"Your father and I had some crazy times with the Johnsons' and Van Rotters. Music Festivals just do that to you."
First, thank you for all the kind words concerning my dog. She's doing so great, and after a day or two of anxiety (she wouldn't bark, she'd just make these strange, muffled whines and grunts and I became convinced that they had punctured her vocal cords during the biopsy -- this is a nice revelation to be sharing with the internet. I am easily convinced of a lot of things, as you'll see below.) she is one hundred and eighty-five percent herself again. Her glands are shrinking, her coat is glossy, she's inappropriately flirty with the UPS men.
She's ready for the pagents.
My favorite cookie of all time would have to be Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. I can eat three in short succession. They're small, extremely pliable and nothing about them tastes virtuous. Sometimes I feel like I'm taking advantage of them, because the attraction is so one sided. They've never called the cops, but sometimes when I visit their box in the middle of the night they make some random box of Barilla Orzo tell me just go back to bed, really, they'll call me in the morning. And then I write some songs about the bitches.
So I have a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie maybe once a year. Not because I am full of will power, but because I convince myself that they don't exist. Like they all just suddenly disappeared, like The Bees, and if you're at all slightly anxious about Technology and The World/Global Warming/Destruction/Animals then don't click that link. Here's what I'd like to say though, no free minutes are worth the loss of natural pollination. Your RAZR is killing the bumbles. And your headset does not make anyone want to date you. So put it away. We're in line at Subway, sir. While your voice and phone say Business Casual, your stained sweatpants and tank top say "CEO of my couch. I also get mean when the woman behind the sneeze guard refuses to cut my sandwich in the original fashion."
But sometimes, when the bee theories get a little too intense, I remember the Little Debbie Creme Pies and instead of forcing the memory down, I decide to use it, for good. Hence these cookies, which are thick and oat-y, stuffed with plump golden raisins and toasted pine nuts, then dipped in white chocolate. They're not as soft and defenseless as a Little Debbie Snack, but I also think they're not 90% hydrogenated either, so we're even where it counts.
They are grown up, though, and the light scraping of chocolate turns them from cookie into confection. Just the sort of thing to shove in your mouth the world gets to be a little much.
White Chocolate-dipped Oatmeal Cookies with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
1 stick (1/2 a cup) softened butter
1 cup golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temp.
Two teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Zest from 1/2 of a ripe orange
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups AP flour, dip and sweep method
3/4 cup regular rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted whole pine nuts
1 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 cups chopped white chocolate
Preheat oven to 300 F.
In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, or a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth and golden brown. Add the egg, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, mixing just until combined.
Sift in the flour, baking soda and powder, mixing just until moistened -- add the oats, and mix a bit more, until all the oat flakes are incorporated. Add the raisins and pine nuts, stir until combined and drop by the 1/4 cup (or large ice cream scoop) onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 10-20 minutes, until golden brown, dry and the kitchen smells like cinnamon -- check after ten. This recipe, which is based on my chocolate chunk one, took longer to cook and I'm assuming that's due to the oats. And I managed to get exactly 12 large, cookies from this recipe, while I usually get 16 to 18 from my chocolate chunk version.
Once cookies are cool to the touch, melt white chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl fitted over a (smaller than the circumfrence of the bowl) shallow pan filled with around an inch and a half of gently simmering water. You want the chocolate fluid and chunk-less, but there's no need to temper. There's also no need to use that tone of voice with me.
If you have long, elegant fingers and a complete set of motor skills, use your hands to gently hold and dip the bottom of each cookie in the white chocolate. Drop lightly on a sheet of parchment paper (I use the now-cooled sheets I used to bake the cookies) and allow cookies to set in a cool space. I didn't have to chill mine, but depending on your kitchen climate you might want to.
If you don't have long elegant fingers, and I'm not saying you don't, flip the cookies over and spread the chocolate over the smooth side of each cookie. Place on parchment and leave to set.