Cookies in Canada
The oatmeal cookie is a quintessential Canadian cookie, in good company with chocolate chip, of course. Cookies and (cold) milk are a standard snack for children and adults alike. Usually enjoyed in the evening before bedtime -- definitely not for breakfast. The cookie's perfect texture should be a little bit dry, so that it doesn't fall apart, absorbing just the right amount of milk. And then comes the waltz: crisp sugar crystals and buttery crumbles mingle with moist, sweet milk. Pure bliss.
I would assume that most Canadians who grew up in the 90s have tried the popular, store-bought oatmeal cookies. You know, the ones that call for impeccably strong teeth? Some of you may have brought them to school as a snack: two little cookies neatly packaged in plastic. Although they taste fine, they were never my favourite. I'm not convinced that any cookie which has a shelf-life of 100 years (a slight exaggeration) could truly be anyone's favourite. That is, unless they have never tried a homemade cookie. According to me, the optimal oatmeal cookie is slightly chewy but not thick, a little crispy (especially on the outside), and definitely includes raisins.
Butter in Baking
Butter is a tricky ingredient in baking. A good one adds wonderful flavour, which is incomparable to any other type of fat (including coconut oil, of which I am still weary). Aside from that, it also contributes greatly to the structure and shape of the cookie. Simply put, soft butter will cause the cookie to spread, while cold butter will help it to hold its shape.
However, it doesn't end there! Butter can differ in its fat percentage as well as its moisture content. These are dependent upon the season in which it is produced and the food that the cows eat. I have struggled to find a butter that I am satisfied with in my local area, so I have adapted this recipe to accommodate what is available to me. This method goes against the grain just a bit. If you, like me, live in an area that does not value butter highly and you have struggled to use other recipes successfully: try this one!
- 250 g butter, cold
- 100 g dark brown sugar
- 200 g cane sugar
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2.5 tbsp water
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g soft 00 flour
- 200 g rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 60 g raisins
- 90 g dried cranberries
Mix the flaxseed with water in a small cup. Leave for about 10 minutes to thicken.
Place the cold butter, cut into cubes, into a mixer bowl. Beat for a few minutes until it is soft and slightly creamy. Add the sugar, and continue to beat. Add the flax mixture and beat well. Then add the vanilla. Beat again.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk well with a fork.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and beat until just combined. Add the dried fruit and do the same.
Roll into balls of about 1 tbsp or 30 g. Place them on a tray lined with parchment paper and cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. When ready to bake, take the cookie dough balls out of the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, separated by about 3 cm. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Now, take a wide spoon and use the back of it to press down on each cookie, in order to flatten it. Be quick and swift.
Then, bake for another 4 to 5 minutes until lightly golden and crackled on top. Take them out of the oven a tad early.
Cool on the baking sheet for 1 or 2 minutes, and then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool some more. Be patient.
Pour yourself a glass of milk. Enjoy.