Soft and Chewy Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

These are perfect for a lunch box, but irresistible right out of the oven.

Soft and Chewy Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup raisins

2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, diced fine

1 tablespoon candied orange peel, diced fine

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. In a separate large bowl combine the oats, flour, wheat germ (you could also do 1/4 cup wheat germ and a 1/4 cup ground flax-seed meal), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt

3. Combine butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

4. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low to add the oats and other dry ingredients. Do not over mix (the more you mix the more you are developing gluten in the flour… this does not make for a tender delicious cookie).

5. Turn the mixer off and stir in the raisins, ginger and orange peel with a sturdy wooden spoon or spatula.

6. Using a scoop or two spoons like my Mom used to do it, make large drops of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches big. Give them plenty of room on the baking sheet.

7. Bake about 14 minutes until the edges are golden brown and set. Because they will continue to cook even once you take them out of the oven, they will look a little underdone at first. This is what makes them chewy rather than crisp. Let them cool about 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a rack. Be sure to eat one right out of the oven with a glass of cold milk.

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