Monday, January 2, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies - Gluten-Free Good Eats

You might have read my review of Alton Brown's latest book, Good Eats 3 and the book signing I went to. Back then, I hadn't gotten around to cooking anything from the book. It was on my list, but it took a while for it to float back to the top of the cooking pile.

I decided to try his oatmeal cookies because they're so different - no wheat flour at all. Hmmmm... that's interesting.

In his introduction, he said that they taste oatier, which makes sense. And to coax even more flavor from the oats, he toasts them first. And since there's not wheat flour, they're gluten-free, as long as you're using oats that have been cleanly processed.

The first time I tried making these cookies, I screwed up big-time. His ingredient list uses weights for many items, including the butter. It calls for 10 ounces. I don't know about you, but when I think about butter, I think about the number of sticks, or I count the number of tablespoons. I don't usually think about ounces of butter.

Of course I know that there are 16 ounces in a pound of butter, which means that a stick is 4 ounces. But I saw a number and "butter" and I thought about tablespoons. So that's where the cookies went way, way wrong.

The second time, I used the right about of butter and I ended up with oatmeal cookies instead of rocks.

Raisins are optional in this recipe - 4 ounces - but since I don't like raisins, I didn't even think about using them.

The Oatiest Oatmeal Cookies Ever
Adapted from Good Eats 3 by Alton Brown

16 ounces (1 pound) old fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch kosher salt
10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 ounces dark brown sugar
3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spread the oats on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until the oats are lightly toasted. Cool the oats on the pan for a few minutes.

Transfer 8 ounces of the oats to your food processor and process until you have a flour similar to whole wheat flour. Add the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse a few times to distribute.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg and vanilla. Continue mixing until it is thoroughly combined.

Slowly add the ground-oat mixture until the dough is just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the rest of the oats along with any optional add-ins. Stir to combine.

Use a small scoop to place balls of dough on the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between them so they can spread. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown around the edges, rotating the pans in the oven, as needed.

Let the cookies cool on the pans for a few minutes before moving them to racks cool completely.