Category Archives: oats

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin CookiesI have baked with oats a fair amount over the last few years. Granola, baked oatmeal, gluten-free vegan chocolate chip cookies, graham crackers, oatmeal creme pies, jam squares—I’ve made them all, but the most iconic oat dessert of all, the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, has eluded me.Oatmeal Raisin CookiesOh, I’ve tried. Of course I have. But, prior to this, every oatmeal cookie that has come out of my kitchen has been disappointingly flat in both appearance and flavor, and I’ve had a bit of a complex about it. I mean, is it so wrong to want a thick, chewy cinnamon-scented cookie with toasty oats and raisins with actual flavor and texture???

Well, no. No, it is not.Oatmeal Raisin CookiesEnter my dream Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, the results of years of boredom and frustration and some concentrated testing. They take a little longer to prepare than your average oatmeal cookie, but that’s because you’re adding big flavor and texture you just can’t get otherwise.

  • I toast my oats because toasted oats have an incredible nutty flavor and crispness that regular oats do not. The process takes all of five minutes and makes a huge difference in the final product. Oatmeal cookies should have big oat flavor!
  • Nothing is worse than a tough, waxy raisin in an otherwise great cookie. I like to ensure that my cookies will be studded with plump, flavorful raisins by giving them a quick soak in boiling water. This step is hands-off, but makes the final cookies extra chewy and delicious and has the added benefit of keeping them from drying out after a day or two.
  • Most oatmeal cookie recipes call for creamed softened butter to aerate the dough, but melted butter generally produces chewier results. We want chewy cookies, do we not?! You could just use plain melted butter here, but I like to take it a step further—brown butter, y’all. That depth of flavor cannot be matched!Oatmeal Raisin CookiesOatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • This dough is sweetened with only dark brown sugar for both flavor and texture. The molasses in brown sugar helps these cookies stay soft and chewy for days.
  • I swapped some of the usual baking soda for baking powder, which is 4x weaker. Using equal volumes of both leaveners means that we get results that spread out less and puff up more.
  • I chill this cookie dough (and most of my others) because cold dough spreads less in the oven. We want thick cookies, not flat ones!Oatmeal Raisin CookiesOatmeal Raisin Cookies

The cold dough is scooped and rolled in two-tablespoon increments before being baked for 11-13 minutes, or until they look just slightly underdone. They’ll finish cooking as they cool, and the centers will stay soft and chewy.Oatmeal Raisin CookiesY’all! Are those not the most delicious-looking Oatmeal Raisin Cookies you’ve ever seen? Because those are the most delicious-looking Oatmeal Raisin Cookie I’ve ever seen. The best I’ve ever eaten, too–thick, rich and chewy with big hits of molasses and cinnamon, and all those toasty, buttery oats and raisins, of course!Oatmeal Raisin CookiesLike I said, they’re the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies of my dreams. (And maybe now your dreams, too.)Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
makes about 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups raisins
water
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Plump the raisins. Place raisins in a small saucepan and cover with water. Heat over medium-high heat until it simmers, then remove from heat and set aside.

Toast the oats. Heat a large dry skillet over medium heat. Add oats and toast, stirring constantly, for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant with some darker pieces. Remove to a bowl. Set aside.

Brown the butter. Place butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Let butter melt. Butter will bubble and crackle as the water content evaporates. Swirl the pan frequently for 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on the color. When the solids are turning brown and the butter is nutty and fragrant, remove the pot from the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into a large mixing bowl. Let cool a few minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Whisk dark brown sugar into brown butter. Add eggs one at a time, whisking to combine, followed by vanilla. Mix in flour mixture. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in toasted oats, followed by raisins. Cover cookie dough with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

Scoop dough in 2 tablespoon increments and roll into balls. Set at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 11-13 minutes, rotating pans top-to-bottom and back-to-front at the 6 minute mark.

Let cookies cool on their pans for 7-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat dough rolling and baking until all dough is used.

Cookies may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.Oatmeal Raisin CookiesOatmeal Raisin CookiesOatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Easy Raspberry Jam Squares

Easy Raspberry Jam SquaresY’all. Y’ALL. Why did I wait so long to make jam squares?Easy Raspberry Jam SquaresI mean, they’re so…easy. Seven ingredients, one bowl, no mixer—my favorite sort of recipe.Easy Raspberry Jam SquaresEasy Raspberry Jam SquaresEasy Raspberry Jam SquaresFive minutes for mixing, five more for assembly. Just shy of thirty for them to bake up.Easy Raspberry Jam SquaresOnce they’re cool, they slice like a dream.Easy Raspberry Jam SquaresYou’ll like the crisp cookie layers, chewy oats, and sweet-tart jam centers on day one, but some magic flavor-melding happens in that first 24 hours and they are eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head good on day two. And they just get better from there.Easy Raspberry Jam SquaresEasy Raspberry Jam Squares are far more than the sum of their parts. I went into testing thinking these might need cinnamon or nuts, but I was wrong—simplicity is key for optimal jam flavor.Easy Raspberry Jam SquaresAnd speaking of jam, I went with raspberry because that’s what I like, but feel free to use any preserves you like. I think blueberry sounds particularly good right now, but that may only be because we just booked our annual trip to Maine. In fact, these are so simple that they’d be perfect for a little late-afternoon vacation baking.Easy Raspberry Jam SquaresLike I said, my favorite sort of recipe.Easy Raspberry Jam Squares

Easy Raspberry Jam Squares
makes one 9-inch pan, about 16 squares

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
2/3 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and grease with butter. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and oats. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in melted butter—mixture may be crumbly, but should hold together when pinched.

Firmly press half the dough (about 2 cups) into an even layer at the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread jam over packed dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides.

Scatter remaining dough mixture over the top. Use the palms of your hands to gently pack it into a even layer, covering the jam.

Bake full pan for 25-27 minutes, or until golden and set on top. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Slice bars with a lightly greased chef’s knife, wiping the blade clean between cuts. Do not try to slice bars until they are completely room temperature.

Bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. Layer them with wax paper to keep them from sticking together.Easy Raspberry Jam SquaresEasy Raspberry Jam SquaresEasy Raspberry Jam Squares

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Hello from Swan’s Island!Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}VJ and I got here Saturday afternoon. It was supposed to be us and two more that day, but due to a work snafu, they didn’t join us until yesterday. Thank goodness for our other guest, my sister, EliotBlueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Since it’s just been the two of us these last few days, meals have been simple. As I’ve mentioned many (many, many, many) times, VJ is a gluten-free vegan. I am neither of those things, but it simply doesn’t make sense to make meat or floury baked goods just for me. I made scrambled eggs and ate a piece of avocado toast, but it was all vegan and gluten-free otherwise.

I’m not complaining.Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}While everyone else I know was going to work Monday morning, I made this Blueberry Baked Oatmeal for us. Made with gluten-free old-fashioned oats, rice milk,* and aquafaba in place of eggs, it was the perfect way to start the day. And also the next day—it makes enough for six people.

*You could use almond milk or another unsweetened non-dairy milk, but we have a nut-allergic friend here and we’d like not to poison him, you know?Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}This oatmeal is super simple to make. With just a few minutes of prep-work and 40 minutes of bake time, you’ll be rewarded with a rich, cinnamon-spiked oatmeal that is positively bursting with blueberries.Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}You just need two bowls and a stirring implement to put it together, and you probably have all the ingredients already (with the possible exception of blueberries).Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}VJ and I prefer our oatmeal on the sweet side, so I used 1/2 cup maple syrup here. If you’d like a less-sweet breakfast, you can reduce it to 1/4 cup.Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Feel free to add nuts or seeds (toast them with the oats!), or stir in coconut flakes or mashed banana. Everything we eat on Swan’s Island comes from one pre-ferry grocery trip on the mainland, so meals are paired down and simple. I like this oatmeal as-is with an additional drizzle of maple and a pat of butter, but that’s just me.As with many of the recipes on this site, this recipe can be made with many variations. Feel free to take my favorite and make it yours.Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes about 6 servings

2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free for gluten-free)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly-grated lemon zest
2 cups non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
6 tablespoons aquafaba (or 2 large eggs or 2 flax eggs)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (may be reduced to 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 pint fresh blueberries, divided

For serving:
maple syrup
butter (vegan or regular)
yogurt

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a deep 9-inch pie plate or other casserole dish. Set aside.

Place oats on a dry rimmed baking sheet (or other large pan) and toast in the oven for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool a few minutes. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and stir in cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together non-dairy milk, aquafaba, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla. Stir in oat mixture.

Reserve 1/4 cup blueberries for topping. Scatter remaining blueberries in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Add oatmeal mixture over the top and spread out as evenly as you can. Dot with remaining blueberries. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is lightly set.

Let oatmeal cool for at least 15 minutes before serving with additional maple syrup, butter, and/or yogurt. Oatmeal is best warm or at room temperature.

