Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Alton Brown's Oatmeal Cookies

I've made two batches of Alton Brown's Oatiest Oatmeal Cookies so far and have been really pleased with them.  Oatmeal cookies have admittedly never been my favorite, but Alton's recipe has moved them up quite a few notches in my cookie rankings.  The gimmick with the Good Eats version is using flour made from rolled oats instead of AP flour and this definitely sets them apart in terms of taste.  I found the cookies to have a great toasted/nutty flavor and, as a bonus, they are gluten free.  They're delicious, versatile, and I have to say very good eats.  There will be plenty of these going around at Christmas this year.

This is a pretty straightforward recipe since it doesn't call for any exotic ingredients, though you do need a good food processor to make the flour.  Make sure to thoroughly pulverize the rolled oats into a powder or you may end up with dough that does not come together or gets to dry during baking.  The only change I recommend to the stock version is dropping the granulated sugar a bit since it overpowers the other flavors and is noticeable in the texture.  In my second batch I dropped the sugar from 3.5 ounces to 3.0.

What I love about this recipe, besides making me like oatmeal cookies, is the myriad of flavors you can bring in without fussing with the recipe.  In my first batch I added a mix of 2oz. raisins (not soaked) and 2ox. dried cranberries.  I'm not a big fan of raisins, but the texture works well with the cookie and the cranberries added a little kick.  For the second batch I used 2oz. dried cherries and 2oz. raisins and was even more impressed. Cooking time ranged around 13-14 minutes per six cookie batch.  I didn't bother rotating the pans since my oven has a record of heating evenly.  After cooling, the cookies were crunchy on the outside and still a bit moist in the middle.  I found that it was better to go with a bit larger bit of dough, a rounded scoop in my disher, or the cookies tended to flatten to the point of being too delicate and breaking in the middle.  The larger scoop also helped retain some moisture in the middle.

Good Eats -- Oat Cuisine II is available on iTunes

For my next trick, I will try to replicate one of my favorite treats, the oatmeal/cherry/chocolate Boomchunkas from Cherry Republic in Traverse City, Michigan.  I'm also thinking a crushed candy cane version for Christmas and a mixed dried berry variety with cherries/blueberries/etc.  Any other ideas?


julie k h aka jkru said...

I've always liked coconut in oatmeal cookies. You could totally do coconut/dried pineapple/macadamia nuts for tropical oatmeal cookies.

Jill Michel said...

After I read all the comments on the Food Network's site, I wanted to wait to see what you said about the cookies. I've never seen so many negative comments on a Good Eats recipe!

oneSAHDdude said...

Wow, you're right! Looking through them I did notice that in a lot of the 1 star ratings people made obvious mistakes, such as one person commenting about the lack of flour (not a Good Eats watcher apparently). The recipe does definitely need some minor tweaks, but isn't that bad. I guess Alton isn't perfect :-)

Jill Michel said...

Well, he's pretty amazing - a real home-grown success story!

I'll be so glad to see some more Good Eats. The Food Network is so in love with Guy Fieri-and this week there IS no Good Eats! I'm totally bummed.

They didn't show Alton's Thanksgiving show this year, nor Behind the Bird. Not a good sign for us G.E. fans.

oneSAHDdude said...

I think they may have aired the fried turkey show, can't remember, about a week too early. They ran Twas the Night Before Good Eats earlier this week, not sure if it will make another appearance before Christmas.

I really hate to see Alton, and especially Good Eats, founder on the Food Network, though it may give AB a chance to work on more creative projects if he ever leaves there. Maybe we'll see him return to film production some day?

Jill Michel said...

Yeah, he's really been able to expand his range of interests/knowledge thanks to Good Eats and his lectures. I think it won't be long before he closes up Good Eats.