Monday, May 9, 2011

Garam Masala Oatmeal Cookies

Garam Masala wasn't the first spice blend I'd think to add to a cookie to jazz it up, but a review of it's ingredients actually reflects an excellent palate for baked goods, and these oatmeal-raisin cookies are a definite winner. They actually make a lot more sense than the curry powder cookies I made back in November (also delicious, but even less intuitive!) Garam Masala has a lot of the traditional spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom that are delicious in sweets and savories both, so I was excited to mix up this batch of hearty and tasty oatmeal raisin cookies.

I run just shy of the amount of Garam Masala powder called for by the cookie recipe, but fortunately, I have all the ingredients on hand as specified by the spice blend recipe earlier in the same article, so I tossed in some extra of each. I actually found the flavor in the finished cookies could have stood up to even more spice, which perhaps was simply a factor of my blend being older and less fragrant, so next time I will probably try to grind the full amount fresh instead of using powder from the store that is who knows how old.

I also ran out of golden raisins, typically one of my pantry staples. I thought about substituting them in full for dried cranberries, but instead I decided to add the last quarter cup I had and use cut-up prunes for the remainder - prunes seeming entirely more raisinesque than berries.

An important step in this recipe which I haven't seen for oatmeal cookies before is to press them down slightly before baking, and this is especially easy if you save the wrapper from your stick of butter and use that as the press. This allows the cookies to bake more evenly, and come out of the oven with crisper edges and crunchier insides which I significantly prefer.

All in all, these are sweet, chewy, savory, and delicious, and while still on the trail-mixey side, I will definitely make them again, bumping up the amount of garam masala next time, and using the golden raisins (or maybe dried apricots!!!) as called for.

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