Leftover oatmeal will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.Blueberry Baked Oatmeal {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}After I made Toasted Oat Graham Crackers a few weeks ago, I ran across the recipe for Ovenly’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, which I had bookmarked in three separate places, including my copy of their book.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}I should acknowledge that I already have four recipes for chocolate chip cookies in my archives (see here, here, here, and here) and another I’ve been tinkering with for over a year. I don’t need another, but I made an exception for Ovenly because theirs’ is naturally vegan and doesn’t involve any egg substitutes or sticks of “buttery spread.”Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but as I had plenty of oats leftover from making from my adventures in graham cracker-ing, I figured I’d give it a shot with toasted ground oats. I also swapped out plain granulated sugar for an equal volume of light brown, added some vanilla, switched from chocolate chips to finely chopped dark chocolate, and nixed the extra salt entirely.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}The Ovenly overlords will tell you that theirs’ is a finicky recipe and to follow it to the T. They are correct—it’s a very precise recipe and works perfectly as-is. But I messed with it anyway because I can’t help myself.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}It took me five test rounds to get these cookies to work consistently with toasted ground oats, but I persisted and have been rewarded with super chewy, chocolaty cookies that anyone will love (not just your favorite local gluten-free vegan).Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}I will, however, jump on Ovenly’s soapbox like a hypocrite and tell you not to mess with this recipe…any further than I have already.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}As with most baking recipes, the volumes of ingredients are very specific for a reason. In the case of this recipe, adjusting the liquid ingredients by 1 tablespoon (!) will either yield sad, soupy dough (and lacy cookies) or a chilled rock of inedible dough. Trust me, I know.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}And for the love of everything, don’t shorten the 12-24 hour chill. If you do, I guarantee you will be disappointed. But if you work ahead, as specified in the recipe, you’ll be rewarded with some seriously good Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}For all my “don’t mess with the recipe” talk, these are remarkably easy and delicious cookies! They’re a guaranteed hit, not only for their chewy texture and perfect amount of dark chocolate, but because they’re vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free, so more people can eat them. Love that ❤Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}
adapted from Ovenly
makes 21-24 medium cookies

3 cups old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free for gluten-free)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil (I use canola)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 ounces dark chocolate (certified dairy-free for vegan), finely chopped

Place oven racks in the top and bottom positions. Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread oats onto a dry rimmed sheet pan. Place in oven and toast for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Transfer oats into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 3-4 minutes, or until there are no recognizable oats. Transfer ground oats to a large mixing bowl and freeze for 5 minutes, or until no longer warm.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine light brown sugar, oil, water, and vanilla. Whisk until the sugar has melted, and everything is fully combined and thickened slightly. Set aside.

Retrieve ground oats from the freezer. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chopped dark chocolate. Pour in liquid ingredients and fold together. Mixture will be pretty thin. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Do not skip or shorten this step.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Line a dinner plate with wax paper or parchment. Scoop dough (which will still be soft) in 2 tablespoon increments. Place dough balls on lined plate. Freeze for 10 minutes.

Place dough balls at least 4 inches apart on prepared pans (I get 6 on a half sheet pan). Place any remaining dough balls back in the freezer.

Bake 7 minutes. Rotate pans top-to-bottom and back-to-front. Bake an additional 6 minutes. Let cool for at least 7 minutes on prepared pans before removing to a rack to cool completely. Let pans return to room, temperature before baking remaining dough balls.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They may also be frozen after baking and are shockingly good when they are ice cold.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}

Monster Blondies

Monster BlondiesRemember that huge, ridiculous M&Ms Surprise Cake I posted last week? It’s long gone.Monster Blondies You know what’s still taking up space in my kitchen? This comically large container of M&Ms. It’s made it through two of those cakes, a batch of cookies and lots of late night snacks, and it’s still kickin’.Monster Blondies Also taking up space in my kitchen? Three different jars of peanut butter. THREE. And they’re all different brands. Just…what? I really need an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all my baking supplies so I’m not compelled to pick up peanut butter every time I see it on sale.Monster Blondies So, what does one do with all that peanut butter and that huge container of M&Ms? Add some oats and make Monster Blondies, of course!Monster Blondies What makes these blondies so…monstrous? Well, they’re a riff on Monster Cookies, a sort of “everything but the kitchen sink” cookie that, at its most basic, contains peanut butter, oats, M&Ms and chocolate chips.Monster BlondiesMonster BlondiesMonster BlondiesMonster BlondiesMonster BlondiesThe original cookies are terrific, but skipping the cookie dough and tossing all those ingredients into blondie batter is absolutely the way to go! The resulting blondies have all the flavors and textures from their namesake recipe, but with an extra thick and chewy peanut butter base.Monster BlondiesMonster BlondiesMonster BlondiesNot only that, but blondies are way easier to make than cookies—this recipe comes together with just one bowl and a silicone spatula! And, of course, they don’t require baking in batches. Monster Blondies are ready to come out of the oven just 40 minutes after you start making the batter!Monster BlondiesOnce the blondies have cooled slice them up and dig in! You’ll love the soft & chewy blondie base, the slight saltiness from the peanut butter, the texture from the oats and crackly candy coating, and tons of chocolate. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the very best kind of mid-week pick-me-up ❤ Monster BlondiesMonster Blondies
makes 16 blondies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup creamy-style peanut butter (not natural-style)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&Ms candy

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving some overhang on two sides. Grease with butter. Set aside.

Place butter and peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Melt together in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Transfer to a medium large mixing bowl. Stir in light brown sugar, followed by egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Fold in oats, followed by chocolate chips and M&Ms.

Spread the blondie batter in prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes (mine took 28 minutes), or until turning golden at the edges. Let blondies cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Use foil to lift blondies out of pan. Peel off foil and transfer blondies to a cutting board. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice bars. Serve.

Leftover blondies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.Monster Blondies