Saturday, May 10, 2014

Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange juice
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
½ bag of semi-sweet chocolate chunks
½ cup of golden raisins

Bake at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes.

Sounds easy, right? First, the carton of eggs fell out of the fridge and all but three broke. Two were only cracked, so I used those to make these cookies. I scooped out the broken shells of the others, then poured the egg goo into a Tupperware container and put it in the fridge, so very little went to waste. (Phew!)

Next, my package of brown sugar was as solid as a brick. I even had one of those clay discs in there, but I must have had to do something else with it because it only kept the sugar soft for a little while. I found a great technique online, though, if you need to get your sugar soft again to be used right away. Put the brick of brown sugar in a bowl in the microwave. Next to it, place a small bowl of water. Microwave at the default temperature for 60 seconds. Use a spoon to break up the sugar. If it isn't completely soft yet, put it in for another 30 seconds. You want to be careful because the sugar may start to melt if you zap it too long.

Once that was all taken care of, I creamed together the butter and brown and white sugars. Then I added the two eggs, mixing them in one at a time. Next the vanilla and orange juice went in followed by the baking soda, cinnamon, flour, then oats. I had to beat this with my electric hand mixer for a while before I was satisfied that it was all combined. Then, using a wooden spoon, I stirred in the chocolate pieces followed by the raisins.

Quick note on the chocolate and raisins. I only had half a bag of chocolate chunks leftover from when I made the Bird Nest Cookies for Easter. There was also only about half a cup left of golden raisins in the box. If I had had more of either, I probably would have used it. The cookies were really fine with only that much, though, and nothing seemed sparse at all.

I always at least lightly grease my cookie sheets even when the recipe tells me not to. I have just had too many cookies fall apart, especially when the chocolate melts and adheres to the metal sheet. It's just so sad to see a mauled cookie, even if it does provide me an excuse to eat it. Since my oven runs hot, I tentatively put the first dozen in the oven for 12 minutes. As that seemed a tad long, the second dozen went in for 11 minutes. The third batch of 7 cookies went in for 10 minutes. I can't believe I got 31 cookies out of this batter! There was plenty for us at home and for friends at Game Night.

This is an easy recipe to make substitutions with. I used the orange juice to attempt to infuse a little orange flavoring. Of course, orange extract would be much stronger, but I find extracts to be a little too pricey to be used only once. You can also switch out the raisins for dried pomegranates, cherries, cranberries or, naturally, use regular raisins and not golden. Golden is just the only one I can get in any decent size at Meijer for some reason, so that is the one that I buy. White chocolate chips would also be pretty tasty, I bet, and maybe some walnut baking pieces. The possibilities are endless. 

Mmm... endless cookies...

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