It may come as a shock to legions of chocolate chip devotees, but there’s a small but passionate faction of cookie lovers who prefer oatmeal raisin.
Recipe: Maple Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies
It’s not that we just tolerate oatmeal raisin cookies, nor that we think of them as a dignified second best. It’s that we would, in fact, brush past a teetering stack of fancy chocolate chunk mega-cookies to get just one nubby, chewy, dried-fruit-speckled disk of oatmeal raisin, especially if it is still soft and warm from the oven, fragrantly spiced.
Sadly, far from the myriad chocolate chip cookie recipes to be found in print and online, oatmeal raisin fans have only a handful to choose from and even fewer variations. This recipe is my humble but considered contribution to the cause.
Its basic dough is close to my favorite oatmeal raisin iteration, full of dark brown sugar for butterscotch notes and crisp, caramelized edges.
But here’s where the variety comes in. Instead of raisins, I use a homemade blueberry-maple compote brightened with lemon juice and grated zest for those pops of fruit.
Homemade compote is fresher tasting than store-bought preserves, while also allowing you to control the sweetness level, adding less or more maple syrup (though you can use a jar of jam in a pinch; stir in the lemon juice and zest). And it’s easy to make: Simply simmer the ingredients until they turn syrupy, then turn off the heat. The compote thickens as it cools, turning jammy and satiny. The most intense flavor is to be had from frozen wild blueberries if you can find them, but any kind of blueberries work nicely, fresh or frozen.
To form the cookies, start out as if they were thumbprints. Place the balls of dough on the pan, create a divot in the center, then spoon in some compote. This is where the similarity ends. Instead of leaving the compote visible, I hide it with more dough. Because who doesn’t love a sweet surprise?
From the outside, the cookies look plain, disappointing even (what, no chocolate and no raisins?). But bite in and a sticky puddle of blueberry goodness is instantly revealed, followed closely by spices and a nutty crunch.
Be sure to save a few to share with chocolate chip cookie fans. You just may bring them, at least temporarily, over to the oatmeal side.
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