While I am sick of the cold weather, snow days are definitely a major perk of living in New England. I have to say I still get just as excited for a snow day as I did when I was six-years-old. There is just nothing better than having an excuse to stay in my pajamas all day in the middle of the week. During the snow day this past Wednesday I had to bake. I just couldn’t help myself. Baking is a mandatory snow day activity in my opinion. Since I seem to forget about my cookbooks when looking for recipes, I decided to open some up and pick a recipe I had dog-eared awhile back.
I got Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery cookbook as a gift a year or two ago and so far I have only had a chance to make a couple of his recipes. If you haven’t seen it, the cookbook is amazing and features huge pictures of mouth watering breads and desserts. I have read a lot about the bakery’s fantastic oatmeal raisin cookies, but forgot about them. When I happened upon that page in the book, I immediately knew what I wanted to make. The only problem was that we were out of brown sugar and there was 10+ inches of snow outside. I wasn’t ready to give up on this recipe, so I tried making my own brown sugar. I mixed 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1 Tablespoon of molasses until they were thoroughly combined and it worked! I was really skeptical, but the cookies came out great and I couldn’t tell the difference. This is definitely an awesome trick if you ever run out of brown sugar.
When it comes to oatmeal raisin cookies, people are definitely divided. It seems that you either love them or hate them. If you are not a fan, this recipe may change your opinion. I have always used the recipe that comes on the Quaker Oats box and it is good, but Keller’s oatmeal raisin cookies are the best in my opinion. The cookies have the perfect golden crunchy exterior with a soft interior and raisins in every bite. Since Keller really stresses the importance of weighing ingredients in his cookbook, I chose to follow his method. If you don’t own a kitchen scale, just use the other measurements that I provided below and it should work just fine.
I love a good oatmeal raisin cookie almost as much as a chocolate chip cookie, so I am glad that I found a new favorite recipe. While many of the recipes in this cookbook are pretty involved, this one is fairly simple and easy to follow. I know I will keep coming back to this recipe again and again. Let me know what you think if you give these a try!
The BEST Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Yield: A dozen 3.5″ cookies
144 grams (1 cup + 1 tsp.) all-purpose flour
7.7 grams (1 Tbsp.) ground cinnamon
7.4 grams (1 1/2 tsp.) baking soda
3.6 grams (1 1/4 tsp.) kosher salt
5.5 oz (11 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, room temperature
140 grams (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
69 grams (5 1/2 Tbsp.) granulated sugar
62 grams eggs, about 2 large eggs, or 1/4 cup
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 vanilla beans
155 grams (2 cups) old-fashioned oats
156 grams (1 cup) raisins*
*I used only dark raisins, but you can use a mix of golden and dark if you prefer. Thomas Keller recommends soaking the raisins in hot water for 30 minutes and then drying them thoroughly before using them. This plumps them up before adding them to your dough.
Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugars, breaking up any lumps. Cream the butter until it is pale and fluffy using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the sugars and beat for 3-4 minutes at medium-high speed.
Split the vanilla beans open and scrape the seeds out using a knife. Add the vanilla extract and seeds to the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix on low speed until incorporated.
Add the flour mixture in two additions, while the mixer is at low speed. Then stir in the oats and raisins, just until incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Take the dough out of the fridge and let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Then place them on two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Place on a cooling rack and store in an airtight container once cool.
Source: Adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel