Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Betty promises these cookies will be “soft and moist on the inside and crisp on the outside.” I feel a lot is at stake because my husband states that oatmeal raisin cookies are near and dear to his heart. Will he be impressed with this recipe, or will it fall short of expectations?
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup raisins
1 cup water
¾ cup shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup chopped nuts

Simmer the raisins in 1 cup of water until the raisins are plump, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the raisin liquid into a measuring cup and add enough water to total ½ cup.
Preheat the oven to 400̊F. Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla; add the raisin liquid. Stir together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices, and blend into the dough. Stir in the oats, nuts, and raisins. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough two inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Makes 6 to 7 dozen cookies.
The first part of the directions instructs you to simmer the raisins until plump. I found this kind of strange (having never done this for any other cookie recipe that calls for raisins), but I figured it wouldn’t hurt since I had bought the store brand of raisins, and they were pitifully dry. Simmering them definitely plumped them up! When I went to drain the liquid from the raisins, I didn’t even get out half of a teaspoon; this may have only been because of the really dry raisins I used, but if you don’t actually see any excess liquid in the raisins when you are done simmering, don’t bother trying to drain them. Just add a half cup of water to the dough.
A blurry view of simmering raisins.
 I baked each pan of cookies for 8 minutes… or some even less time. What can I say, I like a soft cookie! The final result was soft and chewy cookies which sadly did not all hold together very well after a couple of days (perhaps I should have baked them longer…). They were also not crispy on the outside (perhaps I should have baked them longer…).  And I thought they could use more oats, because I could hardly tell they were in there (not related to bake time! Yay!). As usual, I could take them with or without nuts.

They were generally a crowd pleaser, and all of them were eaten within a few days of baking (unlike some cookies I’ve made- remember the jeweled cookies?). I thought they were scrumptious and probably ate more than my fair share of these. What did Ryan have to say? They were good, but not the best oatmeal raisin cookies he’s ever had- and they could use more raisins.

I was recently loaned a glass cookie jar (yeah, I don’t actually have my own cookie jar. What’s up with that?) and intended to photograph the oatmeal raisin cookies inside the cookie jar so you could compare it to Betty’s photo:
Betty's cooky jar is pretty full!
 However, one recipe didn’t even fill up my cookie jar half way and the cookies looked too sad in there, so you’ll have to settle for a standard cookies-on-a-plate picture.
Chewy and delicious! Surprised they lasted long enough for me to take this picture. :)

Molasses Jumbles are up next! Get excited!
This recipe was found on page 9 of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book; the picture was found on page 87.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pineapple Cookies

You probably thought (or hoped) this Cooky Blog was gone for good after two whole months went by without a post.  Things got a little busy for a while and cookie-baking ceased… until now! The people (really just Ryan) requested more cookies! But before another batch hits the oven, I have a couple of recipes to mention from way back in March that never made it up on the site- the first of which is for these delightful Pineapple Cookies. 
Pineapple Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
1 egg
1 can (8 ¾ oz) crushed pineapple, with juice
3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup chopped nuts

Mix shortening, sugar, and egg; stir in the pineapple. Stir together the dry ingredients and incorporate into the dough. Mix in the nuts. Chill at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 400̊F. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until no imprint remains when lightly touched. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Pineapple Coconut Cookies
Make Pineapple Cookies, but omit nutmeg and add 1 cup flaked coconut.

Pineapple Raisin Cookies
Add 1 cup of raisins to the standard Pineapple Cookies recipe.

So, the story behind these cookies is that once upon a time (probably about 12 years ago), I wanted to use up some coconut that had been hanging around in the cupboard for ages. For some reason, I picked this recipe even though it only calls for one cup of coconut… not really very helpful in using up coconut. Hmmm. (Insert Amy laughing at me right here.) Anyway, I ended up using two cups of coconut because, when adding ingredients, I dumped in the entirety of a 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, accidentally necessitating a doubling of the recipe. (Insert Amy laughing at me again.)  I tend to make just one batch when trying out a recipe for the first time- and it would be very sad indeed to end up with 10 dozen of a gross kind of cookie. But don’t worry, these are awesome!  
I got wise and used slightly less than half of the 20 oz. can this time!
The first time I made these cookies, I only tried the Pineapple Coconut variety- but this time, I tried them all! This included Pineapple Cookies with nuts, Pineapple Cookies without nuts, Pineapple Raisin Cookies with nuts, Pineapple Raisin Cookies without nuts, Pineapple Coconut Cookies with nuts, and Pineapple Coconut Cookies without nuts. As with many other recipes, I couldn’t really tell the nuts were there, so in the future, I might just leave them out to avoid the confusion that comes from trying to keep six varieties of the same basic cookie separated.

I might consider re-naming these Pineapple Cookies to Pineapple Cake-ies; they are so moist and doughy, they remind me more of tiny cakes than cookies.  My favorites were the Pineapple Coconut Cookies, followed by the Pineapple Raisin ones. The standard Pineapple Cookies weren’t bad; they were just missing the YUM factor that the coconut adds.
Standard, Raisin, and Coconut Pineapple Cookies in the early spring sunshine.

Another tip for these cookies: eat them quickly. The longer you keep them around, the soggier they get! It’s easier to eat them fast enough if you make just one recipe. :)


This cookie recipe was found on page 9 of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book.