I was the cookie queen in our family growing up. My sisters wore the crown when I was too young to read recipes, relegating me to the boring, younger-sibling job of sifting flour while they got the enviable task of creaming butter and sugar. But I grabbed the role as soon as I could convince my mother I could be trusted with an oven, and have guarded it jealously ever since. I have baked cookies to celebrate a graduation or a Sunday, to welcome home a child or provide solace during a bad break-up. They have been a gift of friendship, an apology, and even, on occasion, a seduction of sorts.
So it only makes sense that they would factor into one of my books, and that one of my favorite characters, Lillian, would be the cookie maker. The Lost Art of Mixing returns to four of the characters from The School of Essential Ingredients, and throws four new ones into the batch. And the way they begin to come together is through the smell of cookies, drifting out of Lillian’s restaurant kitchen, tempting an accountant named Al off the sidewalk, through the wrought iron gate and up the side path to the kitchen door. Lillian and Al’s meeting is serendipitous, and while it seems innocuous enough at the time, in retrospect it becomes clear how many lives it sets in motion.
This recipe is for what you might call a half-batch, because the other thing I have learned about cookies is that they are best when fresh. Feel free to double it, however, if you have many guests, ravenous teenagers, or need a several-day supply.
Note: Feel free to play with the finishing ingredients. Consider, for example, adding chopped dried cranberries instead of raisins, or a bit of orange zest for flavor.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies
A light, crispy cookie made with chocolate chips, oatmeal, raisins, and a twist of cinnamon.
½ cup (1 stick) butter
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
½ cup raisins (see note)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two cookie sheets.
- Place the butter, both sugars, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Cream until light and fluffy. Add egg and combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to wet mixture and combine in the mixer. Add oats and mix. Add chocolate chips and raisins, and mix.
- Place approximately 1 rounded tablespoon of batter per cookie onto the prepared cookie sheet. Cookies are meant to be light and crispy, so plan on them spreading out and space accordingly.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven’s heat level. Cookies should be golden brown. Letting them sit for a minute or two before removing from the cookie sheet will help them maintain their shape in the transfer. I like to let them cool on a brown paper grocery bag laid flat on the counter.