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Oatmeal Cookies


Gabriel Lewis
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So ever since I discovered a thick chewy oatmeal cookie at a local grocery store I have been a bit obsessed. I can't get enough of that soft chewy texture. But being as they're somewhat expensive, and I like to do things myself, I set out to create my own chewy cookie.

First attempt was a basic cookie recipe eggs, butter, sugar, etc but with about a 2:1 ratio of oats to flour. These were tasty, but not at all what I was looking for.

For the second attempt I tried Snowangel's oatmeal cookies. These were really, really good. In her version you toast the oats in browned butter, which makes for an incredibly flavorful cookie. She doesn't mentioning browning the butter in the recipe, but I learned about this in the browned butter thread and followed suit. However, the dough was fairly liquid and the cookies ended up spreading out very thin, and while they had some nice chewy on the inside, it only lasted for about an hour after they were made. As I am looking for substantial chew, this is a problem.

I did a search and read through a few old threads on oatmeal cookies and have come up with a number of possibilities to optimize my chew. They include:

Use shortening instead of butter (or a mix of the two)

Use egg whites instead of whole eggs

Use steel-cut oats

Underbake

Freeze the dough before baking

I have a decent idea of how these work, but baking isn't really my area of expertise and I was hoping to get some input from the serious bakers before I embark on any further experimentation. In addition to these I am wondering about oat/flour ratios , how leavening acts in cookies (baking powder vs baking soda, is there a diff), and how to minimize spreading.

I've heard a lot of great things about the quaker recipe, but looking it up it seems identical to Snowangel's, minus the toasted oats and adjsuting for scale. I also have seen a lot of great potential recipes in the old threads but I simply don't know how to interpet them.

To start with I want to master a basic oatmeal cookie: large, substantial and chewy with no flavorings other than the oats and maybe a little cinnamon or nutmeg, oh and no raisins, raisins are blasphemy. After that I hope to try some of the delightful varations mentioned in the past, such as lemon zest or toasted coconut.

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Mmmm! Big, soft, chewy oatmeal cookies -- with raisins, please!

I use an old recipe from the 1987 edition of Canadian Living Cookbook (published by Telemedia Inc). For a non-serious occasional baker, this recipe has yet to fail me. It's all butter, no shortening, brown sugar plus the usual cookie suspects. I couldn't find this exact recipe on their website (canadianliving.com), but if interested, I'll check the eG posting guidelines to post it.

Oh, and I never use a mixer for these oatmeal cookies -- elbow grease all the way! Comes out chewier and tenderer.

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Too bad about the taboo on raisins because ground raisins put the chew in chewy oatmeal cookies. I plump mine in rum and then put them in the food processor with an egg and then mix that into the creamed sugar & butter. Or how about using some other dried fruit? Cherries or cranberries make outstanding chewy oatmeal cookies.

You just can't beat the Quaker Oatmeal recipe.

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Kate oh my oh my , raisins plumped in rum and pasted up ahhhh ( drooling face!! )

I gotta to try that , for me oatmeal cookies are the best but I want raisins in mine sorry :raz:

I am interested in the steelcut oat , I prefer to eat this kind because has a better texture , not smooshy as the flakes , but in cookies ,how would you process them just as regular oatmeal ?

Vanessa

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I too have searched for a chewy, not hard after a few hours Oatmeal cookies. I finally found the Oatmeal Cookie recipe in the Martha Stewart Baking Book published last year (can't remember the exact title).

What makes this cookie different is that it contains a small amount (I think 1/4 cup) of maple syrup. The maple syrup really makes a difference in the chew factor. I have also used corn syrup and one time Lyle's syrup and they turned out great.

They do however contain coconut and raisins. But you could leave them out and throw in a little extra oatmeal.

"A few days ago, I heard a doctor talking on television about the dangers of stress. It can kill you. It can cause a heart attack or stroke. The doctor listed many ways of coping with stress. Exercise. Diet Yoga. Talk a walk. I yelled, "Bake cookies." I often talk to the television. I yelled it again and again. The doctor went on with his list of 12 ways to reduce stress and he never once mentioned my sure-fire treatment......"

Maida Heatter

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Some things you could try (these work brilliantly in chocolate chip cookies; i haven't tried them in oatmeal) ...

1) use melted butter instead of creamed butter

2) use bread flour instead of ap

3) chill the dough for a long time before baking, and keep everything (the dough, the bowl, the scooper) cold between batches.

