National Bake Cookies Day

For many years, baking delightfully decadent, colorful cookie assortments as holiday gifts was a treasured annual tradition. I especially loved the planning of each year’s recipes.

Naturally, many delightful cookie options dance through my mind on National Bake Cookies Day. And yet, for the recipe I share today, I must select Sir Ronald’s favorite. He is a huge fan of a timeless classic… Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. However, they must be chewy, because he grows sad if they are crispy. Chewy and sweet and packed with satisfying textures and flavors.

If you are already up to your happy little eyeballs in festive fun and covered with flour as your whip up a dozen different cookie varieties, then Hallelujah! I love those memories, too. On the other hand, if you are making just one type of cookie, and your love oatmeal raisin cookies, then please give my recipe a whirl! And have yourself a Merry Christmas!

Cathy’s Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Crispy edges are lovely, but chewy inside is a must. Do NOT overbake these yummy delights, or you will get crisp, not chewy cookies… and you may be sad.

1 c butter, softened to room temp

½ c monkfruit (or sugar)

1 c packed brown sugar (or Truvia-type substitute)

2 x-lg or jumbo eggs, room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 c flour

Spices: ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ginger

1 tsp each: baking soda, salt

2 c quick-cooking oats

3 c “Add-ins” (any combo):

½ c unsweetened, flaked coconut

½ c dried cranberries

1½ c raisins

½ c chopped pecans or walnuts

Cream butter; then add monkfruit & brown sugar; cream again till smooth. Add egg & vanilla; beat well. Sift together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Stir into butter-egg mixture thoroughly. Then stir in quick oats and all add-ins, mixing till evenly distributed.

Choose drop cookies or ice box:

Drop cookies: Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on greased or oil-sprayed, parchment-lined baking sheets, 12 to a pan. Press each ball down to about ½-¾“ thickness.

Ice box cookies: Use your hands to form dough into long logs on wax paper sheets. Roll up in the wax paper and place in large zip-top plastic bags in refrigerator overnight. To prepare, slice ¼-½“-thick and place on oil-sprayed parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake at 350°F for 10-12 min, just till golden, but still soft; take from oven and let rest on the pan for 10 min, before removing from pan and cooling completely on wire racks.

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies, depending on size.

KISS Tips: Adjust the proportions and selection of “add-ins” to suit your preferences. For example, use all raisins or all cranberries, rather than some of each; add up to 1 c chocolate chips (or use half white chocolate or half butterscotch); omit nuts and coconut altogether. Rolls of dough for ice box cookies can remain in the refrigerator for several days. Once baked, these cookies also freeze beautifully. This recipe also works with all gluten-free ingredients, but add ½ tsp baking powder and 1½ tsp xanthan gum to flour mixture (unless using a GF flour blend that already includes them).

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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