One of the greatest things about being a recipe developer is that you get to just be craving something… and then get up and go make it. And make it be the best. That’s literally the job. And I can say that with full confidence because :
- 1) Every recipe developer thinks their recipes are the best, otherwise what’s the point? Nobody makes something and goes, meh. it’s fine.
- 2) I think my recipes are the best (see number 1).
- 3) This is my site and it would be really depressing if I was trying to sell you on meh.
So, here’s some backstory on me and cookies, raisins, and oatmeal raisin cookies. I do love a good cookie. But I will happily not have a cookie if it means the cookie is not fantastic according to my mouth. I always prefer homemade (doesn’t have to be mine, just fantastic according to my mouth) unless it’s an Oreo, and then don’t come at me with your homemade chocolate sandwich cookie. The oreo is the only packaged cookie that my mouth finds fantastic and therefore has no desire to re-touch. I do, however, love the hell out of some Pecan Sandies. The only reason I don’t include them in the above grand statement is because I make really good shortbread😬🤷♀️.
Raisins. Raisins are very hit or miss with me. They have to really belong where they are in order for me to allow them into my fantastic loving mouth. Raisins, I don’t wanna see you in any sort of salad, cake, bread… and if there are more of you than absolutely necessary – I will unapologetically pick you out. A raisin is so very syrupy sweet in a very concentrated way (literally. bc it’s dried) that it truly needs other things happening around it to create balance. Too much raisin is too much syrup and then it just takes over the whole dish, making it just a plate of raisin tasting stuff.
An exception to all of this, is the golden raisin. Oh, I love me a golden raisin. Golden raisins are just grapes treated with sulfur dioxide and dried mechanically instead of “under the sun” to help them retain the light color of the grape… it’s not a green grape raisin versus a red grape raisin. But this process makes them lighter and fruitier in flavor with a tinge of tartness… and keeps them plumper – all things I love about an actual grape. AND golden raisins have more flavonoids than traditional raisins, so there’s also that.
And what about me and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies in general…? Honestly, they’re really the last one I would pick out of a basket. Bad oatmeal raisin cookies just happen all too often! It’s like me and cake. There’s too much dry cake out there to make me want to pick cake out of the basket. Ruins it for the whole cake population. Most of the oatmeal raisin cookies out there are either too raisiny (see above paragraph about me and raisins), too sweet (probably because of the raisins, or the lack of balance afore mentioned in above paragraph about me and raisins), or they’re just dry, dusty and crunchy and lacking any sort of toothsomeness. (it’s a word)
BUT I will happily eat an oatmeal raisin cookie out of the basket if it is the best oatmeal raisin cookie.
Which brings me to this post and recipe (see first paragraph about me making best stuff).
One of the major things about my oatmeal raisin cookies that makes them the best and fantastic according to my mouth is the salt. Remember that thing I said about balance? Yeah, the salt helps us out here. Salt is so very key in most desserts, but really does a lot of the heavy lifting in this one. The other major thing these cookies have going for them is the fact that I’m using brown butter. That doubles down on the savory component of the cookie, helping us out even more with the whole balance game. I also use some shortening in the dough. And THAT, my friends, helps us out with the whole necessary toothsomeness (it’s a word). Why? Because butter in cookies makes them crispy. Butter is great. We love butter. Butter makes things taste incredible… and makes things spread more, and also makes them crispy. This is all because butter has a low melting temperature, allowing the dough to slowly spread into a flatter cookie, and the protein in it is what creates the whole brown and crispy thing. But the shortening is what makes a cookie chewy. I happen to like both in this recipe. So what ends up happening is you get a crispier and well defined cookie edge, with a chewy center. It’s the absolute perfect texture. Cookies that are just soft and chewy (in the opinion of my fantastic loving mouth) are just kind of boring. And the combination of brown and white sugar in these does the same type of thing – the combo not only helps flavor-wise, but with texture as well. The molasses in brown sugar helps the shortening with the chew part of the texture, while the white sugar works with the butter to help them crisp and spread.
