When blogger Silvana Nardone set out to replicate her favorite supermarket cookie, she quickly discovered that the texture was the hardest thing to get right. Here, she reveals the surprising technique that yields perfectly chewy oatmeal cookies.
When blogger Silvana Nardone (of silvanaskitchen.com) set out to replicate her favorite supermarket cookie, she quickly discovered that the texture was the hardest thing to get right. Here, she reveals the surprising technique that yields perfectly chewy oatmeal cookies.
Did you ever try Archway Soft Iced Oatmeal cookies? They’re not-too-sweet oatmeal cookies with a nice chew and home-baked taste that you’d think just came out fresh from your oven, but instead came from the supermarket. I wanted to recreate them in my new book, Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25). And I wanted them to have the correct chewy, bendy texture and for the icing to stay on top of the cookie without disappearing into the crevices.
But I needed to understand the original cookie I was attempting to replicate. I started by reading the ingredient label online, and then I went to the supermarket to buy some. They tasted just like I remembered. For oatmeal cookies, they actually aren’t too oatmeal-y. That led me to adjust my proportion of flour to oats in my recipe, in favor of more flour.
Then I had noticed in the ingredient list that there were raisins, but they weren’t visible in the finished cookie. The same was true for the oats. That could mean only one thing—that they were chopped or blended, not left whole. The solution was easy: I placed the flour, oats and raisins in my Cuisinart and pulsed the ingredients together until they were coarsely ground, right before the mixture reduced to a paste.
As for the icing, once the cookie texture was flawlessly imitated, the icing followed suit. After I calculated the icing consistency to be neither too thick nor too thin, it magically sat on the surface of the cookie and didn’t pool into the crevices. Just what my childhood food memory had longed for.
Iced Soft Oatmeal Cookies
Active: 12 MIN; Total: 30 MIN (plus chilling)
Makes 16 cookies
1 cup Silvana’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tablespoons golden raisins
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons shortening
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons shortening, melted
1. Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350˚, with racks in the middle and upper third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Pulse the flour, oats and raisins in a food processor until coarsely ground, about 2 minutes. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, shortening, oil, rice syrup, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt on medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg and mix until blended, about 30 seconds. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the oat mixture until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes.
3. Using a 1½-inch ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake, switching the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until golden and just set, about 14 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack set over parchment paper and cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, make the icing: Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, water and melted shortening until smooth. Dip the tops of the cookies in the icing to coat, letting the excess drip off. Let set on the rack for at least 30 minutes before serving. The cookies will keep in an airtight container layered between sheets of parchment paper for up to 1 week.
Recipe excerpted from Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen© 2014 by Silvana Nardone. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.