Saturday, January 16, 2010

oatmeal raisin/chocolate-chip cookies - does toasting the oats really work?

37 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookieJust like last time, my boyfriend's sister and I spent her last night home baking oatmeal raisin cookies. We baked two batches of the Quaker Oats' Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe (one with raisins, and one with chocolate chips) so she could bring them back to school and share them with her roommates and her boyfriend (who luckily for her, is an oatmeal raisin lover). Since they were such a hit last time, I didn't suggest we bake the Cook's Illustrated recipe I made at my parents' house (which I happened to love), but I did suggest we toast the oats for at least one of the batches.

02 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie03 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie
Every time I bake cookies at my boyfriend's house, I have to nuke the butter for a while in the microwave just to get it soft enough to mix because they don't have a handmixer. I used to leave my handmixer in the trunk of my car, believe it or not, so I would be able to whip up a batch of anything while I'm away from home, but too bad I forgot that day.

05 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie07 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
His sister and I had to switch off mixing because our arms would get so tired trying to incorporate the chunky butter. Anyways, it all eventually got mixed, and we prepared our first batch (which was the chocolate chip and toasted oats) to bake in the oven.

12 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookie13 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
Horrible lighting, I know, but there was nothing I could do. The cookies on the other hand tasted pretty damn good. I think oatmeal cookies go better with chocolate than raisins, personally.

15 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie16 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie
Our second batch was with raisins and the oats were not toasted. I kind of just wanted to see if there was a noticeable difference between the two.

20 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie19 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie
These raisin cookies had a little different texture than the chocolate chip ones. They were very similar to the last time we baked these- which were extremely soft and gooey and almost not even fully baked. I'm not sure if it was because of the non-toasting of the oats (because the chocolate chip ones were not like that) or it was because the oats weren't thoroughly mixed (which could also be the case considering I was the one who mixed this batch and I'm terrified of overmixing).

42 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookie40 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
You know that I had to steal a few cookies to take home for myself.

21 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie
Here is one of the oatmeal raisin cookies (a nice one that wasn't gooey or falling apart).

23 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie27 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie
The oatmeal raisin cookie was very soft on the inside, which really reminded me of the last batch we made together. The only difference was that the outside was a lot firmer and it didn't crumble when you picked it up.

25 - quaker oats oatmeal raisin cookie
Overall, I thought it tasted good. I'm not sure which cookie is better- this one or the Cook's Illustrated one. To come to that conclusion, I'd probably have to do a side-by-side taste test (memo for the future!).

30 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
I was really excited to try the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie again, because I remember I enjoyed it so much the night before.

32 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
Ohmygosh, these tasted sooo good, even better than the raisin ones (maybe I'm just biased, because I'm a chocolate whore).

35 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookie39 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
These cookies were a lot less gooey and a lot more crunchy than the raisins. Perhaps it was because of the toasting, although I'm not too sure because I could have just mixed the other batch incorrectly.

36 - quaker oats oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
Usually I'm a soft and chewy cookie type of gal, but sometimes (such as this, and also the Cook's Illustrated oatmeal raisin cookie) I prefer a little bite. The raisin ones we made were good because they were chewy, but these chocolate chip ones were even better because they weren't. Strange right? I def need to do a taste-test to come to a full conclusive decision as to what is better- toasting or not-toasting.

---RECIPE---
Taken from the lid of a Quaker Oats Can (Not the same recipe they put on the Quaker Oats website).

ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups of Quaker Oats (we toasted one batch of these for about 20 minutes)
1 cup raisins (or 1 cup chocolate chips)

directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat well.
3. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
4. Slowly stir in oats and then raisins.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on sheet, remove to wire rack.

amount:
Makes about 4 dozen cookies. (Lies! We did not make that much, and I didn't even eat any batter)

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