Introduction: Spicy Ginger and Oatmeal Cookies
There are lots of recipes for oatmeal cookies out there, but most of them have raisins in them, most of them use butter and none of them have enough spice to be tasty.
This recipe was designed to exacting requirements of indolence:- no butter because that takes a lot of effort to cream with sugar, no rolling and cutting, no tools which I lacked (mixer, accurate scales) and as little work as possible. It is the result of half a dozen failed attempts, each of which got closer to the desired result. This website was excellent in helping me to diagnose the failures and get closer to (what I regard as) perfection.
Despite the title, these cookies are not spicy, spicy. They just have a little bit of flavour and work really well as a winter treat. It's currently high summer in New Zealand, but they still taste great.
Step 1: Assemble the Ingredients
Measure all the ingredients as listed in the recipe file. You can try tweaking the spices to taste, and please post your experiments.
1 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup rice-bran oil
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients
Tip the oatmeal, flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl and stir round with a spoon to mix all the powders together.
Step 3: Cream Sugar
Mix the oil and the sugars together with a fork. This is _much_ easier than trying to mix butter and sugar.
Once the oil and sugars are thoroughly mixed, crack a large egg into the bowl and stir it all together. Don't get too enthusiastic with the mixing: it only needs a few gentle stirs.
Step 4: Make the Dough
Tip the dry ingredients into the oil/sugar/egg mixture and stir around with a fork. It only takes a minute or so of hand stirring to produce the homogeneous lump shown in the last photograph.
Once that's done, put the bowl into the refrigerator and turn the oven on to 350F (180C) (fan forced) to pre-heat.
However long your oven takes to heat up is how long I let the dough chill.
Step 5: DIvide and Bake
This volume of dough makes a few cookies. I can't be bothered rolling and cutting the dough, so I cut the mass of dough in half, then halved each piece, then halved each piece, then halved each piece, then halved each piece.
End result is thirty-two small balls of dough which can be put onto the baking sheet.
I like a little bit of crunch in mine, so I bake them for nine minutes in the pre-heated oven.
Once the time is up, pull the trays out, leave to cool for a couple of minutes and then transfer from the baking paper onto a cooling rack.
Step 6: Errors and Omissions
The biggest problems I had were with measuring the flour. I had no idea that there were so many ways in which a volume of flour could vary!
To get the required 3/4 cup of white flour, dig about in the canister to make it fluffy, then spoon it lightly into the measuring cup, then use the back of a knife to level it off.
If you have an accurate scale, then please perform this operation and then put in the comments what weight that volume of fluffy flour is to help other folk who have scales :-)
I used rice-bran oil for the recipe. You can use any oil, but olive oil gives a distinct taste to the cookies (doesn't really go). Peanut oil might work well. Just try what you have.