For me, Betty Crocker represents an iconic ideal of how middle America cooks and eats. If I want to see what a typical American recipe for something is, I consult Betty Crocker. I’ve toured the General Mills kitchens in Minneapolis, and they really do have a team of home economists testing and retesting recipes to see if they work in a home kitchen. So, when I looked up oatmeal-raisin cookies on their website, I was surprised to see that for about a fourth of the people who made comments, Betty Crocker’s oatmeal-raisin recipe was a failure. That’s somehow comforting, because I worry that the recipes I put up here may not turn out perfectly for you. I do test these recipes, but if I waited until I felt each recipe was perfect, I’d probably post no recipes at all. My oatmeal-raisin cookies are a bit different from Betty’s, (no white sugar, brown sugar, margarine, shortening or eggs), but I think they’re pretty good, kind of a cross between a crunchy cookie and a soft, chewy one. I don’t claim that these are low in fat, but you will notice that they are chock full of nutritious ingredients. To see Ms. Crocker’s recipe, click here. My recipe follows…
This is a not-too-sweet recipe the success of which depends on these cookies being full of plump, sweet raisins. To ensure the raisins are moist and do not burn, please follow the first step: soak the raisins in warm water for at least half an hour, longer if you like.
OATMEAL-RAISIN COOKIES (BETTY CROCKER, EAT YOUR HEART OUT!)
Preheat oven to 350º F, Yields 20-22, 3 1/2-inch cookies
2 cups baby rolled oats, or regular rolled oats coarsely ground in a food processor
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup sunflower seeds, toasted and finely ground in a food processor
1 cup toasted, slivered almonds (optional, but good)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
tiny pinch of salt
2 cups raisins
1 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1. Rinse the raisins in a colander, drain and then place in a bowl and cover with 1 1/4 cups warm water, soak for half an hour or more.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well.
3. Place the coconut, rice syrup, canola oil and maple syrup in a food processor with the blade inserted and process until everything is smooth and emulsified.
4. Pour the liquids from the food processor and the raisins with their soaking water into the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Line cookie pans with parchment paper. Wet your hands and form the dough into 22 or so balls about 1 3/4 inch in diameter. Place on pans and flatten with the tines of a fork until the cookies are about 3 inches in diameter and between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick. (If you have time, you can refrigerate the dough–chilled dough will be easier to work with.)
6. Bake in a 350º F oven about 20 minutes or until semi-crisp and lightly golden brown on the bottoms (ovens vary, so begin checking after 15 minutes).
7. Rest cookies in the pan a few minutes before trying to remove them, then cool well before eating or storing.
(All recipes copyright 2010, all rights reserved)