Baking Bravetart’s Oatmeal Cookies

Despite being the recipe in the first post, Dorie‚Äôs Moroccan Semolina and Almond Cookies weren’t actually the first batch of cookies I made in this spree. I can’t quite remember whether the cookies or the goal came first, but one sleep-deprived morning, I woke up and just felt like I needed to make cookies and deliver them to local friends. And show off our new baby at the same time.

And that recipe was Bravetart’s Easy One-Bowl Oatmeal Cookies. Again, I don’t quite remember why I selected it: maybe it was because I had oatmeal and dried cherries readily available. Maybe it was just closely linked to the ingredients for my breakfast that morning. In any case, I whipped them together and was soon quite surprised by the result.

In Bravetart’s original post, the cookies come out as nice mounds that clearly would retain some chew over the following days. Mine completely spread out, and although they were delicious for the first few hours, they became brittle and dry quite quickly. I read through all of the comments about what might have happened and couldn’t find any similar reason for why mine didn’t turn out as well.

Well, more than a dozen batches later, I figured I had improved my technique enough to give it another shot.

As I dove back into the recipe, I began to realize that most of my hard won technique didn’t really matter. It didn’t use the mixer, so my beater height adjustment wouldn’t help. It used melted butter, so my patience in creaming the butter and sugar also didn’t matter. Everything just goes into one bowl.

I was careful to use a thermometer to check my butter temperature, which was right. After mixing together most of the ingredients, the oats, flour, and dried fruit each get incorporated separately.

I used half dried cherries and half raisins because both are delicious and deserve a chance in this recipe.

Next, I divided it into balls to bake. Here, I had my first moment of confusion: Bravetart calls for 30 1-ounce balls, but when I weighed my bowl, I had over 40 ounces of dough. I looked back at the recipe, and just the major ingredients add up to 40 ounces, so I had measured correctly. To split the difference (and to do 3 even sheets), I measured roughly 1.2 ounce balls to make 36 cookies.

Bravetart makes a big point about letting the dough rest so the oats, which are definitely old-fashioned, absorb the liquid, so I didn’t refrigerate the dough as many other recipes call for. For what it’s worth, I did refrigerate one batch last time due to my baking issues, and it didn’t help. So how did it come out?

Flat. I now have an oven thermometer, so I even confirmed that the temperature there was right, but I got roughly the same results as last time.

The cookies in the last batch were a little smaller, and I used my silicone mat instead of parchment, so those turned out even darker and crunchier.

Despite my disappointment at having not improved on the recipe, the cookies still turned out fine. They were delicious for the first few hours as we ate as many as we could, though by the end of the week, they were quite forgettable.

I’m still not sure what I did wrong with the recipe, but I will accept failure because failure in this case is still a pile of baked sugar and butter. Bravetart generally does a great job testing and providing details on getting recipes right, but it wasn’t enough for me.

You can find the recipe for Bravetart’s Oatmeal Cookies on Serious Eats.

Also, here was mid-baking lunch: a turkey-havarti sandwich before it was closed up.

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