Friday, December 28, 2018

New Orleans Oatmeal Cookies

New Orleans Oatmeal Cookies
Source: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1999 ed.), pg. 180.

One of our favorite recipes in this household is Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. The Quaker Oaks "Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies" is my go-to recipe and remains the favorite. 

This Maida Heatter recipe it a bit different and has the addition of spices which gives them a more holiday-ish taste. The addition of apricot preserves is also unusual.

I baked the cookies in three separate batches. The trickiest part is the baking time. 20 minutes is insane and I wonder if that was a typo. I tried 10 minutes for the first batch and they burned slightly. After looking at the recipe again, I had overlooked the instruction that they should be baked on the top rack position. The last two batches were much better. I baked them for 10-11 minutes. The cookies are very soft if not overbaked. I would advise you to experiment with the first batch before proceeding to the next. 

2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 TBS. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) butter (softened)
1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 tsp. instant coffee
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking oatmeal
8 oz. (1 1/2 cups) raisins
2 cups salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 375. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Use top rack position.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves and set aside.

Beat the the butter and apricot preserves to combine. Add the instant coffee and the brown sugar.

On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions and the milk in two additions. 

Beat in the oatmeal. Stir in the raisins and the nuts. 

Drop the cookies (tablespoon size) two inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and semi-firm to the touch. Rotate pans half-way through baking to insure even baking. Allow them to cool for a few minutes after removing the pans from the oven and transfer the cookies with a spatula to a cooling rack.

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