Six-Spice Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal.  I crave it hot on a wintry morning, made with milk and a touch of maple syrup.  I use it in lieu of breadcrumbs in one of my meatloaf recipes, and pulverize it into flour for my favorite banana bread.  But best of all, I love a chewy oatmeal cookie bursting with unexpected nuances of flavor.

My search for the ultimate oatmeal cookie was rewarded several months ago when I stumbled upon a 20-year-old recipe posted on the Epicurious website by Diane Elizabeth Brown.  With only a few adaptations, such as the substitution of dried cranberries for half the raisins, and a little dried coconut, I’ve followed her ingredients list exactly.   Also, I increased the size and baking time to produce 36 respectably-sized cookies rather than 60 or so smaller ones.

The six spices in these cookies – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cumin, clove and cayenne – are truly an inspired combination that launched these onto my all-star list.  A favorite with the family, and sure to be a real company or crowd-pleaser the next time you’re entertaining or asked to bring something to a potluck.

DIANE-INSPIRED SIX-SPICE OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES

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Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and cumin

1 pinch each ground cloves and cayenne

1/2 tsp each baking soda and kosher salt

2 sticks unsalted butter softened

1 cup each dark brown sugar and granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup each golden raisins and dried cranberries

1/4 cup dried unsweetened grated coconut (optional)

Equipment:

2 cookie sheets; medium bowl; stand mixer with large bowl and paddle attachment; 2 cookie sheets; cooling racks

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine flour with the spices, baking soda and salt.

With paddle attachment of stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and somehwat fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  With mixer speed on ‘stir’, add in the rolled oats and everything else, and stir just until well combined.

Using a 1-1/2 tbsp measure, scoop out portions of the cookie dough and scoop them out of the measuring spoon with a table knife onto your cookie sheet, spacing the cookies about 2″ apart.  12 per batch will fit nicely.  Bake for about 13 minutes, until golden in color, let cool one minute on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to rack to cool completely.  This recipe will produce 3 batches of 12.  Photo shows only 33, as my husband stole 3 of them before I got to photograph.

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