Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oatmeal Cookies

A friend (hi Jess!) recently asked me for this recipe; she's already planning her Christmas presents. I wasn't going to post it here, but realised that aside from the sugar (I haven't yet been brave enough to try replacing it with honey, but a molasses-honey combination might work?) it's a relatively regional recipe. I made them today as a going-away present for another friend, stacked in a coffee tin with the recipe written out on the side.

If you wanted to make them a little more holiday-like, you could try replacing the raisins with cranberries and white chocolate, or peppermint bark. I'd love to hear what kind of edible holiday gifts you like to make—especially from South Africans, as I imagine the usual gingerbread-pumpkin-autumn-spice flavours are less appealing in summertime...?

Michelle's Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 26 7-centimetre cookies
For more details on the regional suppliers mentioned below, click here.

115 g butter, room temperature (visit the Klipfontein stall at Fresh Goods Market)
100 g brown sugar (I used organic rapadura sugar from Divine Foods, which has a slightly stronger flavour and colouring—a lighter brown sugar also works)
125 g white sugar (preferably unbleached; available from Divine Foods)
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla (Nomu's vanilla paste is great)
1 tbsp. (soy) milk
185 g Eureka cake flour (or all-purpose unbleached flour)
1/2 tsp. salt (Khoisan)
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
120 g rolled oats, or 60g if using coconut
50 g unsweetened shredded coconut
85 g raisins (By Nature is available at both Saturday Stellenbosch markets) or chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.
3. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk.
4. In another bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Stir to combine.
6. Add the rolled oats and coconut, if using. Stir. Add the raisins. (It should look like the first picture below.)
7. Roll the dough into 1 tbsp. balls and place at least 4 cm apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet (picture 2). Flatten them slightly with your fingers; they should be at least one-and-some centimetres thick (picture 3).
8. Bake on the oven's middle rack for 10 - 12 minutes, until the edges are just golden. The tops should still look soft, even a little uncooked (picture 4).
9. Leave them on the sheet for about 30 seconds, then carefully slide them onto a cooling rack. Cool fully.

I've never managed to keep these around for longer than a few days, but they'd probably last at least a week in an airtight container, possibly more.