Nick Malgieri’s Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe

Recently I bought a sack of delightfully-crispy Boskop apples, my favorite of all French apple varieties.

After a quick rinse, I eagerly took a bite, my teeth breaking through the tight skin, anticipating the cool, crisp-tart flesh of a just-harvested apple.

But instead I spit it out: the flesh had gone soft and my precious apple was completely inedible.

Now any normal person would have tossed the rest of that apple in the garbage and grabbed another one. But not me. Since I am my mother’s son, I can’t throw anything away, no matter how trivial. But being quick-witted, I thought I would combine my frugal nature with my amazing generosity and the need to present a recipe here on the site, which is something I haven’t been able to do in a while due to my travels and travails.

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I’ve been working on an interview with master baker Nick Malgieri, who just came out with a new book, Perfect Light Desserts: Fabulous Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and More Made with Real Butter, Sugar, Flour, and Eggs, All Under 300 Calories Per Generous Serving (whew!). Look for that interview here, which became so lengthy and interesting that I’m still working on it, and will appear in the next week or so here on the site. I’ll talk to Nick about teaching, being the pastry chef at Window’s On The World, why he steals recipes from me, and what it’s like to write cookbooks.

Because the recipes in his latest book have less-calories than regular desserts, several recipes use applesauce as a base. So like the abnormal person I’ve become living alone in my Parisian garret, a reclusive phantom of le gâteau Opera, I made The World’s Tiniest Batch of Applesauce, but managed to turn it into two baking sheets of Nick’s exceptionally chewy, dense, and delicious oatmeal cookies.

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Here’s my adaptation of the recipe from Nick’s book. Although he calls for raisins, I didn’t have any, so instead of actually leaving my apartment, I dug deep into my valuable expat stash for the benefit of my readers (yeah, right…) and substituted tart, bright-red dried cranberries instead. But you could use any diced dried fruit that you want.
I didn’t have any oatmeal on hand either. So I used tofu.

Ok, just kidding (that was for all the ‘substitution’ people…and you know who you are!)
I used a mixture called cinq céréales, a blend of rolled oats, wheat, rye and other rolled grains that I stock up on at Naturalia, which is Paris’ health-food store chain and a great place to explore, and see how ‘healthy’ Parisians eats. (If you’re expecting to see Birkenstocks and draw-string pants, though, you going to be disappointed.) And although I’ve become un pea Parisian, I guess you can take the boy out of America, you can’t take America out of the boy, and I supersized them, making my cookies bigger using about 2 tablespoons of the batter per cookie. I got 16 cookies, which were gone in a flash, since I bribed…uh, I mean…brought them to vendors at my local market who had no idea what an oatmeal cookie was. Needless to say, I got a few more stranger looks than usual yesterday, handing out cookies from a sack, but no one seemed to mind. The French are pushovers for anything delicious, which has made my life a whole lot easier around here, let me tell you.

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Unfortunately, though, I ate quite a bit of the dough before it could be baked. How could I resist? It was like the most delicious, yummiest ‘bowl of’ oatmeal I’ve ever tasted, all bound together with a touch of French butter and golden brown sugar. And although my tinkering with the size probably screwed up the calorie guidelines, they were delicious and I figure I’ll just have one less glass of wine this month to make up for it.
Really.

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Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
About 36 cookies

Adapted from Nick Malgieri’s book, Perfect Light Desserts: Fabulous Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and More Made with Real Butter, Sugar, Flour, and Eggs (HarperCollins).

  • 1 cup flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins (or dried cranberries)

2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper, foil, or silicone mats

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set the rack on the lower and upper thirds of the oven.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Mix in the brown sugar, then the egg, applesauce, and vanilla.

4. Stir in the dry ingredients, then the oats and raisins.

5. Drop the batter by rounded teaspoons 2-inches apart on the baking sheets and use a fork to gently flatten the dough.

6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they “look dull on the surface but are moist and soft”, according to Nick. Rotate baking sheets during baking for even heating.

(I made mine bigger, so whatever size you make them, just bake them until they look as directed by Nick.)

Storage: Once cool, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

22 comments

  • I like that this recipe doesn’t call for cinammon, will definitely try this variation. Thanks!

  • Just made some yesterday for a party, call them, “back of the box”, a friends Grandmother used to say back of the box to tell us where to get the recipe after bothering her for what we thought was a top secret family heirloom, Quaker oats box! Yours look more delicious of course!

    Jeremy

  • Nice one, David — giving us all the finger through the cookie batter.

    Of course these look magnificent. You made them!

  • Hee, you Phantome du Gateau Opera…

  • Umami: Cinnamon? Do they have that in France?

    Jeremy: I love that recipe, but there ain’t no boxes around here.

    Shauna: I figured someone would ‘point’ that out…and it had to be you!

    Luisa: Don’t you have a ‘wednesday food section’ recipe for gâteau Opera?

  • TOFU!? Very funny. You inspired me to drag my rear to the store to buy oatmeal. Excellent recipe David! Thank you.

  • Thanks for the recipe. Weird, I’ve been obsessed with oatmeal raisin cookies this past couple of weeks, sampling them from every bakery in town (Portland) in order to arrive at my assessment for “the best”. I’ll keep you posted.

