Sunday, November 18, 2012

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I feel like I need to talk about something really basic.

Something that seem's minor and irrelevant but is major and full of impact.

It's salt. It's the stuff we use everyday but take for granted. Imagine living a week without salt. Our lives would be so blaaaaa. I picture beige walls, grey tone clothes, blushless cheeks and the "dry eyes" commercial voice narrating in the background - that's a life without salt.

     Cheese would be really sad. Really, really sad.

     Pasta would taste like cardboard. 

     Bacon...we would have no bacon! 


     Sour cream and onion Ruffles? Noooooo!

     Oh my geez Soy Sauce! Asian food would be not so Asian.
     Ever put soy sauce on fresh avocado? Insanebananas.

     Salted caramel would have never become a trend and this sauce would be like "whaaat?".

Salt is an overall flavour enhancer. It simply makes food taste better, including sweets! If you've been baking without salt, then this is going to change everything. Get ready for it.

This might seem like a no-brainer to some avid bakers, but you'd be surprised at how many still bake without it. Not only does it make savoury food taste even more savoury, but it make sweet foods have a more rich, mouth-filling and well-rounded sweetness.

I once made brownies without salt and I scared the crap out of myself. I took one bite and literally threw my head back like "WHOA?!" where did the chocolateyness go? Salt makes chocolate taste way chocolatey. I ended up sprinkling it on top and ate it like a steak. Brownie steak. It's totally a thing.

These Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are salty-sweet. Peanut butter makes them seriously addictive and the oats give them an undeniable chew. I can honestly tell you that I am in love with them and will be hard-pressed to share. Apologies.

Peanut butter, oats and raisins pretty much put these in the Breakfast category. At least that's what I've been telling myself all weekend. Twenty-two cookies over three nights, two days, a cup of milky tea and a little unbuttoning of pants and everything is OK in the world again.

You can use either all natural peanut butter or the regular kind. Both work great although you will get a bit more saltiness with the regular stuff, which contains added sugar, salt and oils. Try all natural PB though - it will stick to the roof of your mouth like nobody's business and will taste like peanuts x 1000. It's intense. You might never look back.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
makes about 22 cookies

¾ cup (105 g) all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (150 g ) packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (65 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups old-fashioned large flake rolled oats
¾ cup sultana raisins

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter with both sugars by hand using a wide rubber spatula until well blended and the mixture looks like wet sand. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Stir in egg and vanilla extract until well incorporated. Add the flour mixture and oats and stir it in gently until it is mostly incorporated but a few streaks of flour remain. Stir in raisins until evenly distributed. 

Roll tablespoon portions of dough into balls and place them on prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Flatten dough balls with your palms to form disks. Bake until lightly golden around the edges but still slightly gooey in the center (they will set as they cool), 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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