My sister-in-law, Cindy Bugg, makes the most delicious oatmeal raisin cookies for my husband, Bill’s birthday and other special occasions. I’m not kidding when I say they are his absolute favorite cookie! Since he loves them so much, I started baking them too. He especially enjoys the raisins which I increase over the original recipe and he says there still aren’t enough raisins per cookie!
In her quest to find the best oatmeal cookie, Cindy tried this recipe from her husband’s family. They had been baking them for years, and although they prefer chocolate chips over raisins, they won her taste-test quest! Whether chocolate chips or raisins, you’re gonna love these cookies!
Now that we’re going through a world-wide pandemic with COVID-19 and are home-bound, I figured I’d better start grinding wheat and learn how to make bread! In fact, at this moment, bread inventory is in and out of stock in the grocery stores. So I pulled out the hand-crank grinder my parents bought back in 1998, opened our 22 year old wheat (lasts 30 years thankfully) and started cranking. After taking turns with Bill, we managed to grind about 3 cups of flour before arthritic pain set in. Then, just when we were starting to get used to the quarantine and daily hand-cranking, we had a 5.7 earthquake here in Utah and realized that loosing electricity is a very real possibility. Not wanting to wait for that to happen, I borrowed an electric grinder from a friend and ground up a bunch of wheat flour in advance. It’s an interesting balance…once whole wheat is ground, the flour can go rancid if you don’t put it in the freezer. But I have no room in the freezer because it’s prepped for quarantine due to COVID-19. And if we have another bigger earthquake, we may lose electricity/gas and so the cycle goes. Um, if we don’t have electricity/gas, how are we going to bake bread anyway?
Now a note about preparation…when things began to get more intense with this pandemic, I realized we didn’t have a solid 3-month food storage. One item I hadn’t considered keeping on hand was white flour since we haven’t baked much since the kids all grew up! When I visited several stores, all the white flour (and TP) were already gone and those shelves have remained totally empty. What? No white flour? No toilet paper? I’ll never get this far behind (no pun intended) on my 3-month storage ever again! Now that we have what we need, I can simply replace items when we run low to bring my inventory back up to 3-months. And this my friends, is how we avoid hoarding and empty shelves…be prepared, replenish as needed and always maintain a rotating supply of food, toiletries and household cleaners. I even added Drain-o to the list just in case a toilet backs up while we’re in quarantine (my husband suggested a 4-square limit – but it could happen). After this last few weeks, anything is possible. I just wish I had listened and built up our short-term storage sooner as our church leaders have been warning us for decades.
I finally gave up on bread and decided to do what anyone would do in this situation: make Cindy’s oatmeal raisin cookies. I even used some of our longer term food storage (sugar, oats and wheat flour) in order to rotate it in!
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 cups oatmeal
- 1-2 cups raisins or chocolate chips
(I add 2 ½ cups of raisins)
Cream butter and sugar. Add 2 beaten eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add oatmeal, mix to combine; add raisins, mix to combine.
Refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll or scoop into walnut-sized balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes.
After placing the cookies on the baking sheet, I used a glass dipped in sugar to squish them in about half. This helped the cookies to bake evenly and spread out just the right amount. Experiment with your oven and elevation to see what works best for you. Since I only had 10 cups of white flour and can’t get any more right now, I tested the recipe using ½ whole wheat and ½ white flour. The cookies came out great and we couldn’t tell the difference!