I love snacking. Friends who are close to me will know that I have to have my breakfast once I’m awake, followed by lunch about 3-4h later, followed by a tea-time (or snack-time) and finally dinner by 7pm. In between, I might sneak in a cookie or fruit if I’m at home. Post-holiday, I’ve been putting myself on a semi-diet, where I try to cut down on eating overly unhealthy stuff. However, I still have cookie cravings – so I figured, why not bake a healthy cookie that I can munch on at will without feeling overly guilty about the calories? Plus the fact that the 1-kg packet of rolled oats which I bought last year was still lying around the cabinet untouched, it was time for me to make some oatmeal cookies!
This recipe has been on my mind for awhile, and it calls for applesauce, which I have blogged about here. Applesauce is a healthy alternative to fats (typically oil or butter) and this substitute is perfect here because I am looking for chewy cookies, and not crisp ones. Applesauce will result in a cookie with a softer and moister texture.
Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Adapted from Nick Malgieri’s Perfect Light Desserts and Cook’s Illustrated here
Makes 36 cookies
125 g all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
30 g butter, softened
90 g granulated sugar
80 g light brown sugar
1 large egg (about 55-60g)
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 g rolled oats
75 g raisins (you can substitute this with pecans, cranberries or even chocolate chunks!)
- Set racks in upper and lower third of oven and preheat oven to 180°C.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Beat softened butter and granulated sugar together. Add the brown sugar until mixture turns fluffy.
- Add in the egg and beat until thoroughly mixed.
- Beat in the applesauce, followed by the vanilla extract.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until the dough starts to come together. Add rolled oats and raisins one at a time and continue mixing the batter.
- Drop the dough using a teaspoon (or an ice cream scoop if you are so inclined), placing them 2 inches (or about 4 fingers) apart on the greased cookie sheets. Use a fork to gently flatten the mounds of dough until about 2 cm thick.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. At the halfway mark, change the positions of the pans, from top to bottom and back to front. Once the edges of the cookies start to brown, remove the pans. The centre of the cookie will look underdone, the surface will look dull, but wet and shiny in between the cracks.
- Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before sliding them onto a wire rack to cool.
A final one:
Per cookie: 54 calories, 1g total fat, 1g protein, 10g carbohydrates
(These values are from the book but the above recipe will have lower values because I have reduced the sugar (both white and brown) by 20% as compared to the original recipe.)
- Cookies will look undone at 10-12 minutes, but this is what makes them chewy! If you want your cookies crisp, just leave them slightly longer for 15 minutes.
- I felt that the floury taste was still a little strong – the next time, I’ll up the vanilla extract to 2 tsp, together with more rolled oats (probably up to 130g) because there doesn’t seem to be enough!
- If you want a tender, chewy cookie – you can also substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour – the lower protein content will reduce the amount of gluten formation.
- I made a tiny batch with some chunky peanut butter and it tasted great
- The original recipe calls for 110g of fine granulated sugar and 100g of brown sugar – these proportions would be apt for someone who like their cookies sweet. The reduced amounts in my recipe above makes for a less-than-normal sweet tasting cookie.
- Note that the use of fats (butter, in this case) is not totally eliminated because it adds flavor to the cookie.
This post made it onto Tasteologie here