Have you ever met someone random and just felt like, “I know nothing about you, and I have no context for who you are or where you are from, and it just feels like a huge effort to get to know you”? Mostly, I am thinking about people that you pass on the street or wherever. Despite your best attempts to avoid eye contact, you find yourself embroiled in a conversation with some weird dude because you’re too polite to be like, “Don’t talk to me, I’m just trying to find the reduced sodium black beans on sale, and I will never see you again, so I don’t want to make small talk.”
At first glance, this recipe might be one that leads you to believe you will have to expound massive effort to get to know these oatmeal cookies. I mean, you have to grind the raisins into a paste? That seems like an unnecessary and annoying step to have to take. Browning the butter? Tedious, tedious. But let me assure you. All of the steps are worth it. These cookies were the best cookie to have come out of my kitchen in ages, a glorious twist on an old classic that is insane with a coffee and won’t leave you saying, “So. That was a raisin.” As we know many average oatmeal raisin cookies (or, heaven forbid, compromised carrot cakes) will tell you, because on the real, regular oatmeal raisin cookies can be so hit or miss, mostly due to the raisins. Who is telling who what in the last two sentences?
The thing is, these cookies are not out of context like street people. They are just familiar enough that after trying one, you’ll say, “Oh yes, it’s like I’ve known you all along!” And you’ll be the best of friends. I followed the suggestions made on the original recipe, adding a bit of instant espresso powder and some quick oats. I didn’t do a recipe comparison or anything, because why waste my time on the old version when I can just profit off of someone else who has produced the new and improved version?
For once, I baked these appropriately, and they were not so underbaked that they were falling apart. I loved the texture and all of the complexity of flavor that the espresso adds. Make sure to scrape all the brown bits from the brown butter into the batter. This is key.
The ultimate cookie for coffee lovers, raisin haters and the random dudes on the street.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Adapted from Food52
1 cup golden raisins (or dark raisins)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup quick oats or oat bran (I pulsed up some old fashioned oats in the blender until the consistency was like quick oats)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso
sugar for rolling (optional, I didn’t do this)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make the raisin paste: Toss raisins with 2 tablespoons of the flour. Grind in a food processor with a blade attachment until the raisins form a very thick paste and come together in a ball. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender.
Brown the butter in a pan with a light bottom, swirling occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn. When you begin to see the bottom of the pan becoming browned, remove from heat. Add sugar, vanilla extract, and browned butter (including all the browned solids) to a bowl and mix using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer on medium speed. Mix for about three minutes. Add eggs and continue to mix on medium speed until the mixture comes together. When the mixture appears homogeneous, add raisin paste and mix until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and espresso powder. With the mixer on low speed, mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in 2 additions, until there is no flour visible.
Roll small pieces of dough into balls slightly smaller than a ping pong ball. If using, roll the balls in a dish of sugar. Place balls on the lined baking sheet, making sure they are about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are crinkly on top and just begin to turn golden brown. Another good way of testing is to lift a corner of the cookie, if it bends slightly and reforms when let go, they are done. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack. Store in a airtight container for up to one and a half weeks.