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Orange Rosemary Oatmeal Cookies

To wrap up the cookie extravaganza, I was looking to try a new twist on the oatmeal classic. Sometimes I bake oatmeal raisin cookies, or cherry chocolate oatmeal cookies, but I wanted something citrusy and almost savory.  It also needed to be soft and slightly chewy.

I started with an orange-currant-oatmeal cookie from Tartine, by Elisabeth Pruett and Chad Robertson.  While I have not been lucky enough to get a copy of the book, it’s received high praise from other bloggers for adding sophisticated twists to classic desserts. The oatmeal cookie technique is traditional, creaming the butter first, and then adding the sugar, followed by the wet ingredients.  Lastly, you stir the flour in, just until combined and add your oats and currants.

I knew I wanted to keep the technique, but I decided to vary the ingredients by adding rosemary, orange juice and walnuts to keep the cookie light and interesting. It’s also a less sweet treat to balance out all the champagne, brownies and cupcakes the holidays bring. And, because rosemary is a holiday herb, chances are a few sprigs might be in your fridge, or in warmer climates, under some leaves in the yard.

As soon as they were out of the oven, we tested them (a horrible job, I know!), and they were quite satisfying. The short amount of baking time yields a soft cookie that was light and just slightly sweet. If I weren’t baking for Christmas, I would have kept a roll of dough in the freezer for the next time I need a quick dessert.

Orange Rosemary Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup dried currants
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup walnuts

1. In a small bowl, cover the currants with warm water and let sit for about 10 minutes until plump. Drain well and set aside.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy. Add the sugar slowly and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl during mixing as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, honey, orange juice orange zest and rosemary and beat until well mixed. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Stir in the currants, oats and rosemary.

3. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Using parchment paper or plastic wrap, shape each portion into a log about 14 inches long and 2 inches thick. Gently round the edges to give it an oval shape. Wrap tightly in parchment paper or plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick liner.

5. Unwrap the logs. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into ovals about ¼-inch thick. Arrange the ovals on the baking sheets. Bake until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned but the centers remain pale, 7-9 minutes. If baking more than one tray at a time, rotate the trays halfway through. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.

Makes 72 to 80 cookies.

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