Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rolled Oat Cookies with Toasted Hazelnuts and Dark-Chocolate-Covered Raisins

Ideally, I would get things done on the weekends. I would do things like sweep the floors, de-clutter the closets (they’re atrocious, really), and wrap the Christmas presents. Ideally. But somehow that never happens. Somehow, every Saturday, I spend the morning on the couch, watching the FN weekend line-up.

You might say, so what? It’s just the morning. There’s still the whole day left. But after spending a few hours watching other people cook, I’m usually struck by the unconquerable urge to cook something myself—usually something sweet and gooey—and so I do. And by the time that’s done, it’s time to think about dinner, and so then I cook dinner. And that’s usually followed by some picture-taking and often some blogging. Repeat on Sunday. And there goes the weekend.

Such was the case today. Everyone on the FN is making cookies lately, and it got to me. I had to make cookies. But I hadn’t planned to bake today, and I didn’t have extra supplies on hand. I scoured the pantry and the cabinets. I found half a canister of oatmeal and a bag of dark-chocolate-covered raisins. I could work with this. I dug a little deeper, and found some hazelnuts crammed in the back corner of the fridge. I even had a few shots of leftover buttermilk (I swear, this is the first time in my life I’ve ever had buttermilk just sitting around). Now we were getting somewhere.

I found Paula’s recipe for oatmeal cookies and adjusted it to fit what I had on hand. The cookies came out awesome--they're like a glammed up version of a regular oatmeal cookie. I’m always a bit afraid of oatmeal cookies, which I suppose is a result of having one too many of the tough, overly chewy variety, but these cookies practically melt in your mouth. Just what I was looking for.

Rolled Oat Cookies with Toasted Hazelnuts and Dark-Chocolate-Covered Raisins
adapted from Paula Deen’s Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 and 1/4 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup dark-chocolate-covered raisins
3/4 cup hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet(s) or line with parchment paper or silpat.

Toast hazelnuts in a dry pan over medium heat, shaking the pan often, until nuts begin to brown and release their aroma. Shaking the pan not only keeps the nuts from browning too deeply on any one side, but it also helps loosen the husks. When nuts are toasted, allow then to cool until they’re easy to touch and remove any remaining husks. If you give the hazelnut a squeeze between your fingertips, it should easily pop out of the husk. Give nuts a rough chop and set aside.

Cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add egg and beat until mixture is light in color. Mix in buttermilk.

In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. In two batches, fold flour mixture into butter mixture. Fold in oatmeal, vanilla, chocolate-covered raisins, and toasted hazelnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes or until cookies are set and golden brown around the edges.

Grab a glass of milk and enjoy.

1 comment:

Patricia Scarpin said...

Your cookies are inspiring me to go to the kitchen and bake! Too bad my boss won't agree with that. :)

Every weekend I do the same: I start the day thinking of all the organizing I need to do and end up cooking and baking (and photographing and posting) instead. It's stronger than me!