big week for baking here. I'm contibuting to the local Christmas Market, so I'm up to my eyeballs in cookies doughs and tart shells. Tomorrow, we're getting out the spritz gun.

It's also our turn to bake cookies for The Night Ministry. I wrote about this wonderful group awhile back, and even though it was a busy week, I knew I needed to add this to my baking list. As to the cookie, I wanted to make something hearty and full of flavor, so I worked up a chewy oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookie. I love the tart sweetness of dried cranberries, so I added those too. This makes a big batch of dough (that's the point), so you can bake some, and freeze the rest for another time. Or drop some cookies off at your local shelter.

Baker's Notes: this recipe is combination of several, and I increased the yield to put it in the "Big Batch" category. I try to plan ahead, I think this type of dough benefits from several hours in the fridge, the flavors are stronger somehow. You can use a combination of rolled and quick oats as you prefer, I was going for a hearty texture. Next time, I may use equal parts raisins and dried cranberries, it just depends on what's on hand.

Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 cups (18 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips  
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Add oats, raisins, dried cranberries and chocolate chips; mix until just combined. I (just) managed this in my stand mixer, but if you feel yours is too full, dump the dough into a larger bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, or pack into a storage container and chill, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 375°, or 350° convection. Drop heaping tablespoons or scoops of batter, about 1½ inches apart, onto baking sheets lined with parchment or silpats. If your batter is cold, press down on each mound with the bottom of a glass, or your impeccably clean hand. Bake until cookies have spread and are golden brown and soft to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 90 medium cookies.

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