4) increase the proportion of brown sugar to white sugar

5) possibly add a small amount of additional liquid (1 TB or so milk).

Notes from the underbelly

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Yes, too bad about the raisins. I know they would add some nice chew but I just simply can't stand raisins in baked goods, they are like little nuggets of texture shock. I'm looking to get a chewy cookie without any extras really; using only sugar, fat, four, oats, salt, and maybe leavening.

I think it was Rebecca who made cookies with steel-cut oats in one of the older threads, and reported good results. I think she just used them straight up, why would one need to process them?

Thanks for the suggestion on syrups, that was another possibility I forgot to mention. I will probably try using some corn syrup, maple syrup, or honey.

Any thoughts on the optimal flour/oat/moisture ratio or what the consistency of the dough should be? I think minimizing the spread of the cookies while they bake will be key to getting that nice chewy centre. Also, I like to have a lot of cookie mass to chew on.

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I think minimizing the spread of the cookies while they bake will be key to getting that nice chewy centre. Also, I like to have a lot of cookie mass to chew on.

You can mix in some shortening to help with this (higher melting point) but I'm part of the anti-shortening crowd ... don't like to sacrifice real butter flavor, and hate the greasy mouthfeel that shortening gives. One of the keys to limiting spread with a butter-based cookie is just making sure the dough is as cold as possible when it goes in the oven. And forming it in a good, tall dollop on the baking sheet. make sure the sheet is completely cooled befor putting the dough on it, obviously.

Notes from the underbelly

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I will have to think about how I'm going to play around with them.

Couple things to note:

-Snowangel's recipe already uses all brown sugar and melted butter

-I did try chilling the second batch of these, still crispy, I think more chilling or freezing may be in order though

Paul, what's the theory behind your liquid/milk suggestion? Wouldn't these make the cookies more prone to spreading? Oh and I do have some nice unhydrogenated palm oil shortening, I think it gives great results and haven't noticed any greasiness or unpleasant mouthfeel.

Based on the input so far, I think I will try substantial chilling, liquid sugar of some form, play with the types of fats, bread flour and/or steel-cut oats, underbaking and moist storage conditions.

Any comments on what baking soda or powder do in cookies; just leavening to prevent overly dense cookies? It seems like taking them out or lowering them might favor chewiness, but I don't think chew necessarily means dense.

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I've heard a lot of great things about the quaker recipe, but looking it up it seems identical to Snowangel's, minus the toasted oats and adjsuting for scale.

I think the Quaker recipe is quite different than Snowangels. It calls for 1 1/2 cups AP flour and 3 cups oats (1:2 ratio) where Snowangel's calls for 1/2 cup flour and 2 1/2 cups oats (1:5 ratio). The Quaker recipe is a great cookie and maybe you could try it but omit the raisins or replace them with chocolate chips. I've been using a modified version of the Quaker recipe by adjusting it to use equal parts flour and oats (2 cups of each) and upping the brown sugar to 1 1/2 cups. And I do use the raisins. Makes a very chewy cookie.

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These are crunchewey (crunchy on outside, chewy on inside) bomb-ass oatmeal cookies. This was the smallest batch I had, but it can easily be halved. These freeze well after baking.

24 oz soft butter

15 oz brown sugar

15 oz white sugar

1.5 T vanilla

8 oz egg

6 oz honey

50 oz oats

25 oz apf

1T Baking soda

1tsp salt

1.5tsp nutmeg

1.5T cinnamon

15 oz dried cranberries

8 oz walnuts, TOASTED

cream butter, sugar, vanilla. add egg & honey. Blend in rest of ingredients until just mixed. Scoop and press down slightly. Let scooped cookies chill. Bake for 10 mins until slightly golden. Makes 53 pretty big cookies.

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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Hows about subbing in some honey

...its hydro...hygro... HYsomethingSCOPIC

it attracts moisture and can make cookies soft

tracey

let us know when you have it perfect

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  • 2 weeks later...
Would love to try these, what temp to bake at?

And, what do you think would be the effect of subbing whole grain pastry flour for AP?  Or just some if not all?

bake standard temp you use for cookies (i usually do 350).

i think the sub of whole grain pastry flour could work, but I'd only sub half. you might use less than the ap? However, these cookies have a lot of oats to begin with so proceed with caution.

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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  • 4 months later...
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