Posts tagged raisins

Chewiest oatmeal cookies–with these 5 easy tips

Oatmeal cookiesJust crisped on the outside, chewy on the inside–that’s what oatmeal cookies should taste like. After doing extensive research (grueling for my kids, as you might imagine), I’ve discovered a few easy tweaks you could use with your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe to make it even better.

 

Toss the raisins. Instead of your standard raisins that come in the little, red boxes, I like to use golden raisins or craisins to mix things up.

 

Soak ‘em. My tried-and-true oatmeal cookie recipe involves soaking the raisins for an hour in egg spiked with vanilla and almond extract. Once cooked, the raisins are plumped with flavor.

 

Toast the oatmeal. It takes a few extra minutes, but it gives the oatmeal a boost of nuttiness. I place the oatmeal in a nonstick pan at medium-high heat and stir them until they begin to just barely brown. Watch the oatmeal carefully so it doesn’t burn.

 

Add in coconut. I substitute some of the oatmeal in the recipe with coconut–instant chewy factor!

 

Shred the oatmeal. I pulse half of the oatmeal a few times in the blender. Sure, you want a few big pieces of oatmeal in your cookies but the shredded pieces blend more easily into the dough and make your final cookies less crumbly.

 

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Mexican rice pudding

My kids convinced me to try rice pudding a few years ago. I thought I’d tried—and decided—as a child that I didn’t like rice pudding. Now, I’m not sure I ever even ate it as a kid.

Rice cooked in milk and peppered with raisins and cinnamon just didn’t sound like the right combination of flavors somehow. But every time we went to a Mexican restaurant, their dessert of choice would be ‘rice pudding.’ At first, I wasn’t impressed.

Then later when sneaking bites, I began to be intrigued. The flavors of the smooth rice and sweetened milk were comforting, soothing after a spicy meal. Unlike a chocolate treat that felt indulgent, this dessert tasted homey. I was hooked. Making rice pudding at home was another story. I tried a recipe that was done in the crockpot—that sounded promising (it tasted awful).

Another recipe called for cooked rice to be added to the milk instead of cooking the rice in the milk. I liked the idea of being able to use my leftover rice for the recipe, but in the end, the dish tasted nothing like what I’d come to love at restaurants. I finally stumbled on the recipe I was craving when a mother in one of my daughter’s school classes, who happened to be from Mexcio, brought in a snack for a room party. Rice pudding. I sampled it and sure enough, the rice was just the right texture with a hint of creaminess. She graciously passed along her recipe, which I’m now passing along to you.

Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup rice

4 cups water

1 cinnamon stick (or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon)

Peel of one lime or lemon (alternatively use 1Tablespoon of zest)

1, 14-ounce can sweetened, condensed milk

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup raisins

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice in a colander under cold water until the rinsing water comes out clear on the other side. (This helps remove extra starch on the outside of the rice pieces.)
  2. Boil the water with the cinnamon stick and the fruit rind for about 2 to 3 minutes in a medium-sized cooking pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the rice to the water and cook over medium-high heat.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the condensed milk and egg yolks with a fork.
  5. When the rice is cooked through but still firm, reduce the heat to low. Slowly add in the milk-egg mixture and raisins, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes or until the rice is soft.
  6. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let the rice continue cooking and steaming for about 10 minutes or so.
  7. Remove the cinnamon stick and the fruit rind and serve. Rice pudding can be served warm or cold and sprinkled with a little cinnamon.
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