Monday, December 9, 2013

Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

I’ve always got so many cookie ideas this time of year! Way more than I could possibly eat my way through. Well, really they’re mostly the ideas of other people, but the idea that I should make them and share them and eat them is all my own. Occasionally, however, I get an idea to modify a recipe or combine a couple of good-looking ones. That’s pretty much what happened with these Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies.

Of course oatmeal raisin cookies are pretty standard and I had wanted to turn this recipe with apples into a raisin cookie because I liked the oatmeal cookie base so much. Then, I also saw a recipe in Tish Boyle’s The Good Cookie in which she macerated raisins in rum before stirring them into cookie dough. (Her recipe is for a chocolate chip cookie, which is probably pretty fabulous.) This idea helped me really kick up the flavor of my oatmeal raisin cookies. There's enough oatmeal in the recipe to make them almost feel wholesome, and I also added some chopped pecans for extra crunch.

There’s just a hint of extra complexity in the flavor of these cookies from the rum-soaked raisins. An extra taste of rum from rum extract, something with which I became quite enamored a couple years ago when falling in love with these muffins, is an especially delicious addition. The cookies don’t come out boozy, something I appreciate and something that allows them to be brought to share in the workplace without too much controversy.

And I did take these cookies to share at work where they received rave reviews. My husband also shared some with his friends, perhaps folks who have a little more appreciation for rum, and they loved them too. So, you don’t just have to take my word for their especial deliciousness. And you probably don’t need to put the rum in them at all, but I think the rum-soaked raisins and bit of extra rum flavoring are just the spirit these cookies need to raise them out of the every-day cookie jar and onto the holiday table.

Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
based on recipes from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle

1 cup raisins
¼ cup rum
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon fine salt
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 ¾ cup rolled oats
¾ cup chopped pecans

1. Combine the raisins and rum in a small bowl. Let stand 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

2. In a medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk together or sift to combine thoroughly. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer (my preferred method) or in another large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat at medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and rum extracts. Beat until smooth.

4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until just moistened. Stir in the oats. Stir in the raisins along with any of the remaining rum. Stir until combined. (I prefer to refrigerate the dough for at least a few hours or overnight at this point, although you could continue if you do not want to take the time to rest the dough.)

5. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment. Scoop and drop the dough by heaping tablespoons (I used a 1 ½ inch scoop) onto the prepared pans.

6. Bake at 375 F for 11-13 minutes or until set in the middle and gently browned on the edges. Let cool on the pan for a minute or two, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies. Store in an airtight container for a few days.


One year ago: Gingerbread Muffins

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