Season of the Cookie: Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Cookies

These rich, decadent cookies filled with chocolate chips, oatmeal and hints of raspberry are sure to be the first to disappear at that Christmas party you don’t really want to attend, except for the fact that it’s a way to score some kissy points with your boss and you’ll get to show off that new cashmere sweater.  If you see me there, come say hello.  I’ll be the one furthest away from the bar.
Ninety-five days ago, I stopped drinking booze.  For those of you like me, who share the unfortunate deformity of a hand shaped exactly like the perfect martini holder, that translates into 2,280 achy, grumpy hours without alcohol.  I just figured that math out myself and it terrifies me almost to the point of spontaneous flop sweat.  I haven’t done anything consistently for 2,280 hours except perhaps blink, denigrate commercial pitch people and hum the theme to TV’s Dallas in my head.

I boxed up my entire bar library, descended four floors to my building’s management office and gave it all to my landlady, Bonnie: Gin, Rum, Kahlua, Fernet, Saki, Homemade Blueberry Vodka, Vermouth, Galliano, Creme de Mur, Irish Cream, Goldschläger, cocktail shakers, olive spears and tiki time toothpicks. After picking her downhome Southern jaw up off the ground, Bonnie managed to alert me to the following: “Shoot, I’m gonna be humping with my carpet come tomorrow morning!”

My nightly cocktails have been replaced with a combination of club soda and Torani flavored syrup.  I had been drinking it for close to a week before MG informed me that there was an actual name for it:  The Italian soda.  I often serve them up in martini glasses, as a de-fanged nod to my riskier past, much in the same way those Revolutionary war re-enactors fire blanks at each other and go to the bathroom in Andy Gump toilet rentals instead of buckets and pig troughs.

If you’re a fan of the chocolate-raspberry flavor combination, you will not be disappointed by this cookie.  It took me a few attempts to get the portions right.  I realized I needed to increase the volume of my dried ingredients to offset the additional liquid the syrup brought to the equation. The first two batches did not hold together well, but the third was perfection.

Two additional suggestions:  Be sure to let people know there’s raspberry in these cookies. Non-fans will spit them out like petulant third graders (Thanks for that, Taylor!).  Second, give them a good freeze in your icebox overnight and eat them with they’re still sufficiently chilled. There’s a nice crispy snap added to the experience but they still remain soft enough in the center to keep them incisor-friendly.

Do people still say “icebox?”  Well, don’t pay too much attention to me.  I’m sober.  I can’t really be trusted.

Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raspberry syrup (I used Torani brand)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Dutch unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugars and butter; beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and raspberry syrup and beat on medium speed until well combined.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder; stir to combine. Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on a low speed until just blended. Mix in oats and chocolate chips. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour (this step is important because the raspberry syrup adds a lot of moisture and without proper chilling the cookies will not hold together well).

Shape dough into tablespoon-size bowls. Transfer to oven on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving approximately 1 1/2 inches between cookies.  Bake until browned and crisped, rotating pan halfway through baking to ensure even color, 15 to 18 minutes.  Tops of cookies should be firm but soft to the touch.  If they are still gooey, leave in the oven, checking every three minutes until firm.

Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool. Repeat baking process with remaining dough. Once cooled completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

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