Culinary SOS: Oatmeal cookies raise the standard
LOS ANGELES -- Dear SOS: On a trip up the coast of Maine, we found a wonderful bakery in Portland called Standard Baking Co. Everything was delicious, but my husband declared the oatmeal cookies the best he'd ever had, and we made a special detour on the return route to buy more cookies. I'd love it if you could obtain their recipe, so I could surprise him with a batch. -- Helene Morrison, Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Dear Helene: If I didn't know how easy they were to make, I'd plan a vacation in the area just so I could get my fix of these cookies. Richly flavored and not overly sweet, Standard Baking Co.'s cookies also are crisp and chewy in all the right places. The bakery was happy to share its recipe with us. The cookies, and other recipes from the bakery, are also available in their recently published cookbook.
Standard Baking Co.'s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen. Prep time, about 1 hour, plus cooling time. Adapted from Standard Baking Co. Pastries, Portland, Maine.
1 1/2 cups (6.4 ounces) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups raisins
POSITION racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven; heat oven to 375°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
WHISK together in a medium bowl the flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg.
BEAT butter until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer. Beat in the granulated and brown sugars over medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Over low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until each is fully incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
SLOWLY add the flour mixture, beating until thoroughly combined, and scraping down the sides of the bowl and paddle as needed. Slowly add the oats and raisins until they are evenly distributed in the dough.
FORM 2-inch balls, using an ice cream scoop, or a spoon and your hands; drop mounds of the dough onto the baking sheets, evenly spacing them to fit 6 mounds per sheet.
BAKE the cookies for 10 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom, and continue to bake until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and the centers are puffed and feel set when lightly touched, 10-12 additional minutes. The cookies might seem slightly under-baked, but they will crisp as they cool.
REMOVE the sheets from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Continue baking the rest of the dough (be sure the baking sheets are completely cool before reusing to bake additional cookies).
Nutrition information: For each of 18 servings: 280 calories, 4 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams fat, 6 grams saturated fat, 44 milligrams cholesterol, 28 grams sugar, 105 milligrams sodium.