Thursday, January 18, 2007

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Despite our inventiveness and desire for the new, sometimes we crave those simple and familiar foods of our childhood. Growing up in England, my childhood favorites included jam tarts, rice krispie treats, Bakewell tart, sausage rolls, scones, bread and butter, and flapjacks. But my kids are American, and one of their favorite treats is the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

So where do you go looking for those classic American recipes? My source is the recently published The Good Home Cookbook by Richard J. Perry, a retro cookbook that boasts over 1000 simple recipes for American home cooked food. Each recipe has a brief note addressing its American history, alternate names, or tips on ingredients. While not a vegetarian book, there's plenty here to enjoy. The sweets section is especially appealing: recipes for popcorn balls, bourbon balls, bananas foster, crumb cakes, peach muffins: yum! There's plenty of vegetarian options in the party appetizers, soup, and salad sections and I was excited to see a recipe for Rutabaga Pudding in the vegetable section.

Many recipes are for foods that originated elsewhere and have been adopted into the American menu, so the book includes a recipe for Spanakopita, along with Harvard Beets and Onion Rings. A good cookbook for beginners, it includes tips sections (on baking, candy making, coffee making etc), defines cooking terms, and provides menu suggestions.

So, how were "the quintessential school lunchbox cookies" ? So good, I had to hide them! This recipe makes enough for a crowd! Enjoy!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (adapted from The Good Home Cookbook)

1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves (I used All Spice)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 375. Mix together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.

With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugars, and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until well blended. Stir in the rolled oats and raisins.

Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie tray and bake for 12 minutes until golden brown. Wait a few minutes before removing the cookies from the tray.


Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

The cookies do look great. Unfortunately the book sounds even better but I just order three.
I'm really intrigued with the Rutabaga Pudding, my grandmother used to make one. If you have time could you send me that one? Thanks. Or maybe you're going to do a post on it, that would be fine too.

3:01 AM  
Blogger Lydia said...

I too have been delving into The Good Home Cookbook. It's a great source for the old classics. Oatmeal raisin cookies were considered the "healthy" alternative to chocolate chip cookies when I was growing up.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

tanna - I plan to make it, but will send it on.

lydia - I still consider them a healthy alternative. Something about chocolate really impacts my daughter, but she loved these and there were no behavioural bad effects.

8:46 AM  

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