Another thing I do with these that makes me heart them tremendously (because why stop reading about my cookie science now? you’re SO close to the recipe part!) is that I use a combination of raisins, golden raisins, and dried cranberries (like Craisins). I would happily make these with only golden raisins, and have, but I find the combination makes it an easier sell for the people who have strong opinions on dried fruits. My daughter does not tolerate a golden raisin. She has strong opinions on dried fruits. She finds them utterly appalling. She couldn’t even give me a reason why she does not like them when I asked her for a quote just now. The mere mention of a golden raisin made her face make a face. She will, however, tolerate a raisin-raisin, but prefers them yogurt covered. And that child could eat a whole bag of dried cranberries if given the chance.
And she LOVES these cookies.
So, I figure if these cookies can please Me – the raisin tolerator, and Her – the golden raisin face maker, I guess did a pretty good job.
Brown Butter Oatmeal Cran Raisin Cookies
World’s Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for all the above mentioned reasons
2 cups all purpose white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 +3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats (I prefer quick)
2 cups total dried fruit (I use equal parts raisin / golden raisin / dried cranberry)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening or margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Brown your butter (can be done days in advance):
Brown butter is very easy to make – you just melt the butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat (be careful of the splatter), allow it to then begin to crackle and pop and turn golden brown… and then it’s done when the crackling and popping stops. It goes pretty quickly once you start hearing the crackles, so stay close by (but guarded bc of said splatter). Scientifically, this means that all the water in the butter has been evaporated and the milk solids have toasted, creating a nutty and more rich flavor. You want this to cool at room temperature until it’s soft, not liquid. If you’re making this ahead of time, store tightly sealed in the fridge after cooling, then bring up to room temperature to soften before baking.
Preheat your oven to 350. Convection is best for multi-rack baking if you have the option.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the following dry ingredients :
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 + 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tsp ground cinnamon
In a smaller mixing bowl, toss together the following :
- 3 cups oats (I prefer using the smaller ‘quick’ oats as they help make a more cohesive dough… use what you have)
- 2 cups total dried fruit (I used an equal combination of raisins, golden raisins and dried cranberries)
(Make sure you really toss this, as the oat dust will coat the fruit and prevent them from sticking together and sinking in the batter.)
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or larger mixing bowl for electric beating if that’s what you have). cream together the following :
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted brown butter, room temp
- 1/2 cup (1 stick shortening or margarine)
Mix this with the paddle attachment until creamy.
Add in :
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
Mix again until creamy again.
Add in :
- 3 eggs, room temp (add one egg at a time)
- 1 tsp vanilla
Mix again until creamy and fluffy.
Mix in the dry ingredients, about 1/3 cup at a time, scraping down the sides as you go.
Once everything is fully incorporated, add in the oat/fruit mixture.
Mix well until everything is evenly distributed.
Grease 3 cookie / baking sheets.
Using a 2 ounce (1/4 cup) size scoop (usually the blue handled one 😉 ), scoop even dough mounds onto the baking sheets, separated by a couple inches.
Flatten slightly with a fork (wetting it with water prevents it from sticking to the dough). You don’t need them fully flattened, you’re just removing the dome so they spread and cook evenly.
Sprinkle each cookie with kosher salt.
Bake in the preheated 350 degree oven on convection for 12-15 minutes, or until they have fully spread, the edges are a light golden brown, and the centers appear to be very soft still. They will set as they cool.
Allow to cool on the pans, then carefully transfer to an airtight container to stay fresh for up to 3 days at room temperature, or wrap well with plastic and freeze in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
My family each ate a cookie a day until the 3 days were up, then the rest went into the freezer. I just had one yesterday, and again just now while typing, and they tasted 100% as good as fresh. And I’m lactose intolerant, so I have mine with an ice cold glass of oat milk… and my goodness I’m in whatever version of heaven I think exists in those magical moments. They are pure perfection.
and I hope you feel comfortable with me enough to take my word for it… and also empowered enough to make them for yourself 😉
thanks for reading, y’all. much love x
and be safe and smart this weekend!💕