Sunday, December 11, 2016

Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Sandwich Cookies

Oatmeal cookies were not my first pick of cookies when I was growing up. Actually, I do not think they were a pick at all. However, like most people as they grow older, tastes and preferences change when it comes to food. Now, I believe that an oatmeal cookie (when made just right) can be a first pick.

I like the chewy type of oatmeal cookie. When the batter and the raisins mirror the same type of texture-it is nothing short of delicious. Raisins, in my opinion, should always be "plumped" or rehydrated prior to use. No one likes a tough, hard raisin in a cookie.

While these sandwich cookies may have you thinking a great snack for the kids, think again. With raisins soaked in pumpkin moonshine and bourbon cream in the filling, they are very much adult. Also, the flavor addition makes these a perfect addition to the holiday dessert table. This recipe makes about 3 dz sandwich cookies, depending on the size of the cookies made.

Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Sandwich Cookies
adapted from Omni Nashville Hotel

1 egg
1 tbs molasses
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups or 2 1/2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3 cups oats   
2 cups hydrated raisins (instructions/ingredients below)

2 cups raisins
1 cup pumpkin spice moonshine
1 cinnamon stick

3 tbs bourbon cream
1 tbs plus 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks of butter
3 cups powdered sugar

Start by plumping the raisins. Pull out a saucepan and place over medium heat. Add cinnamon stick and moonshine. Let the mixture heat up and flavors meld while stirring. The cook time will be about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in raisins. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then strain and place raisins in a bowl and discard cinnamon stick. Set raisins aside to completely cool.

Before your start on the cookie batter, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together cinnamon, flour and salt in a small bowl. Then stir in the oats. Set aside.

Fill another bowl with both types of sugar and butter. Beat for about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg, molasses, and vanilla extract. Beat again on medium speed for another 2 minutes. Remove bowl and fold the dry ingredients into the batter. When there are no dry streaks of flour in the batter, fold in the raisins.

Scoop batter out in 1 oz or tablespoon size mounds and drop onto baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Place baking sheet in oven and let bake for about 8-10 minutes. Cookie edges and bottom will be a golden brown when done. Let cookies rest on baking sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to cooling rack. Let cool completely prior to filling.

To prepare the filling, sift powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Then add the butter and beat for 3 minutes until smooth. Add the bourbon cream, salt and the vanilla extract and beat again for an additional 2 minutes.

To assemble, pair up the cookies so they match in size. Then pipe a tablespoon of icing in the center of the flat side of one cookie. Place another cookie on top and press together until filling is near the outer edge of the cookies.

Tips and Notes:
1. Cookies do not spread, so it is best to flatten prior to baking to get the proper form for sandwiching together.

2. The liquor store may not have the exact thing you are looking for, so just look for something that has the spice of the season. I found gingerbread whiskey. When choosing the cream liquor for the filling, it is best not to choose one that has an added flavor. Since the liquor is not baked for the filling, a flavored one will be to strong.

3. If you prefer not to have a buttercream filling, there are many other options. You can use stabilized flavored whipped cream, cream cheese or marshmallow.

4. These cookies are also great without sandwiching them.

5. To make these without liquor, dissolve 1 tsp of  pumpkin or gingerbread spice in one cup of water for the raisins and use 3 tbs of milk instead of the bourbon cream in the filling. The other option is to use flavored coffee syrup and/or creamer.
                                      **LAST YEAR: Red Velvet Twinks**