I hadn’t stealth-baked since I was twelve.

The Only Oatmeal Cookie


As the weather in southern New England threatens to break into the 50’s any day now, I’m wrapping up my winter bake ware, but not before a final run of my favorite waist expanders. And what do you know, after years of fine-tuning and this particularly insidious past winter, I seem to have perfected the oatmeal raisin cookie. I made the good-bye batch in secret late last night; Billy the Kid is convinced that oats are an attempt to pass off a vegetable in snack form and refuses to allow any baking time to be wasted on hippie health food. BK’s free will is coming in at full speed and it’s battle-picking season at the Peña house. I can sympathize with his resentment of vegetables (and hippies), so I’m letting him choose what we bake for now. While these contain a satisfyingly concerning amount of sugar, the salt cuts it down perfectly, encouraging a rapid cycle of consumption. I despise a cakey oatmeal cookie; this one is barely a solid when first removed from the oven. I’ll go right ahead and claim full credit for these bad Larries since a second egg apparently has never occurred to anyone else. If you’d like to comment on my method of pluralizing “Larry,” feel free to drop a hand-written note right in the garbage.

2 sticks salted butter, softened
1 C dark brown sugar
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
3 C old fashioned oats
1/2 C golden raisins
1/2 chopped, toasted pecans

Assemble the ingredients as you would any normal cookie dough. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets with at least 2 inches between each pile and bake single sheets at 350 for 13 to 14 minutes. Once removed from the oven, let the cookies sit on the sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a wire rack for 10 more. As soon as they hit room temperature, cover them up to preserve the chew.

A note on the raisins: I prefer the golden variety, as they lend an element of surprise to each bite. Unless you look closely, they blend right into the golden-brown cookie, and I, for one, need something to look forward to.

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