Oats are pretty amazing things. Packed with nutrients including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron and more, they are a good source of protein (I can almost hear carniverous boyfriend shaking his head at this claim. Ok. A good source of protein that tastes good in cookies. Chewy chicken breast cookies just aren’t going to cut it with this little loaf). They can even help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Basically, oats are a good thing.
I first tasted Bircher Muesli several years ago on holiday in the Caribbean, and have been searching for the perfect recipe ever since. Packed with oats, fruit, and mulchy, milky goodness, it is the perfect healthy oaty breakfast. I think I may have just about cracked the perfect blend - blog post to follow soon - but in the meantime, my various attempts mean I have a big old stash of rolled oats sitting in my cupboard.
Some of them have been turned into porridge. A few more met a delicious, sticky end in my adaptation of Dan Lepard’s fudgy tahini flapjacks. And this weekend, another handful made its way into a batch of crispy, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies.
I’m quite particular when it comes to cookies. I like them big (at least the size of my palm), thick and chewy, with a slightly crispy edge. I’m not a tea drinker so I don’t care about dunkability – I want the real American doughy deal, perfect with a glass of milk and more of a delicious dessert than a flimsy biscuit. Buttery, chewy and packed with chunks of chocolate, fruit and nuts, this recipe is the answer. I slightly overcooked mine as you can see from the pictures, but follow the timings below, and they should be spot on.
Tip: To get a thick, chewy cookie that doesn’t collape in a buttery puddle across the baking sheet when heated, chill the dough for at least 2 hours before cooking. Alternatively you could freeze the slightly flattened cookie balls and cook on demand for that ‘fresh out the oven’ warmth – they just need a few minutes longer.
Crispy, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies with walnuts
75g softened butter
85g soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg, beaten
50g wholemeal flour
1 tsp ground cinammon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
75g rolled oats
50g chopped walnuts
50g chocolate chips (optional)
Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla essence and egg. If you don’t have an electric mixer you can do this by hand, but it really needs to be as smooth as possible, so a good 5-10 mins of beating is required. (healthy oats and an arm workout, this recipe is a winner!)
In a separate bowl whisk together the wholemeal flour, cinammon, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add the rolled oats then stir into the butter and sugar mixture. Stir in the raisins, walnuts and chocolte chips if using.
Shape the dough into small rounds, flatten slightly and chill in the fridge for two hours. This is optional, but I’d recommend you be patient if you can, the results definitely are better. The dough could make anything between five and twenty cookies depending how giant you like them.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F. Place cookies two inches apart on a non stick baking tray. Bake for 10-15 mins until just coloured – this will give a crispy edge but a soft, doughy middle.
Leave to cool and enjoy.