National Oatmeal Cookie Day & National Raisin Day

What better way to celebrate both these days than with a warm, chewy oatmeal raisin cookie! So, here is my 1980 spin on my mother’s classic 1950s Oatmeal Icebox Cookies. Primarily, I used less sugar and more nuts and fruit. I still prefer cooking them for just 8-10 minutes to get an irresistibly chewy, rather than crispy, cookie. In recent years, I have replaced sugar with granulated monk fruit. (More on that after the recipe.)

Oatmeal Raisin Icebox Cookies

1 c butter, softened to room temp

¾ c packed brown sugar

¾ c sugar

2 lg eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1½ c flour

1 tsp baking soda

3 c quick oats

½ – ¾ c chopped walnuts

3 c raisins (half dark and half golden; or even include dried cranberries)

Mix all ingredients. Form into long rolls.  Chill overnight. Slice 1/4″ thick and bake on ungreased cookie sheets 8‑10 minutes at 350. Makes 5-6 dozen.

NOTE: Rolls keep (wrapped airtight) in the refrigerator for several days…. unless you are among those who cannot resist cookie dough. (And yes, you can always go a little wild and add some dark chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes, or any other decadent delights to please your palette.)

Monk fruit is really luo han guo fruit, thought to be originally used by Buddhist monks in the 13th century. The small, green, gourd-like fruits are processed differently by our bodies than sucrose and fructose and have no net carbs nor calories. It’s easy to find non-GMO versions, too.

Yes, monk fruit is commonly touted as a 1 for 1 substitute for sugar. However, it can taste FAR sweeter than sugar. Half as much usually is more than enough, especially when additional sweetness is already included from raisins. In this recipe, I use just 1/3 c golden monk fruit and 1/3 c regular granulated monk fruit. This may vary depending on the brand you purchase. Some, such as Lakanto, add erythritol to make monk fruit a 1-to-1 sugar replacement. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol with about 6% of the calories in an equal amount of sugar. But, like monk fruit, it does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels. Make choices that make sense to you.

Meanwhile, I’m going for that Oatmeal Raisin cookie. Big decision: Do I dip it in ice cream or spritz it with whipped cream?

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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