A friend recently confided that she was in need of ‘comfort on a stick’.
I did not take her literally -no shish kebabs or corn dogs will be proffered at any point during this post- instead I understood her to be using that particular language common to good friends in order to indicate that she really, REALLY needed some comfort.
In the great pantheon of American Comfort Foods there are surely a lot of items to choose from…
Should I make her a pot pie? A grilled cheese sandwich? An enormous bowl of cheesy mac? Sheet cake?
I don’t know. What would you make? I couldn’t decide.
I threw on some Miley Cyrus (The old stuff! Not the twerking stuff!) and wandered out to the kitchen, where I was sure I would find inspiration.
It’s tough when you want to prepare a dish that will perfectly suit a person’s mood. While not every person I know is an emotional eater, I do think that when you’re feeling needy, or sad, or stressed, or in any way not perfectly positive, it’s really nice to put something into your face that will turn that frown upside down.
So, you know, I was feeling the pressure. Intensely!
Making this decision wasn’t exactly a party in the USA for me, if you catch my drift…
I found myself putting together a basic soft cookie dough. Adding oats and toasted, ground canela, throwing in a generous supply of California sultanas, my raisin of choice (Golden raisins, aka sultanas, are so much more plump than other raisins! I caught one actually twerking at me!).
I wanted big, chewy cookies so I used my three-tablespoon scoop and spaced them far apart on my baking sheets. They took 18 whole minutes to bake!
When the first batch of cookies was done, still warm and super-soft, I dug in. Cookie #1, Cookie #2… I really needed to crack the case and figure out what kind of comfort food I should make for my comfort-challenged friend.
I know I don’t need to tell you how this story ends.
I know this because I know that you are smarter than me.
You saw these super-comforting, deliciously soothing cookies coming down the Twerking Turnpike way before I did.
The epilogue to this story involves my comfort-challenged friend receiving an enormous basket of Oatmeal Canela Cookies and declaring them the best (and most comforting) goodies that she’d enjoyed since the winter of ’67. Which is saying something since she was born in ’80.
And there you have it: the (preposterously long) road to your new favorite comfort cookie.
- 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar, tightly packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. canela, ground (As I mentioned above, I toast individual sticks of canela on a dry comal or sauce pan over a medium flame for just a few minutes. As soon as the sticks become fragrant and slightly darkened in color, I remove, allow them to cool, and then grind them to a fine powder in my spice mill. You can bypass this process by simply substituting ground cinnamon here.
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 2/3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 c. golden raisins (conventional dark raisins may be substituted)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, approximately 3-5 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the baking soda, salt and canela. Slowly beat in the flour, one half cup at a time, mixing just until you have a uniform, stiff dough. Fold in the oats and raisins.
- Use a 3-tablespoon scoop or any other similarly-sized measure to portion out cookies, positioning at least two inches apart on baking sheets.
- Bake until cookies are puffed and just turning golden at the edges, approximately 18 minutes. Remove baked cookies, setting aside to cool, and repeat with remaining dough.