Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oatmeal Cookies, Revisited ...


Funny story: When I created The Cookie Queen's English to document that holiday season's baking, I didn't own a digital camera. All the images that accompany those posts were taken with ... the camera built into my laptop.

Yes, taking pictures with a laptop is not the best approach to photography. I had to contort myself into some rather odd positions to both frame the image and be able to look on the screen to see what I was about to photograph. You can laugh at the idea of it. Like I said, it's a funny story.

Now, though, I own a digital camera, just a little point-and-shoot number, nothing fancy. And I enjoy creating the photographs for my baking posts on angelo:HOME. So I've decided to revisit some of the cookies from my initial cookie-blogging season and create some better images.

Mind you, I liked the composition of the shots I did then, and in some cases, I may just recreate the images. But I try to think of the essence of each cookie and style it accordingly. And oatmeal cookies are simple and homey and rustic, so today, their stage was an old cooling rack that belonged to one of my great aunts who loved to bake.

Turns out, oatmeal cookies, for all their simple, homey, rustic-y goodness, are hard to photograph, because they're basically just golden-brown lumps. Not a lot of artistry to an oatmeal cookie. But oh-so-delicious.

As for the recipe, this is the version that used to come under the lid of the Quaker oats box. The recipe has since been altered to cut down on brown sugar. Why would anyone want to do that? I recommend sticking with this version.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(Quaker Oats Co. recipe)

1 C. butter or margarine, softened
1 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt (optional)
3 C. Quaker Oats (uncooked)
1 C. raisins
(I add chopped toasted walnuts, too.)

Heat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool one minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

And just for nostalgia's sake, this is the image that accompanied the original post. And considering that it was taken with a laptop computer, it's a decent shot. I like the composition, but cookies in a muffin tin end up looking a bit like, well, muffins.

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