For those of you who know me, which at this point in my food blog’s existence is probably all of you (although give me two weeks and I’m sure I’ll have risen to international food blog fame), know I spent last fall in Argentina. And to Argentina – land of meat, potatoes and generally bland food – I attribute this blog.
I’ve grown up in a family that loves food almost as much as we love each other. Given my family of foodies, I’ve thought about starting a food blog more times than I can count but have always dismissed the idea after a second of contemplation with the good old Northwestern student excuse, “I just don’t have time.”
The Argentines have a much different way of understanding time and priorities though. In Argentina, a meeting at 9 really means a meeting at more like 9:15, 9:30 or even 10. It’s perfectly normal to arrive at work and spend the first thirty minutes drinking mate (Argentine tea. Google it.) with your coworkers. And if you have to wait in line at the grocery store for twenty minutes just to buy a jar of dulce de leche you should be grateful you didn’t have to wait forty.
In Argentina, you sit down to eat lunch instead of shoving it down your throat on the run from one place to another. It’s common knowledge that Sunday is meant for doing absolutely nothing. And when you walk into a room, it’s expected that you greet everyone with a kiss on the cheek even if it takes five minutes to do so.
Argentina taught me not to let time rule my life. And if I really want to do something, even if it means studying an hour less for that econ test I’m probably not going to do well on anyway, do it. Thus, this food blog and its first post…Oatmeal raisin cookies that no one has been able to eat just one of.
Thick, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies
from the Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 24 cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (I often use a half teaspoon, but I like more salt in my baked goods)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them. (I used walnuts. All I can say is, use them.)
At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. (I chilled the dough for about 30 minutes and put also put some extra dough in the freezer for the future).
The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. (The cookies will not spread out all that much during the baking process. Don’t succumb to temptation and press them down though. Let them be nice and fat and lumpy.)
Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.