Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pleasing the Masses

I set out to make oatmeal cookies recently for an upcoming road trip, but was unsure what I wanted to put IN the cookies. So I took an informal poll among friends -- how do you like your oatmeal cookie? Chewy or crispy? With or without nuts? Any other additions? -- and found people are very particular about their cookies. Of the 15 people that responded, three said absolutely no nuts, three more said raisins do NOT belong in cookies, two preferred them plain, no additions, and seven people were open to just about anything in their oatmeal cookies, from coconut, M&Ms, chocolate chips, even coconut and dried apricots. Chewy won hands down.

Well, my brother, who lives two states away in California, chimed in -- “I prefer oatmeal cookies over any other (hint). Raisins are okay, but I prefer chocolate chips, chewy, and never with nuts.” So I took the hint and went in search for a good chewy oatmeal cookie. And I found it at Smitten Kitchen.

I split the batch in two – half with raisins, half with chocolate chips.

First I soaked the raisins in hot water to plump them up a bit, as I generally do when I bake with raisins. Doesn’t look like it does much, but I think it helps. (I use rum when I'm making rice pudding.)

Success – chewy in the middle, slightly crispy on the edges.

I boxed up a dozen of the oatmeal-chocolate chip in a small USPS priority box and shipped them off to my little brother. And decided my preferences lean toward the more traditional (to me) oatmeal-raisin variety. (But because I can't leave well enough alone, I'd like to try these next time with chunks of dried apple.) How about you?


  1. I'm inspired by your idea of dried apples. That sounds perfect.

  2. i know whenever i put raisins or anything dried in baking you have to soak for a long time. i can't say i would want chocolate chip in oatmeal, oh well that is what makes the world go round.