4 Feb

I am a dunker.  I like hard cookies.  I love to dunk them in coffee, tea, and milk.  I especially like hard oatmeal raisin cookies.  There’s even a family story about losing my first tooth while enjoying an oatmeal cookie in Dunkirk, Ohio, in route to the Ohio State Fair.

A friend made oatmeal raisin cookies.  Frankly, I was disappointed.  If the oatmeal raisin cookies were brought into close proximity of coffee, milk, and/or tea, they disintegrated.

I acquired my friend’s recipe and compared it to mother’s recipe.  I compared my friend’s recipe with the recipe on the Quaker Oats box.  On the surface, while not exact, there appeared to be no significant difference (a little more oatmeal, a little less flour, etc.) among the recipes.  Yet, my friend’s cookies collapsed in the presence of coffee, tea, or milk while neither mother’s nor the company’s did.  What a distressing state of affairs!

Now, I readily admit that I’m not the brightest crayon in the box.  There had to be answer, and I set out to discover it.

It made no difference whether the liquid was warm or cold.  The cookie crumbled!

I discovered that my friend did not like raisins straight from the box; therefore, whenever raisins were called for in a recipe, the raisins would be “plumped” in some warm water before adding them to the recipe.  Would plumping raisins make a difference?

Whatever had happened to the oatmeal raisin cookies was contagious.  The chocolate chip cookies now crumbled also.  Curiously, I discovered a pan of soaking raisins was on the stove.  I looked for the oatmeal raisin cookies; alas, they could not be found.  There were no raisins in the chocolate chip cookies.  However, I did discern that the oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies shared an oatmeal base.

Perhaps some cookie deity required a raisin sacrifice before cookies could be made.  I researched religious practices but could find no deity that necessitated a raisin sacrifice before making oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookies.  I did, however, suspect that the California Raisin Board might have been behind this practice because the Board sponsored a series of commercials with animated raisins singing “I Heard It through the Grapevine.”  Perhaps this raisin sacrifice thing was an imbedded subliminal message in this advertisement, and my friend was especially susceptible to this message.

From my friend’s cookbook I followed the cookie making process for the following:

Cookie Soaking Raisins on Stove
100 No
Banana – Oatmeal No
Butter Balls No
Buttermilk No
Cherry Winks No
Chocolate Chip Yes
Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake No
No Bake No
Christmas No
Cut Out No
Soft Sugar No
Czech Kolaches No
Hungarian No
Oatmeal Raisin Yes
Peanut Butter Drops No
Pumpkin No
Skillet No
Snicker Doodles No

Not all oatmeal based cookies required the ritual sacrifice of raisins.  This was strange indeed.  (Some of these were dunkers; others were not.)

Furthermore, I noticed that should the oatmeal raisin be packed for freezing or shipping, the molecules of individual cookies began holding hands with the cookies touching them.  Consequently, even when completely thawed, each cookie bore evidence – a little additional cookies here … a small hole there — of having been in intimate proximity with its neighbor.  (Could this have been alchemy’s beginnings for turning base metals into gold?)   I imagine if left alone long enough they would have been rearranged into one, large cookie mass.  (Break off a chunk of oatmeal raisin cookie.  Beware: they crumble in proximity to moisture!)  It was most perplexing!

If I wanted an oatmeal raisin cookie to dunk, I either made it myself or purchased it from a bakery.

*           *          *

Many years later, I discovered another oatmeal raisin recipe.  This recipe added raisin juice to the dry ingredients to make a “thick” batter.  Could this be the reason that my friend’s cookies disintegrated when coffee, tea, or milk was near?




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