Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies tend to be under-rated and get the brush-off.

But I especially love thick, chunky, chewy, oatmeal cookies loaded with raisins.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies averiecooks.com

When they’re done right, a great oatmeal raisin cookie may even trump Chocolate Chip Cookies but then again, it’s hard to compare the two because they’re so different. Unfortunately, oatmeal raisin cookies fall tend to prey to a myriad of cookie pitfalls. Too thin or they spread while baking, too crispy, not soft enough, not chewy enough, too cakey, too dry, not enough oats, not enough raisins, and not enough spice.

My ideal oatmeal raisin cookie above all else must be soft, chewy, and very texture-filled. Oats must be in plentiful supply along with an abundance of raisins. It’s a peeve of mine when the oats don’t take the forefront and really shine or when the raisin quantity is paltry. And I prefer them thicker but not at all cakey. I love cake, but I don’t want my cookies to ever be cakey. Cinnamon is a natural complement to oats and raisins and because I’m a cinnamon fiend, plenty must be used.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies averiecooks.com

The cookies come together very quickly by creaming together butter, an egg, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. I only used brown sugar, no granulated, which gives the cookies greater depth of flavor, and helps them stay softer and moister, and they stay fresh longer, than if granulated sugar was used. Cream the ingredients together until they’re very fluffy, about five minutes. The creaming process beats air into the batter which in turn creates cookies that stay thicker as they bake so don’t shortchange the creaming process.

Fold in old-fashioned whole rolled oats, not quick cook or instant. Whole-rolled are heartier, chunkier, and are what provide that great oaty texture. Quick cook oats have been broken down, and are finer, grainier, and behave more like flour than like big, chunky oaty nuggets and save them for a bowl of oatmeal rather than for use here.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies averiecooks.com

Along with the oats, add baking soda, optional salt, and cinnamon. Feel free to increase the amount if you like more intense cinnamon flavor. This dough can stand up to at least a tablespoon without becoming overwhelmed. I love cinnamon and used one tablespoon in my personal batch and it wasn’t overpowering at all. Present, but not whoa nelly. I wrote two teaspoons in the recipe, which should satisfy the casual cinnamon connoisseur.

Then add the flour and I used bread flour for a couple reasons. It promotes chewier baked goods, from bread to cookies, and because of it’s higher protein and gluten content, it lends greater structure to cookies. Cookies made with it stay thicker and are less prone to spreading while baking. All-purpose flour will be fine, but your cookies won’t be quite as thick or chewy.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies averiecooks.com

Finally, fold in the raisins. I folded in nearly as many as the dough could hold. I’m a raisin lover so skimpy doesn’t work. You could also add chocolate chips or peanut butter, white chocolate, or butterscotch chips. I love chocolate but actually prefer oatmeal raisin to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. No nuts in baked goods for me, but add some walnuts or your favorite nut if you’d like.

The dough is thick and dense from all the oats and raisins, yet soft. It needs to be chilled for at least two hours, or up to five days before baking cookies with it. There’s no way to achieve thick, puffy, tall cookies with warm, soft, limp dough. It’s just won’t work. You can make the dough days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator, and when you’re ready to bake all the cookies, or just want a couple warm, fresh cookies, the dough is waiting and ready to go.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies averiecooks.com

I used a medium-sized two-inch cookie scoop to form the dough, which is approximately two heaping tablespoons, or 1.50 to 1.60 ounces by weight. The mounds are light for their size because the oats add bulk and heft, without adding much weight. Place the dough on baking trays, no more than eight per tray.Y

You may wish to flatten the chilled mounds slightly or they may stay domed like little igloos while baking, the opposite of a spreading problem. My dough had been chilling for two days before I baked these and I gave the mounds a tiny smoosh-down with my palm so that I ended up with cookies rather than puffballs.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies averiecooks.com

Bake the cookies for ten to twelve minutes, or until the edges have set and the tops are barely set. Because of the raisins, oats, and their natural color, it’s a bit hard to judge doneness.

