This past Thursday, two of our test kitchen experts, Tricia and Laura, went live with you on Facebook to answer some of your most pressing questions for this month’s Better Baking Academy Module: Three Ways with Oatmeal Cookies. Here, we’ve rounded up five of those questions along with our test kitchen experts’ responses.
If you’re looking to learn more about the Better Baking Academy and Bake from Scratch magazine’s partnership with Bob’s Red Mill, be sure to check out our Better Baking Academy homepage here. We also have a Better Baking Academy with Bob’s Red Mill Facebook group. Here, you can share your bakes, interact with other home bakers, and tune in for our next Facebook Live Q&A on September 22, 2021. We can’t wait to see you again next month and talk all things English Muffins!
But now, without further ado, our top five questions from this Thursday’s Q&A:
Question 1: “Hey guys, question on blending up the oats and raisins. Normally, I leave them whole in my oatmeal cookies. But for these, you blend them up in the food processor. How does this affect the texture of the final cookie? Does it make it more chewy or more crisp?”
Answer 1: “Yes, finely chopping the raisins in the food processor makes for a more even distribution and a chewier texture. Similarly, for the oats, processing them makes for a tender cookie that also still has some texture to it.”
Question 2: “I am allergic to chocolate. Can I leave out the cocoa powder or use a substitute without sacrificing texture or flavor?”
Answer 2: “Yes, you can substitute the cocoa for all-purpose flour 1:1 by volume.”
Question 3: “I chilled the cookies and followed the instructions to the best of my ability, but my cookies spread to the point of being flat puddles. Would processing the oats too much have caused this? The cookies were delicious, but I had to freeze them and bake at a higher temp for a shorter time to get them to keep their shape and body.”
Answer 3: “Processing the oats too much may affect texture but would not end up with this kind of result. Here are some thoughts on what might be happening: potentially not enough flour (if measuring by volume), a difference in flour protein content (we use Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour, which has a protein content of 10% to 12%), or maybe your oven is running a little cool (an oven thermometer is a great way to gauge this!).”
Question 4: “I really like chunky oatmeal raisin cookies. Is there a way to adjust this recipe so that I still get big pieces of raisins and oats?”
Answer 4: “We love a chunky oatmeal raisin cookie, too! To get bigger pieces, leave 1 cup oats and ¼ cup raisins out of your food processor and then add them to the dry ingredients once you’ve finished blending. Give the mixture a good stir and then you can proceed with the recipe as written.”
Question 5: “I’m hoping to make these cookies gluten-free. What adjustments would I need to make to the recipe?”
Answer 5: “This is such a great question! Oats are naturally gluten-free, but in processing, sometimes they come into contact with gluten-containing grains. For that reason, it’s important to look for oats that are certified gluten-free. Luckily, Bob’s Red Mill has Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, which are packaged and processed in dedicated gluten-free facilities. Similarly, to replace the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe, we recommend using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. For flour substitutions, you’ll want to substitute 1:1 by volume. For this recipe, that means you’ll use 3 cups gluten-free flour in place of the standard all-purpose flour called for in the recipe.”