I named these cookies Goldilocks’ Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies because after many tries these are just right. I wanted an oatmeal cookie made with whole grain spelt flour because it’s a lot healthier. The trick, however, is that spelt flour doesn’t necessarily bake cup for cup with white flour.
When making the first batch, I adapted this recipe from Thomas Keller and the cookies were too wet. Goldilocks said, “this cookie is too wet, too buttery, too sweet.” They flattened out and she likes her cookies puffy, and chewy. I did some nerdy baking research and discovered that spelt flour doesn’t absorb liquid in the same way white does and, thus, the flat cookie, which tasted good, but wasn’t what I was looking for. On the second batch, I thought I would be clever and add in more spelt flour. I added too much and Goldilocks said, “this cookie is too dry.” Even the kids wouldn’t eat them. On the third batch, I simply added in one more tablespoons of spelt flour, decreased the sugar and Goldilocks said, “these are just right.” She ate them all, leaving Mama Bear and Papa Bear with no oatmeal cookies, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Baking with Spelt Flour
Spelt is an ancient grain, with a hard husk that protects it from bugs and the need for pesticides. Even if a person isn’t wheat sensitive, spelt is a healthy choice to consider, as it is higher in protein, easier to digest, higher in fiber and has many other benefits that make it a better choice than wheat.
Unlike wheat, in which the gluten gets stronger as you mix it, the gluten in spelt gets weaker. It takes a little practice to cook and bake with, because typically our frame of reference comes from working with wheat. It’s naturally darker (unlike bleached white wheat) and naturally nuttier.
If you substitute it cup for cup, don’t expect the same results. Although spelt flour is higher in protein than wheat flour, it tends to spread out more as it doesn’t absorb liquid the way white flour does. To correct this, I added a little more flour to the mixture, which worked out well. In other baking products (cakes, muffins) I would decrease the liquid a bit.
I like baking and cooking with spelt. Recently I perfected my spelt pancake recipe here.
So how do they taste? What I love about these cookies is that before you actually bite into the chewy oatmeal cookie, you smell it. They are full of cinnamon and once it has baked with the butter, it smells heavenly. I especially love the texture. These are more oats than flour which along with brown sugar adds to the chewiness, but they are not dry. If you want the original recipe which I adapted from Thomas Keller, using white flour and more sugar and dried cherries, go here. For another healthy twist on oatmeal cookies you might like these made with dried plums and rosemary, go here.
Tell me, what’s your favorite way to eat oatmeal cookies?
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon whole grain spelt flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (154 grams) (see notes)
- 1 egg /
- 1-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats (do not use instant
- 1 cup golden raisins
- Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt together in a bowl set aside.
- Cream butter at medium speed.
- Cream the sugar with the butter until well incorporated.
- Add the egg.
- Add the vanilla.
- Add in the oats, mix well. Normally, one would add the flour mixture first, but spelt flour should not be over mixed, as the cookies will get tough. After adding the oat, add the flour mixture.
- Add in raisins.
- Bake at 350 for 18 minutes, (depending on what size cookies are). Check cookies at 15 minutes.