I baked a few batches with varying results. At 9 minutes, they were too raw, even for me. At 10 minutes, they were my perfect cookie. At 11 minutes, they were Scott’s perfect cookie. At 12 minutes they were too hard, even for him and he likes well-done and almost crunchy cookies. Because ovens, preferences, ingredients, and climates vary, baking times will vary so bake accordingly.

If the cookies emerge from the oven on the puffy side, tap them a couple times with the back of a spoon as they cool on the baking trays. The tap-tap trick is a favorite.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies averiecooks.com

I have another recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and actually the two don’t differ all that much in ingredients, but the results varied tremendously. In those cookies, I used a little extra sugar (1/2 cup granulated) and used two extra tablespoons flour, but in a whole batch of cookies, those are minor differences. The major difference though comes with the butter. In that recipe it’s melted and I’ve always said, I can’t get the same results with melted butter in terms of thickness that I can with creamed.

I also used all-purpose rather than bread flour, and I didn’t chill that dough prior to baking. Thinner cookies are a foregone conclusion if you bake with warm dough.

Look at how much thinner those cookies were. It’s a nice side-by-side comparison of very similar recipes, but using different techniques, and how different the results can be.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies averiecooks.com

The bonus of that recipe is that no mixer is needed since the butter is melted, and because the dough is not chilled much, if any, from making to baking to eating, you’re looking at 20 minutes, tops, from start to finish.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies averiecooks.com

The new cookies are thick, chewy, and loaded with chunky oats and tons of texture. All that texture gets caught in my teeth and I love it. They’re hearty, sturdy, and a very portable cookie, resistant to being crushed at the bottom of lunch pails and purses. They make me feel like I should put them in a backpack and hit a trail somewhere.

As cookies go, they feel healthy and wholesome. They’re not overly sweet and I tell myself they’re healthy because of the whole-grain oats, dried fruit, and there’s no white sugar in them. The truth is, I would eat them even if they were wildly unhealthy because I love oatmeal raisin cookies so much.

Especially when I can take big, thick, chunky, bites.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies averiecooks.com

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Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I've been on a quest to find a recipe for thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies, that are also soft and moist, and this one delivers. The cookies are very texture-filled and are loaded with oats and an abundance of raisins in every bite. The bread flour used helps them bake up thick, tall, and gives them extra chewiness. They're hearty, chunky, and wholesome. You can tell yourself they're healthy from the whole grains and dried fruit used and they're not an overly sweet cookie. They're a sturdy cookie, begging to be tossed into backpacks and lunches and they make me want to hit a trail somewhere.

Yield: about 18 medium-sized cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole rolled old-fashioned oats (not quick cook)
  • 2 teaspoons+ ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons bread flour (or, 1 cup minus two tablespoons)
  • 1 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed to cream ingredients until very light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the oats, cinnamon (I use 1 tablespoon), baking soda, optional salt, and beat to incorporate, about 1 minute. Add the flour and beat to just incorporate, about 30 seconds. Note regarding flour - the secret to these cookies staying thick and chewy is the bread flour; although all-purpose may be substituted, the results will be superior with bread flour. Add the raisins and beat momentarily to incorporate. Transfer mixture to an airtight container or cover mixing bowl with plasticwrap and refrigerate dough for at least two hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake these cookies with dough that has not been properly chilled because they will spread.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray; set aside. Using a medium-sized two-inch cookie scoop form dough mounds, which is approximately two heaping tablespoons, or 1.50 to 1.60 ounces by weight. Place dough on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (maximum of 8 per sheet). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are set and tops have just set, even if slightly undercooked in the center, as cookies will firm up as they cool. It's a little tricky to judge doneness because of all the oats, but I suggest the lower end of the baking range and baking for 10 minutes for soft and chewy cookies. For crunchier cookies, extend baking time by 1 to 2 minutes, but take care not to overbake or they will be hard.
  3. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Recipe slightly adapted from my Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Land 'O Lakes Best Ever Oatmeal Cookies

Related Recipes:

