The beginning of a new school year is just around the corner--I know this because I observed children and their moms, going up and down the aisles at Target, with long supply lists, filling their carts. As we say, "back in my day," our lists weren't quite as long, but I loved buying new pencils, crayons, a notebook and paper in anticipation of the first day of school. My other anticipation was the cookies my mother would bake for our lunches. The Top Four: Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Snickerdoodles and Peanut Butter cookies had me looking forward to lunch time, along with my peanut butter and jam (or pickle) sandwiches. LOL!
Admittedly, my mother's recipes for oatmeal cookies came off the back of the Quaker Oatmeal container and the chocolate chip cookies, off the bag of Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, but they were homemade, nonetheless, and full of love. I have combined these two cookie flavors and memories to come up with my own version of a Chocolate Chip~Raisin Oatmeal Cookie.
The idea first came to me when we lived in Katonah, New York. We rented a home in-town when we relocated to New York from Massachusetts and there was a quaint general store I could walk to with unusual kitchen supplies and a bakery counter. In the fall (and winter) I'd walk down to get a mug of hot cider with one of their Oatmeal/Dried Dark Cherry Cookies and even the coldest day seem to warm up. Adding bittersweet chocolate chips was my way of taking the experience one step further! The Harlem-Line train station was near the general store and every time our daughter, Erin came out from the city to stay for the weekend, we'd head first to the general store to grab a cookie or two and a mug of cider.
Over the last few years, and especially after our daughter Kelly passed away, I've become a stickler for baking with organic products when available. This recipe is no different with the oatmeal, butter, and raisins/currants all having the organic seal.
And, if you need to make these gluten-free, but hate making your own mix, King Arthur Flour packages a Gluten-Free Brown Rice Flour that substitutes perfectly for the two cups of all-purpose.
Bittersweet Chocolate Chip~Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (I used a European butter with a 85% butter fat content) room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. Vanilla Paste or 1 T Vanilla extract + 1 Vanilla bean, scraped
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 cups Organic Old-Fashioned Oatmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup raisins (or a combination of raisins and currants, or dried cherries or dried cranberries)
2 cups Bittersweet chocolate chips (or Semi-Sweet)
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Measure dried fruit, then cover with water and microwave for 1 minute/35 seconds. Remove and let set while you mix up the dough.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, cream the butter well. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix on medium speed to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix again.
Add the dry ingredients and with the mixer on medium, combine thoroughly. Add the drained raisins/currants and the chocolate chips and mix just until combined.
Use a 1/4-cup scoop to drop cookies onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly press tops of the cookies with your finger tips.
Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pan after 6 minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, pull a cookie apart and drool over the decadent chocolate, oozing out and when you take that first bite, the combination of sweet fruit, nutty-ness of oatmeal and chocolate might even make you forget the downward spin of the stock market yesterday...or not.
Whether your children attend public/private schools or are home-schooled, these cookies will put big smiles on their faces. I know my daughters loved home baked cookies as much as I did and by the time they went to school, they were asking for extras to share with their friends who weren't quite as lucky! Emily...I hope your husband finds these pretty irresistible too. Enjoy!