There is nothing greater than a warm and delicious golden-brown co0kie that is just what the sweet tooth ordered. Now, take a mental picture of that cookie in your mind. Ask yourself this question: is your favorite oatmeal cookie perfect on its own without chocolate chips or raisins?
We have been having this debate at Kitchen Kneads for a while now, and we decided to take sides and let you decide: To Add or Not to Add? That is the Question!!
Why Dried Fruit and Chocolate Chips Ruin Oatmeal Cookies
By Brian Child
In order to settle this debate, we first have to rank these add-ins in the severity of the atrocity they are. Dried fruit I admit is pretty popular with a lot of you and the removal of this item just oozes controversy. Many of you take the issue of it’s removal to the same level of what is covered and not covered in your State Sponsored Healthcare Plan. Let’s boil this down to how to ruin a perfectly good oatmeal cookie recipe. Well, let’s add some dried, rubbery fruit to it! I say no, no, no!
Dried fruit has plagued the oatmeal cookie like a locust contaminates grain. Dried fruit stifles food and limits its true potential. I mean think about it, do you add dried fruit to your pizza? No, you don’t so why would you add that rubber to your cookies? After all, when you add it, you are just making a fluffier version of fruit cake.
I firmly believe that’s why people don’t cite the Oatmeal Cookie as their favorite and it is diminishing in popularity vs. other non-fruit bearing treats. Just like the fruit cake.
Now, let’s talk about chocolate chips. Some might say that a smart baker will often utilize the “swap raisins for chocolate chip” technique. This swap might have done more harm that good. Dried fruit and chocolate chips are way too similar visually to the finished cookie. I always have to take a second glance because I can’t tell if they are using dried fruit or chocolate chips and there is no way this purist will take that chance.
The bottom line is this: We don’t call Oatmeal Cookies “Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies” and we should just leave the dried fruit and raisins out and start to enjoy a great cookie as our Heavenly Father intended it – on its own. Try this version for the purists:
Why Raisins and Chocolate Chips Bring Life to Oatmeal Cookies
By: Dawn Mikesell
Until the past 8 or so years, I was not a fan of raisins in anything baked. That was before a fellow co-worker of mine baked up some of her grandma’s oatmeal raisin cookies. I tried one even though I “knew” I wouldn’t like it. But you know what? It was so good! I ate another one. And then another one. From that moment on, I’ve been a fan of not only oatmeal raisin cookies but also of raisins baked in most things. Like Irish Soda Bread.
Now, I have to admit that I also am not a fan of the plain old oatmeal cookie. Growing up, my mom always added chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Adding things takes the bland out and adds so much more flavor to the cookies.
Oh, and let’s not forget that raisins and other dried fruits are packed with nutrients. I’d consider oatmeal cookies one of the more healthy cookies out there. I’m not going to call them straight-up healthy because of all the sugar in them, but they’re loaded with heart-healthy oats. So why not add some more healthy-ness? Raisins are high in potassium, fiber, B vitamins, and iron. You could add dried blueberries for a good source of vitamins K and C and manganese. Dried cranberries would also be super to add. They provide vitamins C, K, and A as well as pantothenic acid, which helps your body metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
So yes, add away! Dried fruits are amazing additions for not only flavor, but also nutrition. Chocolate chips may not exactly be the most nutritious choice, but who can resist chocolate in anything? Okay, maybe I wouldn’t add chocolate to my salmon, but there’s no reason not to add them to oatmeal cookies.
Here’s my favorite recipe. Try it. I know you’ll love it.