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – The ingredients are almost the same in these cookies as today’s cookies, but because I melted the butter and didn’t chill the dough, they bake up much thinner. They’re still chewy, without the thickness and weren’t quite as texture-filled since I used fewer raisins. A nice recipe if you don’t want to dirty a stand mixer and don’t have time to chill the dough and mind if they’re thinner. The nice thing is you can be eating cookies in 20 minutes flat, from start to finish

Oatmeal Raisin Rolls – Part healthy and hearty chewy dinner roll, part soft cinnamon roll. They’re full of texture from the raisins and oats, lightly sweetened from honey in the dough and are then brushed with honey-butter prior to baking, and perfumed with cinnamon. They can be made in advance or frozen, if desired

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Smoothie (vegan, GF) – Tastes like drinking a glass of cinnamon-raisin bread, although no actual bread was used, and I put a graham crackers to work

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Butter – If you’ve never made bread before, this is a goofproof, foolprood, no-knead bread recipe. You’ll never have a need for storebought English muffins again, especially because this bread is spiked with cinnamon-sugar and raisins

Raisin Bread for Raisin Lovers – Lightly sweetened and cinnamon-spiced dough is chock full of raisins. It couldn’t even hold any more and I love this bread for that reason

Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bars with Chocolate Chunks (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free) – Like cinnamon oatmeal, but in bar form, and made with oats and dates, although some raisins could be incorporated too. To keep these lighter, feel free to omit the chocolate topping and the base of these bars is a perfectly healthy, no-bake, vegan, gluten-free, granola bar with no refined sugar added

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF) – One of my favorite ways to combine oats, cinnamon, and raisins is in these easy, no-bake granola bars that are similar to Quaker Chewy Granola bars, but because you control the ingredients, you get to decide what does and doesn’t go into your granola bars. These are my favorite no-bake granola bar and very popular with readers

Do you like oatmeal cookies? Thick, thin, soft, chewy, with or without raisins? Chocolate Chips? Do tell.

Feel free to share your links and recipes for your favorite oatmeal cookies, or any favorite cookies.

I love oats for baking and have a collection of all Oats and Oatmeal Recipes with links and photos for inspiration. And the oatmeal and raisin combination is a favorite.

   

134 Responses to “Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies”

  1. #
    51
    Valerie — February 7, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Yes, chewy, chunky-textured, and bursting with cinnamon = the perfect oatmeal raisin cookie. Even the raisins don’t bother me! ;) I knew that using melted butter yields slimmer cookies- I just didn’t realize how drastic the difference…wow!

    I’m so craving these cookies right now- as I’m watching Jon Stewart. Perfect late-night snack, or if you’re a night owl, like me, early night snack. :D

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — February 7th, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Yeah it’s only what, 11pm or midnite in your time zone? That’s way before my bedtime too :) I get my best blog work done when everyone else is asleep. Lol

      Reply

      • Valerie replied: — February 7th, 2013 at 9:33 pm

        Me too! 12:33…still early. :p

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    Anita — February 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Averie. I’ve just made a batch of Raisin Oat Cookies (not your recipe) that ended up really cake-y and I’m so disappointed. I’ll be giving your recipe a go very soon. I might add some dried apricots with the raisins, just to give it a bit of tang. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — February 7th, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      I hate cakey cookies, especially cakey oatmeal cookies! And I assure you, these are zero cakey, totally dense and chewy. I think you’ll be super happy! If you try them, LMK!

      Reply

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    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — February 7, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Oatmeal raisin is my absolute favorite cookie! I don’t think Jason will go near them but that just means more for me!

    Reply

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    Carol | a cup of mascarpone — February 8, 2013 at 5:43 am

    I love how you compared the two oatmeal cookies. Thank you for doing that and sharing! I adore oatmeal cookies…there’s just something “healthy” about them! :) These are lovely, Averie!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — February 8th, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      And thanks for your reply on the sheet cake. Went back to your site to check. And I had seen Ree call it that, but didn’t know if you really ‘believed’ the title and it lived up to it’s name and sounds like it does, which is always nice when everything works out like that!