    I recently made a batch of the orange currant oatmeal cookies from the Tartine Cookbook and was NOT sorry. Extra great with un peu de fleur de sel resting atop each lovely morsel. And, speaking of applesauce substitutions, I replaced half of the butter with applesauce and (extra) pumpkin in the pumpkin tea cake recipe from the same cookbook and received quite pleasant results.

    I love that you introduced the oatmeal cookies to the French. You should be very proud of yourself.

  • I’m excited that I have all the ingredients at home, except the applesauce, which I managed to acquire on my lunch break! I’m going to bake these up tonight. However, just wanted to make sure that the flour gets added to the moist ingredients, perhaps somewhere between 3 & 4? ;)

    Oh, and I’m adding cinnamon and crystalized ginger! It’s the season….

  • I have an overwhelming desire to eat the ice cream scoops of cookie dough. Yum.

  • As I was reading, I felt the post was coming to a crescendo with each word I read, as I couldn’t wait to find out if this was a recipe I could actually eat, as I’m really watching my calories, yet on the lookout for delicious snacks (is this possible?), and these cookies look delicious. The high content of applesauce combined with the low content of butter was perfect, alas, the quantity of sugar was too high for me. Perhaps I’ll be one of those substituters as well, and sub Stevia for sugar, but it will probably make the ratio of dry ingredients to wet go out of whack. Oh well, this recipe has inspired me to experiment to come up with a substituted version of a delicious cookie. Thanks!

  • HI David,
    You live in France, you adore Paris, you have wonderful recipes, but why don’t you take in consideration your “poor” assidous European ( well, Middle eastern in my case) readers who have to run everytime to a certain book to find out what are ounces, spoons, cups etc in gramms.
    Could you pleeeeeeeeeese have pity on us?
    Thanks

  • These look yummy, but I have a deep, dark secret: My most terrifying childhood experience was taking a big bite of what I thought was a Chocolate Chip Cookie….and, (are you braced for this) finding a raisin, instead! Now I always put dark chocolate chunks in my outmeal cookies instead of the dried fruit. I’ll let you know….

  • Hi Simona: When I develop original recipes for the my, or for me most recent 2 books, the recipes are metric as well as in cups-and-teaspoons. Nick’s recipe was in US measurements, so it was either I do the conversion, or my readers…guess who won!? : )

    Katie: I put chocolate chips in mine too! But I didn’t want to futz with someone elses recipe, adding something unauthorized (like tofu.)

    Gladys: Down with artificial sweeteners! Actually, I’m sure you could cut the sugar down. It would make the cookies a bit less moist (and of course, less sweet.) But they’re pretty ‘flexible’ and I would give it a try.

  • I made these today using cherry-flavored dried cranberries. I wanted dried sour cherries, but wasn’t willing to go all over town looking for them. I also toasted a few pecans and chopped them. They came out great! Even better once I put some vanilla Haagen Dazs between two cookies and made a sandwich! I’m definitely going to buy the book. Thanks David!

  • Not to break up the love-fest, but these cookies were kind of disappointing.. I made some on Saturday and they were kind of blah. Too cake-y. Too much baking soda and/or powder, not enough oats.

    I did like that they involve applesauce and that they’re chewy, though.

  • as a rabid raisin hater, i always sub in dried cranberries. raisins are sneaky and show up unannounced and unwelcome in many bakery items, lurking craftily under muffin tops and cake crusts. long live the craisin!

  • Hi David

    I love your site. The cookies look awesome, I will bake them soon. I have a few apples that need to be made into sauce and I also have a few dried cranberries in my valuable expat stash that I can use. Expat Husband hates it when I weigh down the luggage with dried fruit,pecans and good coffee beans, however, these are hard things to find in China. He doesn’t complain too much though, because, he and our son reap the rewards!
    I will look for your new book the next time I am in Hong Kong.

  • Actually, stevia isn’t an artificial sweetener, it’s an herb, good thing for people who can’t eat sugar. I’m down with the chemical artificial sweeteners too.

  • Thanks for the great recipe usually when someone offers me something wih oats in its flapjack all that sugar is no good so its a nice change to have something healthier.

  • I sympathise with Simona on conversions. It seems very strange to us Brits that you measure butter by the tablespoon. I’ve trying to rewrite some of my favourite recipes in the mammoth Cook’s Illustrated that some American friends brought me recently, and some others from Linda Dannenberg’s Boulangerie/Patisserie book and the measurements…sticks, cups, tablespoons or combinations of the three for one ingredient – wouldn’t simple weights in oz or grams be much easier?

  • Hi Catherine (and Simona): I sympathize with your plight, and I had Nick address that in his interview.

    That’s also why in my last book, The Great Book of Chocolate, as well as my upcoming book, I’ve given measurements in metrics as well. (We Americans just can’t seem to give up our beloved measuring cups, though.)

    I hope that overseas and American cookbook buyers are happy enough that I did that, and get copies of my books, supporting the fine cookbook authors who make the effort to provide both measurements! : )