These are the best cookies ever. Or at least, they’re really, really good. And really easy. And really surprising. So the pay-off for them is really humongous. For that matter, I wish I had one right now.
I made these cookies for a bbq last weekend, and I was actually a little nervous about them and how the salted tops would go over. I think it was fair to say they were a hit, seeing as how I only had a single cookie left (that I had saved for myself) and all around me were exclamations of how good they are.
This is another case (like the matzoh crunch I posted earlier), where salt brings out the flavor of a sweet product and makes it more complex. I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen, where Deb had adapted it from Cook’s Illustrated (warning: link is for members only, or you can get free membership for 14 days). The CI version was just a salted oatmeal cookie. Deb thought to add white chocolate chunks. I still thought something was missing, because, for me, white chocolate is always borderline oppressively sweet. I thought another “savory” element would help tone down the white chocolate; also, I really can’t comprehend the idea of making an oatmeal cookie without raisins. According to Smitten Kitchen these should be crispy; mine certainly were not, which is great, because I prefer them chewy anyway. I suppose if you really wanted them crispy, you could just smush them down a little more in step 3. You should be able to taste the salt in these, but not in an overwhelming way. Just enough so you notice it. I did one test batch to make sure I was happy with the amount of salt I’d sprinkled on; I used more than Smitten Kitchen recommended, and was very happy with the results, so it’s definitely up to individual taste.
Salted Oatmeal-Raisin White Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
14 tblsp. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
3.5 ounces (1 bar) good-quality white chocolate bar, chopped
3/4 c. raisins
Fleur de sel
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a medium bowl.
3. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy (I let my butter get nice and soft to the point where I could do this with a whisk/rubber spatula combo, since I don’t have an egg beater). Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again.
4. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats, white chocolate chunks, and raisins, and mix until well incorporated.
3. Divide dough into 24 equal portions, each about 2 tablespoons. Roll between palms into balls, then place on lined baking sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using fingertips, gently press down each ball to about 3⁄4-inch thickness.
4. Give a good sprinkle of fleur de sel on each cookie (if you want to be really precise, I think I probably had about 5 flakes on each – you can also do a test batch, like I did, to see if you’re happy with the amount of salt).
5. Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Let cool, preferably on a wire rack, or, if you’re me, by hustling them onto a plate and hoping for the best (it works fine).