Don't Fall for the Clickbait: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

As much as online clickbait irritates me, I'm not completely immune to its allure. I could not resist trying the recipe that The Wall Street Journal declared to be "The Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe We've Ever Tried."

At first glance, this recipe looks like any other -- except for the recommended four-day chilling period before baking (and even that feature is not that unusual -- my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe from Jacques Torres includes a 24-hour chilling period that I often extend to two or three days). To make the batter, you cream together softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar; add flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; and mix in old-fashioned oats, raisins that have been soaked in hot water and drained, egg, and vanilla. I used a #16 scoop to portion out the dough (getting 16 cookies), flattened each cookie slightly, and then covered the cookies with plastic wrap and chilled them for four days before baking.
These cookies turned out very very dark -- which was not all that surprising, because my experience with the Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookie recipe is that the chilling period causes the cookies to take on a deeper caramel color during baking. The cookies were also quite large (a little over four inches in diameter) and fairly flat.

I thought these were good oatmeal cookies. They were tender and very chewy. The cinnamon flavor was quite strong and the raisins had a lot of flavor but not much texture; I think that soaking them removed all of their chewiness. I love a plump raisin as much as everyone else, but I was actually thinking that I might have liked the cookie better with unsoaked raisins. But to get to the ultimate question: were these the best oatmeal cookies I've ever tried? Not even close.

I've made a lot of oatmeal cookies in my time, and I don't even need a head-to-head taste test to come up with four recipes off the top of my head that I like better: King Arthur Flour's Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie, Tom Douglas' Cranberry Apricot Oatmeal Cookie, the Baked Monster Cookie, and even the Starbucks Outrageous Oatmeal Cookie. And if I expand the field to include non-traditional oatmeal cookies, I can add two more: Mindy Segal's Oatmeal Scotchies and the Chocolate Shots that won the 1996 Chicago Tribune holiday cookie contest. Maybe I should assemble these into a listicle of "Oatmeal Cookies That Are Even Better Than the WSJ's Best!"

Recipe: "Oatmeal Raisin Cookies" (adapted from Melissa Weller of Sadelle's in NYC) from The Wall Street Journal.

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Anonymous said…
Thanks for posting this recipe. I started reading about the BEST OATMEAL cookie from the WSJ the other day and wanted to try it, but think will start with your other recommendations first. Your reviews are always the best. Have a great day!