Today’s guest author is Christiana Roussel, a Southern food and lifestyle writer headquartered in Birmingham,
Alabama. As we are always on the search for the perfect cookie, she has convinced us to try baking this one, one of our favorite kinds, the oatmeal raisin cookie, which Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel take to new heights.
This past Tuesday night in Nashville, famed French Laundry Chef Thomas Keller was in town to introduce his new cookbook, Bouchon Bakery. This gorgeous new book follows on the heels of the author’s other successful titles: The French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon, and Ad Hoc at Home. Co-authoring this new book was Chef Sebastien Rouxel,the architect behind these delights. As Chef Keller himself noted, “After the original French Laundry title, each cookbook has been a collaboration with a specific chef. I know I am not a pastry chef so writing a book on baking was always meant to be a collaborative effort with Sebastien.”
The two chefs have managed to pull off a rare feat in the cookbook world: producing a book that is both visually stunning AND a joy to cook from. Each recipe is extremely precise, in ways that are practically guaranteed to ensure a successful result. Special tools, like scales for measuring flour or parchment paper are duly noted but don’t feel intimidating.
With this in mind, I recommend the Bouchon Bakery cookbook for every foodie on your holiday shopping list. Why not pick up a few signed copies and bake a batch of the soon-to-be-famous Oatmeal Raisin Cookies? Stack the cookies in pretty Weck canning jars then attach a gift tag with lime green twine and a sprig of pine. More? Fill a re-purposed glass milk jar with a handful of those darling red-and-white paper straws featured on the book’s cover and you have the proverbial gift-that-keeps-on-giving.
And for the record, we’re supplying the recipe here, so you won’t need to clean up any flour you might spill on that new book you bought for a “friend.”
- 1 cup + 1 teaspoon (144 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons (7.7 grams) ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons (7.4 grams) baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons (3.6 grams) kosher salt
- ½ cup + 3 ½ tablespoons (69 grams) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup + 1 ½ tablespoons (69 grams) granulated sugar
- 5.5 ounces (155 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (62 grams) eggs
- 1 ¼ teaspoons (7.7 grams) vanilla paste
- 2 cups (155 grams) old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup (156 grams) mixed raisins
- We think that an outstanding oatmeal raisin cookie is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, and that’s how these bake.
- We source a mixture of raisins; if a high-quality mixture is not available, use half dark and half golden raisins. If the raisins are not plump, pour hot water over them and let them sit for about 30 minutes before making the cookies, then drain and pat thoroughly dry.
- You’ll need a 2½-inch (#10) ice cream scoop. Cookies baked in a convection oven will have a more even color and will not spread as much as those baked in a standard oven.
- Place the flour in a medium bowl. Sift in the cinnamon and baking soda, add the salt, and whisk together. Whisk together the sugars in a small bowl, breaking up any lumps.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn to medium-low speed and cream the butter, warming the bowl if needed, until it is the consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted. Add the sugars and mix for 3 to 4 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the eggs and vanilla paste and mix on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds, until just combined. Scrape down the bowl again. The mixture may look broken, but that is fine (over-whipping the eggs could cause the cookies to expand too much during baking and then deflate).
- Add the combined dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each, until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to
- incorporate any dry ingredients that have settled there. Add the oats and pulse on low about 10 times to combine. Pulse in the raisins. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
- Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (convection or standard). Line two sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.
- Using the ice cream scoop, divide the dough into 6 equal portions, 145 grams each. Roll each one into a ball between the palms of your hands. (The dough can be shaped in advance.)
- The cookies are very large; bake only 3 on each pan. With a short end of the pan toward you, place one cookie in the upper left corner, one in the lower left corner, and the third one in the center, toward the right side of the pan. Bring the dough to room temperature before baking.
- Bake the cookies until golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes in a convection oven, 21 to 23 minutes in a standard oven, reversing the positions of the pans halfway through baking.
- Set the pans on a cooling rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
- The cookies are best the day they are baked, but they can be stored in a covered
- container for up to 3 days.
- For Smaller Cookies: Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (72 grams each). Bake for to 16 minutes in a convection oven, 18 to 20 minutes in a standard oven.
• Williams-Sonoma at Green Hills Mall has a limited quantity of signed copies, so act quickly!
• The Paper Source at 4017 Hillsboro Pike sells 144 straws for $6.95. The smiles these throwback sippers induce are free.
Thanks Christiana! Click here to read the post she wrote in November for SB Birmingham–it’s great!
Christiana Roussel is a Southern food & lifestyle writer headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. When not attending biscuit festivals or bourbon tastings, there are four chickens, three dogs, two children, and one husband who keep her very busy. Follow her culinary endeavors on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ChristianasKitchen.