This sums up my Winter thus far. I have found so many excuses to bake. I cannot count the number of Oatmeal Raisin cookie batches I have made. But, what I have discovered that practice does make perfect. I've used butter at room temperature and slightly soft/melty. The latter of the two seems to yield the moistest and chewiest cookie. I think that cookies are best right out of the oven. However, I also believe that the true way to judge a cookie is by it's solidity or lack there of at room temperature. If that cookie is still soft and chewy, then you've done good. I have tried golden raisins as a variation. While they do bring a new and interesting citrus flavor, I'm not fond of the combination with these cookies. Regular California raisins do best.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
From Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook p. 77
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (grade B is best, but grade A works well too)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; stir in the coconut. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachement, beat the butter and the brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mix to combine. Add the egg and vanilla; beat utnil well combined, about 1 minute, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two batches; mix until combined, but do not over mix. Add the oats and raisins; mix until combined.
Shape 3 tablespoons of dough at a time into 1 1/2 inch balls, 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let set on the sheets for 2 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen.


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