      Reply

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    Jackie — February 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Averie

    Did you plump your raisins before adding to the batter, I read somewhere that you should plump your raisins before adding to a batter or your cookies will be dry.

    Reply

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    Reneé — February 27, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Love these cookies!!! They were gone before the next batch was done! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — February 27th, 2013 at 10:54 am

      Oh wow, that’s awesome! Thanks for LMK they were so popular! :)

      Reply

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    BirdGrammie — March 2, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Made the Oatmeal Raisin cookies yesterday (actually made the dough 4 days ago). I have a terrible problem making decisions (raisins or choc. chips), so I used Raisinets! (choc. covered raisins). The cookies came out fabulously!! I did cook them for the full 12 minutes because the insulated cookie sheet just seems to need more time. Had a friend over for dinner and served these after. She had 2, then reached over to the platter & said:” I think I need another one.”
    Can’t wait to try the Sugar-Doodle Vanilla and the Brown Sugar Maple.

    Diane

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 2nd, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Raisinets are so good and they sound like the perfect solution to that ‘problem’. I need to try those next time! Glad that they were so good your friend had 3 :) And yes, cookie sheets can be so variable that it’s best to ‘bake until done’ but for some people, I just have to assign numerical values, but your eyes and nose are always the best judge. Thanks for the field report & LMK what you make next!

      Reply

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    Kim — April 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I just made these with half raisins and half chocolate chips. I used AP flour and I didn’t chill the dough… all things you said not to do… and they were still the best cookies I have ever baked myself. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — April 8th, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Well I am so glad that not listening to me worked out so well :) Seriously, that’s great!

      This is a pretty forgiving dough in terms of the chilling because it is so dense, that it’s not as prone to spreading as much as some other doughs. And that they’re the best cookies you’ve ever baked yourself, well, I am so happy to hear that. Thanks for telling me!

      Reply

  9. #
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    Mehul Teli — May 28, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Hey, I’m not really a cookie person but I just don’t seem to get over the Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies that you have made. I will definitely give this a show. There’s only 1 small issue, being a vegetarian, I cannot include eggs :( . Can you suggest an alternate?

    Reply

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    Heather — June 24, 2013 at 9:05 am

    What would happen if I used all all purpose flour instead of bread flour and all purpose flour??

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 24th, 2013 at 9:06 am

      They wouldn’t probably turn out quite at thick or as chewy, but they’d still be very thick and chewy. Go for it – if that’s what you have on hand. LMK how it goes!

      Reply

  11. #
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    Kelley — June 26, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I am so glad I found your blog! You do a fantastic job of explaining those important tips and tricks that are never included in recipes. I’ve got a lot to learn :) But I know where I’ll come for desert!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 26th, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks for finding me and for the great compliment! That is my goal – to try to explain things and give tricks and pointers many recipes and most sites don’t bother with. But in baking, the details really do matter!

      Reply

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    Monica M — July 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I made these today!! amazingly good. However, I had some problems with the baking times. I let the dough refrigerated for a whole night and when I baked it, it was very hard. The cookies didn’t spread much and I had to let them in the oven for a lot longer than 10-12 minutes. I was not sure when they were done. Any good tip to tell when the cookies are done and avoid overbaking? Thanks :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — July 17th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      If you left them in the oven “for a lot longer than 10-12 minutes” – you definitely overbaked them. I would say allow the dough to come to room temperature while the oven preheats and then bake according to the recipe. They will not look ‘done’ at 10-12 minutes, but take them out anyway. Just trust that cookies firm up as they cook. and these in particular do so. So just have faith they’re done and let them cool on the baking trays. Worst thing that can happen is you have to put them back in the oven for 1-2 mins. Bake a test batch of 2 to 4 cookies this way and then tweak times from there. Enjoy!

