Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From The Movies

Last week, knowing that we were in for an 8-hour day of research proposal presentations in class, I brought oatmeal cookies, figuring the day would be more agreeable spent eating. Which is not to say I don't want to listen to presentations; it's just that, well, 6 hours in, you know, sometimes you need a little push. So around 4 in the afternoon I brought them out and passed them around. "Are these the cookies Americans are always eating in the movies?" a classmate of mine asked. I explained that the most common cookies for us are chocolate chip, but that these run a close second. People in Latin America always find it strange when I explain that baking is such a part of American culture that there are many people who know how to make cookies but that don't really cook.

These particular oatmeal cookies are adapted from a Regan Daley recipe. They have been my favorite for a couple of years, something about the honey and nutmeg just make them even more oatmeal cookie-ish in exactly the way you want oatmeal cookies to be. The last time I made them I threw in some wheat bran and it fit in quite nicely, and replacing part of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour works well too.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
     adapted from Regan Daley

3.5 oz. (100 g. or 7 Tbsp.) butter
1 c. brown sugar (I like to use muscovado sugar here)
1 egg
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
small pinch of salt
scant 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
2 Tbsp. wheat or oat bran (optional)
1 c. dark raisins 

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until it´s lighter in color and you can no longer feel the sugar granules between your fingers. Beat in the egg and then the honey and the vanilla. In a medium bowl stir the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until combined, then mix in the oats and the wheat bran. Mix in the raisins. Cover the bowl with plastic and chill the dough for at least an hour in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Use a tablespoon to make balls and place them on a cookie sheet, leaving 2 in. in between the cookies to allow for spreading. Bake for 10 min., turning the cookie sheet 180º after 5 min. so the cookies bake evenly. Take them out when they are set and just beginning to look a bit golden, don´t let them burn. Use a spatula to remove them to a cooling rack, and continue with the rest of the batter.
Makes around 2 dozen cookies.
In her book, Daley gives this recipe alongside one for cinnamon ice cream in order to make ice cream sandwiches. Some day I will do this and all of my dreams will come true. 

Galletas de Avena con Pasas
     adaptada de Regan Daley

100 g. de mantequilla
1 taza de azúcar rubia (o 1 taza de azúcar blanco mezclada con 1 cucharada de melaza si no tenes azúcar rubia; a mi me gusta usar azúcar moscovado aquí)
1 huevo
1 cucharada de miel
1 cucharita de extracto de vainilla natural
3/4 de taza de harina de trigo (tipo 000)
una pizquita de sal
escaza 1/2 cucharita de bicarbonato de soda
una pizquita de canela
un poco de nuez moscada recien rallada
1 1/2 tazas de avena gruesa
2 cucharadas de salvado de trigo o de avena (opcional)
1 taza de pasas de uva negras

En un bol bate la mantequilla con el azúcar hasta que estén bien mezclados y la mezcla este más blanca (en este punto, ya no deberías sentir los granitos de azúcar). Echa el huevo y batelo bien. Echa la miel y la vainilla y mezcla bien. En otro bol revuelve la harina, la sal, el bicarbonato de soda, la canela y la nuez moscada. Echa la mezcla de harina a la mezcla de mantequilla y revuelve hasta que este incorporada. Echale la avena y el salvado de trigo a la mezcla y revuelve. Anade las pasas y mezcla bien. Tapa el bol con plástico y dejalo en la heladera durante por lo menos una hora.

Después de la hora de reposo, precalienta el horno a 180ºC. Forma bolitas con una cucharada y colocalas en una bandeja, dejando 3 cm. entre las bolitas. Hornealas durante 10 minutos, volteando la bandeja 180º después de los primeros 5 minutos para que horneen uniformemente. Sacalas cuando ya no veas la masa cruda en el centro pero solamente han empezado a broncear  (entre las galletas al lado en la foto, la galleta entera está demasiado bronceada/quemada). Con una espatula quitalas de la bandeja y dejalas enfriar, mejor en una rejilla de enfriar o sino en un plato. Repite el mismo proceso con el resto de la masa. Rinde aprox. 24 galletas.

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