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Oatmeal raisin cookies

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December 12, 2007

Makes 24 large cookies

California pastry chef Sherry Yard, who is part of the Wolfgang Puck restaurant empire, makes these cookies with something she calls "fat raisins." She poaches golden or Red Flame raisins. The cookies, she writes in "Desserts by the Yard," are favorites of former president Bill Clinton. This batter works best if chilled for about 1 hour.

RAISINS

1 1/2cups golden or Red Flame raisins
3/4cup dry white wine
3tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2tablespoons dark rum
3tablespoons granulated sugar

1. In a small saucepan, combine the raisins, wine, orange juice, rum, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring often, then lower the heat so the liquid is at a bare simmer and poach for 20 minutes.

2. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with plastic wrap, and cool to room temperature.

BATTER

1 1/2cups flour
1teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
14tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1cup granulated sugar
1cup light brown sugar
1 1/2teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
3/4teaspoon ground cinnamon
2eggs
3cups quick-cooking oats

1. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt.

2. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, if you have one, or the whisk, cream the butter on high speed for 2 minutes or until lemony yellow. Scrape down the bowl's sides. Add the granulated and brown sugars, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Continue beating for 2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the bowl.

3. Add the eggs, one by one, and beat on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture and beat just until it is incorporated. Beat in the oats and raisins with any liquid that clings to them.

4. Set a long sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Scoop half the dough onto it and shape it into a log. Roll it up in the paper to create a sausage. Twist the ends and wrap in plastic wrap. Do the same with the remaining batter. Refrigerate for 1 hour or for up to 3 days.

5. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. Slice the dough into 1/2-inch rounds and set the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake them for 17 to 20 minutes, turning the sheets from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking, or until the cookies are nicely browned.

7. Slide the parchment papers off the sheets onto a heatproof counter. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes and eat warm, or let them cool completely. - Adapted from "Desserts by the Yard"

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