      Reply

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    Stephanie — August 7, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Baking these this morning, after chilling them overnight. Please edit your recipe, so that prep time includes chilling- I didn’t read through before I began to make these, and was disappointed when I came to that part- it would be helpful for others. That being said, the dough is amazing (I’m a dough eater, I’ll admit it), so I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 7th, 2013 at 5:51 am

      I always read the directions from start to finish before I even start cooking. Or read the blog post, too. I think it’s a good habit to get into for everyone. I mention it in the blog post as well, ” There’s no way to achieve thick, puffy, tall cookies with warm, soft, limp dough. It’s just won’t work. You can make the dough days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator, and when you’re ready to bake all the cookies, or just want a couple warm, fresh cookies, the dough is waiting and ready to go.”

      You could have baked them without chilling as I wrote – the results just won’t be as thick. That goes for ANY COOKIE you ever bake. Not just these. Just a pointer for any cookies you ever try – chilled dough is always more flavorful since the flavors have time to relax, and it bakes up thicker!

      Glad you like the cookies!

      Reply

  14. #
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    Betsy — August 7, 2013 at 6:46 am

    I tried this recipe today…I make my oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and dried cherries, but they were too cakey and not chewy enough. These came out absolutely fantastic. I cannot say enough about how chewy, flavorful, and perfect they were. I followed the recipe to the letter and it worked perfectly, although I did have to bake for 12 minutes or more to get them set. Even so, they are not at all crisp but are perfectly chewy. Thank you thank you!!!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 7th, 2013 at 6:55 am

      Thanks for trying this recipe, Betsy! Weird that it’s an older recipe and within an hour, I’ve had two people make it who wrote in to tell me! So glad that you loved these and yes, they are a super chewy cookie and depending on how thick/tall you make your cookie dough balls, I can see where 12 mins in some ovens would be about right. I tend to underbake by a good minute or two b/c I really love super-soft cookies but my oven also runs hotter and faster, too. Thanks for LMK you tried these with great results!

      Reply

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    Silvana Carpinito — January 24, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Could you sign me up for any email postings?
    Love your cookies!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 24th, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      To subscribe via email, there’s a row of pink/peach icons near the top right hand portion of my site. Click on the second one from the left (it looks like a little letter) and follow the prompts, entering and confirming your email address.

      Reply

  16. #
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    Michelle — January 26, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    This recipe looks so easy and good! Would I be able to substitute bread flour with all-purpose flour? I can’t get bread flour where I live….

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 26th, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Yes you can. They may not turn out quite as thick because bread flour has more gluten than AP but they’ll still work out. Use an extra tbsp or two if you think the dough needs it.

      Reply

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    Veronica — January 28, 2014 at 6:42 am

    I made this recipe yesterday, adn OMG they are amazing. I also add some nutmeg, and the taste is perfect. My boyfriend loved them.
    I will make this again for sure.

    Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 28th, 2014 at 9:38 am

      Glad you guys loved them! Thanks for trying & LMK!

      Reply

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    Lisa Fernandez — February 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    OMG these are amazing!!!!!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — February 13th, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks for trying them & glad you liked them!

      Reply

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    sydney85 — February 19, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    My husband had been away so I made his favorite cookies for him. This is the first time I had used this recipe and this is the best ever recipe. I am not a big cookie person but I love these as well. Thank you so much as I have found the recipe that I will always use.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — February 19th, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      Thank you for saying that you loved them and your hubs too (and you’re not even a cookie person!) and that this is your go-to recipe. That’s wonderful!

      Reply

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    Charlyn Tenhoeve — June 19, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I loved this receipe and so did my company and most importantly so did my husband. The only thing I will do next time is use salted butter. I did experiment with half the dough. I sprinkled sea salt on top while still warm out of oven. One half of our family thought they were perfect, while the others thought I forgot to add salt, (salted butter is always used in our family for baking). The consistency was spot on what I was looking for… Many thanks from this family

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 19th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      Glad you loved them and yes, salt in desserts is a very personal thing and do what you and your family prefer with regard to the salt situation!

      Reply

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    Rachel — August 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Seriously amazing! Guess I have to stock bread flour now just for this recipe! I’m not willing to try them with AP because they were perfect!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 6th, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Thanks for trying them Rachel and so glad you’re pleased and they were perfect!

      Reply

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