It’s no secret that around here that we’re all getting more than a little antsy for Autumn. I decided to contribute to that Fall-longing by baking one of the most “Fall-y” cookies in my (limited) repertoire — Chewy Ginger Oatmeal cookies. The oatmeal makes for a wholesome touch, the taste equivalent of buying new school supplies, and the ginger gives a hint of “enjoy Fall now, because Winter is right around the corner!” When a stolen evening was granted to us last week (some much-anticipated plans fell through), it seemed the perfect opportunity to revisit the first item I baked in the kitchen when it was mostly complete last August.
I’d feel bad writing another post about these cookies, but a) they’re really good, b) I didn’t include the recipe the first time around, and c) the picture was all wonky the first time and it drives me batty.
I remembered that these cookies were easy, but I forgot exactly how easy. Process-wise, these cookies are a perfect last-minute, impulse-bake choice (provided you have rolled oats on hand). They taste better when they’re completely and utterly cooled, though; so if you have a picnic to go to in six hours but forgot to make something, these are the cookies for you! Or, if you’re like me, and you’ve got a stolen evening and are planning to spend six hours watching “Murder, She Wrote”, these are the cookies for you!
The recipe comes from Baking Illustrated; it’s written as Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies, but there are several variations for adding dates, ginger, chocolate, nuts, or orange and almond. (Hm. Orange-Almond. That sounds really, really good… I might need to give those a go someday, if I can ever tear myself away from the ginger recipe.) I’m only writing out the Ginger variation here, because no one should ever put raisins in cookies. That’s just wrong.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground ginger
2 sticks butter (softened but cool)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 cups old-fashioned roll oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and ginger in a small bowl. In a mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add and beat eggs, one at a time. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture by hand. Add the oats and stir some more.
Roll or scoop the dough into 2 inch balls.
Bake for 22-25 minutes*. Let cool completely and utterly.
*Not really. The recipe says 22-25 minutes. It’s WRONG! Pretty much every other cookie recipe I’ve made with our ovens have needed the exact time specified by the recipe or more. So I set the timer for 22 minutes and wandered off. Oops. The cookies didn’t burn, per se, but they were darker than they should have been, and they were less Chewy Ginger Oatmeal cookies and more Crispy Ginger Oatmeal cookies. So I set the next pans for 15 minutes, and they turned out much better.
Regardless of the varying states of chewy and crispy, these cookies fulfilled all their Autumnlonging promise. Toothy, spicy, hearty, and sweet — what more could I ask for to bring Fall into the kitchen a few months early?