Monday, January 21, 2013

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - Great Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 teaspoon grated navel orange zest
2/3 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup broken, toasted pecans or walnuts
1 cup dark raisins, plumped, drained, and patted dry on paper towels (Soak raisins in warm water until plump)

Position shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.  Heat the oven to 350.  Moderately butter the cookie sheets.
Strain together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, soften the butter with the orange zest on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute; add the brown sugar, then granulated sugar and mix until light in color, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the molasses and mix to combine.  Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla and mix for 1 minute longer.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and pour the dry ingredients, half at a time, mixing only to incorporate the flour, then blend in the oatmeal.  Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the pecans and raisins.
Drop by rounded tablespoons 3 inches apart onto the cookie sheets.  Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back toward the end of the baking time.  Do not overbake or the cookies will be too crisp and difficult to remove from the pan.  Let cookies stand for 2 minutes, then loosen with a thin metal spatula. Cool on wire racks.
Storage: Store in airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 1 week.  These cookies may be frozen.

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