Can you get someone fired by giving them cookies?
I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that because I certainly thought I did last fall!
In October, after perfecting the recipe for my toffee coffee cookies, I packed up a few in a little bag to hand to the funny college-aged cashier with dreadlocks at Trader Joe’s. When I failed to see him on every one of my bi-weekly shopping trips after that day, I basically blamed myself for him losing his job.
A few months later, on a rainy Saturday morning in February, I sprinted through the downpour into the store, picked up my usual bananas, spinach, and eggs, and hopped into the shortest line. As I waited for the girl to finish packing up the previous patron’s bags, I glanced towards the employee station—and there he was! Smiles, positivity, dreadlocks, and all.
Whew—he just changed his shift!
Fast forward to last week, a random Wednesday in July, and I happened to pick his line again. As I handed over my 8 bananas (I eat one every morning with breakfast, so they disappear faster than my dark chocolate stash!), he asked if I planned on baking banana bread.
“I’m not sure yet,” I replied. “But I’m baking cookies this afternoon!”
“Will you bring me some?”
“I already did!”
“I remember—and they were the BEST cookies ever!” He turned to the shopper ahead of me and explained, “She’s the nicest person ever! I just asked if she’d bring me cookies one time, and she showed up, like, 40 minutes later with the best cookies!”
He continued, looking back at me, “I get off work at 6, so… If I gave you my address, would you mind dropping them off? I live just around the corner!”
Laughingly, I agreed. But… I kind of forgot to mention that I needed to photograph them first. Sometimes people don’t quite understand the whole “food blog” thing.
“Wait, so you bake… And take pictures… Of everything? As your job?” is the typical response I get.
Sometimes it’s just easier to say that I bake for a living!
But anyway, back to the story… These Raspberry Oatmeal Cookies were the ones that I baked! Incredibly soft and chewy, with just the slightest hint of spice, these treats taste like the epitome of summer from their fresh juicy berries and light floral notes. With their sweet flavors, nobody will be able to tell they’re low fat, clean eating, and less than 100 calories each. (Yes, they’re made with NO butter, refined flour or refined sugar!)
For the cookie dough base, I started with the most popular recipe on my blog: my blueberry oatmeal cookies. Hundreds of readers have baked them, and they commented that not only were those the softest and chewiest cookies they’ve ever made, but their families and friends couldn’t tell they were healthy. That’s basically the biggest compliment a healthy baking blogger could ever ask for!
To make sure your cookies turn out extremely soft and chewy, you must measure both the whole wheat flour and old-fashioned oats correctly. Lightly spoon each into the measuring cups, and level with a knife. Do NOT stick the measuring cup into the container and scoop them out. You’ll end up with 1.5 times as much, which will dry out your cookies and leave them crumbly. (For a more detailed explanation, check out my Baking Basics!)
Chilling is mandatory. Initially, the dough will be very sticky, almost like thick muffin batter. Chilling allows the oats to absorb some of the liquids and thicken up the dough. If you forget to chill, you’ll end up with one big cookie blob, so learn from my mistake and pop the bowl in the fridge!
When dividing up the cookie dough to place on the baking sheet, try to drop them into rounded scoops, about as tall as they are wide. The raspberries contain a fair amount of water, which they release while baking, so the cookies spread a lot. Shaping the dough into taller mounds helps minimize the spread (so that don’t form that dreaded cookie blob!).
Because we’re using honey, which crystallizes at a lower temperature than granulated or brown sugar, we’ll bake these cookies lower and slower than your typical recipes: 325°F for 13-15 minutes. Do not over-bake them!
When you remove the cookies from the oven, they should still look and feel underdone—that’s good! We’ll let them cool for at least 15 minutes on the warm baking sheet, which allows the centers to finishing cooking through without the outsides turning crisp and crunchy. They’ll stay soft for an entire week, if they last that long!
(And yes, I did double-check. It was pure torture leaving the container on the counter for the full seven days!)
Bright and fruity, these skinny Raspberry Oatmeal Cookies require some serious willpower not to devour the entire batch! Those cute pink freckles, with the oaty flecks peeking through, are just too tempting—and their extra soft, chewy texture makes them even more addictive!
The next day, after finishing their photo shoot, I dropped off a plate of these cookies at the cashier’s house with his roommate. Although he wasn’t home, hopefully I’ll hear about them on my next TJ’s visit!