Eternal Grahamnation

Cinnamon Graham Oatmeal Cookies

I did it.  I said I wouldn’t do it, but I did it.  I turned on the oven today.

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With a real-feel of 108 yesterday and today shaping up to be a mirror image of yesterday, I swore that I wouldn’t turn on the oven.  However, my normally iron-strong willpower melted in the heat.  Each time I opened the fridge (which is quite often, FYI…I’m a thirsty girl), the beautiful cookie dough that I made yesterday was staring me down.  I had originally planned to wait until after this heat wave passed to bake these cookies, but I caved.  And I’m so glad I did!
When I set out to mix up this cookie dough yesterday, I was originally planning to make a faithful batch of Deb’s Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – a favorite in my condohold.  These cookies foil all of the usual pitfalls of standard oatmeal raisin cookies – dryness, fragility, “healthy”-taste, you know what I mean.  But, when I went to fetch my flour, I opened the cupboard, and a partially-used box of graham cracker crumbs was peering at me from behind the flour (it certainly seems like a lot of food has been looking at me lately…story of my life).
I decided to do some experimenting with Deb’s already-perfect recipe (sorry!).  “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” isn’t in my vocabulary, unless we’re talking dental work.
I subbed some of the graham cracker crumbs for the flour/oats, and then I decided to go whole-hog with this cinnamon thing, and threw in some cinnamon chips, too.  BRILLIANT IDEA:  the next batch of these cookies will most likely feature food-processed speculoos cookies instead of graham cracker crumbs.  When will these heat go away?!?!  Baker’s gotta bake…
With it being so oppressively hot outside, chilling is an essential step, both pre-rolling, and post-rolling; otherwise, you’ll end up with great-tasting but terribly sad-looking oatmeal pancake cookies.  Let’s face it though, there are worse things in life than pancake cookies…like soggy-bottomed pies, or unlamellated puff pastry…those are real travesties.

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So, like I said, I baked these today.  My weather app says we’re trucking along at a “feels-like” temp of 99 degrees.  If I was back home, my dad probably would’ve euthanized me on the spot for turning the oven on today, but, hey, at least he and my mom would’ve had some super cookies to serve at my wake!

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Cinnamon Graham Oatmeal Cookies

6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temp (if it’s August when you make these cookies, the “room-temping” process should take all of 20 minutes)
1/2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt – you can use regular salt, but the course salt gives you little pops of saltiness in the cookies that compliment the sweetness beautifully!
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup cinnamon chips
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a regular mixing bowl, with a hand mixer at the ready), cream together the butter, sugar, egg, oil, and vanilla, until pale and fluffy, ~ 2-3 minutes.  In a separate bowl, use a fork to fluff the flour, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together (yes, “fluff” is an acceptable verb).  Turn mixer to low, and gradually add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl.  Stop mixer once combined.  Add in oats, raisins, and cinnamon chips; stir to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and ensure that everything is nicely combined.  Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for 24-48 hours.
Remove dough from fridge, wait 20 minutes so dough is easily handleable (again, acceptable verb).  Use a rubber spatula to give the dough one more quick mix.  Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of dough between your hands, place on a large plate, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer while the oven preheats to 350 degrees farenheit.
Once oven has preheated, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Place no more than 8 dough balls – spaced ~2″ apart – per sheet, and bake 9-11 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through bake time.  Remove cookies when edges are golden-brown, and tops still look ever-so-slightly wet.  Let cookies sit on sheet for 5 minutes, before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
Store cookies in airtight containers, at room temperature (or in the fridge if it’s very humid where you are) for 4-5 days.

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