When I first met you, I thought you and I would be together forever. You had everything I wanted, and I was taken with you instantly. I could tell the feeling was mutual. Your sweet, soft and handsome appearance was such a perfect fit for me. I talked you up a great deal. Sang your praises to those who would listen. And declared you to be ‘the one.’ But as time moved along, I began to notice that you were holding out on me. Something was lacking between us. Things became complicated. Forced. And I felt like I was the one who was more invested in us. Distance. Maturity. You. They all stood in the way, and each one played its part in crumbling any chance we had of being together. Sadly, I knew I had to move on, recognizing that I alone couldn’t fight the forces that were breaking us apart. Disappointed and wounded, I turned and never looked back.
I began to realize that I was so wrong about you. You were such a tease. I see that now.
Vowing to stay away from your kind and allowing time to untangle the mix of emotions you caused, I seriously contemplated the ingredients I needed and wanted in my next relationship before I allowed myself to begin looking again. But you left pretty big shoes to fill, and I was still enamored with the thought of you.
Then when I least expected it, I found him. At first, I was wary. I assumed that he would be like you. He too was smart, handsome and strong. But he was substantial and held his shape so well, yet he was tender. Gloriously tender. And when I ran my fingers around his exterior, I knew he was special. He never disappointed me like you did.
He is wonderful in every way, and I am so happy now. He knows what I need and want, and he delivers. Every. Single. Time. He is the perfect mix of everything. He is spicy, in a warm and sensual way that leaves me feeling intoxicated with desire. He has a pure and natural kiss of sweetness that seems to linger on my lips when we’re apart. And his nutty sense of humor is so unexpected, refreshing and appealing. Every time I taste him, I’m left wanting more. He renders me absolutely powerless, and I can’t deny him. Ever.
I used to feel that way about you too. Once.
I hear about you often and know that you live a good, full life. It makes me happy to know that. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if you and I stayed together. But then I look at him and realize I’ve got all that I could ever ask for. He is the best one; the one who won my heart.
Backstory: I love a good oatmeal raisin cookie. But I could never find the right one; the one with the perfect combination of sweet-spicy-chewy-nutty that would hold it’s shape once baked. I got close once. And then I dabbled and finally arrived at what I feel is the best one. That is a bold statement, I know. And I don’t go out on a limb to say things like that very often. But give this recipe a try. Perhaps it will become the one for you.
The Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Adapted from a variety of sources
Chilling time: 6 hours
1 cup butter, slightly cooler than room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup golden brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups oatmeal, uncooked and toasted
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup golden raisins, finely chopped
To toast the oats, spread on an ungreased baking sheet and place into a 375 degree preheated oven, stir occasionally until golden brown and slightly crispy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove toasted oats from hot baking sheet to cool thoroughly.
When ready to bake cookies preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cream butter and sugars together in bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer) until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, soda, salt and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in oatmeal, nuts and raisins by hand. Cover bowl and refrigerate dough for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop, place cold dough on a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet, flattening each mound slightly. Do not press flat. Bake for approximately 11 minutes, but start checking at 9 minutes. Turn the baking sheet halfway through to insure even cooking, and bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges.
Remove pan from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Remove the cookies with a spatula and place on a rack to cool. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or they can be frozen.
– This recipe is adapted from a variety of sources. The core portion of the recipe is similar to just many oatmeal cookie recipes I consulted. I used the spice trio and chopped raisins as suggested in an oatmeal cookie recipe in Simply Classic: A New Collection of Recipes to Celebrate the Northwest.
– Toasting the oats brings out their flavor. It also provides greater texture in this chewy cookie. Do not use quick cooking oats.
– I prep the cookie dough the day or night before I intend to bake them and chill it. Chilling the dough along with the proper oven temp is essential to keeping the spread of the cookie under control. I have been known on occasion to accelerate the chilling process by scooping the dough onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet and popping it into the refrigerator (or freezer when I need my fix sooner rather than later) until the dough has hardened. This works well and is a great shortcut.
– My oven runs hot and I felt 375 degrees was too hot and 350 wasn’t hot enough which allowed the cookies to spread too thin. You may have to play with your oven settings to find what works best in your oven, and if you have a digital panel, this will be easily achieved. I found 365 degrees F to be perfect for the medium sized scoop of dough I used.
– The baked cookies will be very soft and may look gooey in the center when they come out of the oven. Give them time to set and slightly cool on the baking sheet before removing them to the cooling rack.