It's pretty awesome, actually: One day I list baking as one of my hobbies and the next thing I know guys are asking, "do you know how to make (insert baked item here)?" And poof! Just like that I have a conversation starter AND a baking challenge!
So hear me, O noble gentlemen of Match.com: I cannot guarantee that I'll return your emails, wink back at you, or go on a date with you, but I do promise that I'll take your baking suggestions to heart. For as long as you keep 'em comin', I will try your suggestions and post the results each Monday.
Today's baked good was requested by "Cute Florida Guy"*. Besides oatmeal raisin cookies, he also enjoys crepes at 3am and playing guitar and piano. He hopes to get a dog someday.
You might be saying "Oatmeal raisin cookies! Those are so ordinary!" (If you are saying that, please say it quietly - I am trying to get this guy to go out with me and would rather not offend him, okay?)
I assure you, these oatmeal raisin cookies are anything but ordinary. Not only do they not flatten out like most oatmeal cookies, but they also have an extra special sweetness to them, due to one magic ingredient (no, not THAT magic ingredient - I haven't gotten any requests for THAT kind of baked good...yet). This cookie gets it's magic from toasted pecans.
I baked these as directed, except I made mine slightly smaller than what the original recipe calls for. Mine took 15 minutes to slightly brown, but they came out crunchier than I would have liked; next time I'll take them out sooner, move the oven rack up a slot or two, or chill the dough, in order to maintain chewiness while still getting the crunchy golden exterior. This recipe is definitely a keeper though.
CFG: Please email me back so I can find out if you're a keeper too. :-)
*Nicknames are my own. I will never reveal user names or any identifying information beyond what is already public on Match.com.
Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Ina Garten's “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics” via Ezra Pound Cake.
Makes 35-40 cookies
In my own words: I consider myself a classy cookie but my friends say I'm more than a little nutty.
Favorite things: cold milk, hot apple cider
For fun: convincing health-conscious bakers that it's okay to eat me for breakfast cause of the whole oatmeal thing
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups raisins
2. Place the pecans on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to cool. Chop very coarsely.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together into a medium bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the oats, raisins, and pecans and mix just until combined.
5. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with a damp hand. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.