Let's Talk Comfort Food: Honey Oatmeal Cookies
Nothing says comfort like oatmeal cookies.
Everyone has their favorite: some with raisins, nuts, chocolate chips or a bit of everything! Here are some tips and tricks to creating the perfect oatmeal cookies:
1. Use rolled oats.
Not steel cut and not QuickOats. Plain, old fashioned rolled oats. Rolled oats are flattened using large disks. This causes the oat to become flaky and soft, allowing them to absorb more liquid. Some rolled oats (often called “old-fashioned” oats) still retain some bran. Others, such as instant oats, are precooked and dried, affecting the nutritional properties of oats. (adapted from nuts.com)
2. Chill the dough.
The last trick to getting a really thick, chewy cookie is to chill the dough before you bake it (a secret from Smitten Kitchen). The longer the dough chills, the more complex the flavor. Homemade dough can be stored for 2-4 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.
3. Use parchment paper.
Use parchment paper on top of your baking sheet to make clean-up so much easier! If you don’t have it, don’t worry. Just put the cookie dough on an ungreased sheet.
Why bake with honey?
1. Flavor: Different honeys bring out different flavors when baked, adding complexity to your dessert.
2. Color: Baking with honey speeds up the Maillard reaction, also known as non-enzymatic browning, which adds both flavor and color. Learn more about the magic of Maillard reaction in the video below.
3. Health: Honey contains a higher amount of fructose and is sweeter than table sugar. Therefore, you can cut back the amount of added sweeteners.
Recipe: Honey Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 24
Download the recipe here.
- ½ cup softened butter (4oz – 1 stick)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup UC Davis Wildflower honey
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- Extras: ½ cup raisins, 1/2 cup walnuts, ½ cup chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and honey. Next add egg and vanilla stirring until smooth. (An electric mixer works great)
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.
- Blend this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats.
- Stir in raisins, chocolate chips and/or walnuts, if using them.
- Chill the dough for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Heat oven to 350°F (175°C) before you prepare the cookie trays, so that it’s fully heated when you’re ready to put them in.
- Drop rounded teaspoons-full about two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for about 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in.) Remove when golden at the edges. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.
- Cool completely. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
Continuing Your Education
Watch Ted-ed's video on cookie chemistry, a lesson by Stephanie Warren.