Oatmeal Raisin Cookies [Recipe]
These homespun beauties have a lovely chewiness. I soak the raisins in apple juice overnight, which plumps and sweetens them, but is by no means essential. The oats make the cookies vaguely nutritious too, if you're into that sort of thing.
Makes about 30
175g butter at room temperature
300g soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 level tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
150g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g rolled oats
Pinch of salt
Glass of good-quality apple juice (optional)
If you're using the apple juice, simply pour it over the raisins and leave covered in the fridge overnight. Drain the raisins of any excess juice when you start cooking.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. It goes without saying that this is much easier in a food mixer. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them lightly with a fork. Then add the eggs bit by bit, letting each dribble of egg incorporate fully into the mix before adding the next one. Add the vanilla (I've fallen in love with vanilla bean paste since I discovered it - such a fresher, deeper vanilla taste than you get from extract). Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda and add to the mix. Lastly, stir in the oats and raisins.
Layer a baking tray with greaseproof paper and dot with teaspoons of the cookie mixture. Leave plenty of space between them as they'll run a bit in the oven. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes and cool on a wire rack. These go beautifully with a banana and a glass of milk - children especially love them.