I’m in a baking state of mind, and a bit perplexed by it.
As much as I love to cook, I don’t bake very often. Except when I want to make dessert for dinner with friends, and even then I usually manage to devise a non-baked sweet. But these days I’ve been baking walnut tarts and banana cakes, and, most surprisingly, the other day at 10 pm I felt compelled to try to recreate my childhood memory of a seriously addictive chewy almond macaroon. (It was an improvisation and not an entirely terrible first attempt. To be continued.)
This weekend I baked oatmeal raisin walnut cookies, for no particular reason.
The recipe is very slightly adapted from the Once Upon a Tart… cookbook. It has less sugar, fewer raisins, and leaves out the cinnamon. I wanted something subtle and understated.
When I first tasted one, straight out of the oven, I was worried it lacked something: some spice perhaps, or some sugar — why am I always compelled to tinker with recipes? But the next day I felt vindicated. They were exactly as I wanted. These cookies don’t wow into submission at first bite; they seduce stealthily, enticing, unwittingly, to reach for another, and another, and another…
Resist the temptation to eat the cookies straight off the rack. Wait a few hours and they will be exactly what you were hoping for.
Slightly adapted from the Once Upon a Tart… cookbook
1 cup (225 g) butter
1 1/4 cup (250 g) sugar
1/3 cup (100 ml) liquid honey
1 1/2 cups (175 g) flour
4 cups (400 g) rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (200 g) shelled walnuts
1 cup (125 g) raisins
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Take the butter out of the refrigerator to soften. Coarsely chop the walnuts.
In a large bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. **It’s important here to beat the ingredients thoroughly, for 5 to 10 minutes.** Add the eggs, one at a time, beating with a whisk to combine well. Add the honey and mix.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, the oats, and the salt.
Combine the butter/sugar/egg/honey mixture with the flour/oats/salt. Mix until the flour has disappeared.
Stir in the walnuts and raisins.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Butter the paper. With a large spoon or ice cream scoop, transfer small balls of dough to the baking sheet, flatten and shape them with your fingers, making sure to leave about 1 in (2.5 cm) between each cookie.
In the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies start turning brown at the edge. **12-13 minutes works for 2 in (5 cm) cookies. Adjust time according to the size of the cookies.**
Wait until tomorrow. Store in a cookie jar or other airtight container.