Salty Oatmeal Cookies
I have been living in D.C. now for about four months. Each week, I am still discovering a new corner of the city with great places to eat. But one of my favorite places to enjoy a meal is one I discovered, or was rather introduced to, a few years back. While the food is great, I admit that I don’t go there as much for the food as I go for the tea and cookies, or rather, just a cookie. This cookie, the Salty Oat Cookie from Teaism.
Teaism is a great chain of tea houses with a large selection of tea, baked goods, and Asian-inspired food. My favorite location is the one at DuPont Circle where your tea comes out to you in a teapot and you can sit back in their quaint attic seating area (if you’re lucky enough to find a table) with old windows filtering in pale city light and think about your day or life. Teaism’s Salty Oat Cookies are a must try if you’re ever in the city.
These fantastically dense and hardy cookies are the perfect play between sweet and salty, moist and crumbly. At nearly two dollars a cookie, they are too expensive for me to enjoy on a daily basis, however. So I went to the internet in hopes of finding a similar cookie to make at home. Luckily for me, DCist, one of the blogs I follow about happenings in DC, also shared a similar love for this cookie and, after some experimentation, developed a recipe that yields a fairly close second. This recipe won’t be the end of my relationship with Teaism, but it will certainly do when I’m feeling a bit more frugal.
Salty Oatmeal Cookies, from DCist
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (one and a half sticks butter)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
2 cups rolled organic oats
kosher or sea salt, for sprinkling
1. With a hand mixer, whip cold butter in a large bowl. If the butter sticks, scrape and continue to blend for about a minute.
2. On medium speed, add brown and white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon to the whipped butter and combine until mixture is crumbly in texture. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
3. Sift together all-purpose and rice flour. On low speed, slowly add flour until combined. Do not over mix.
4. Gently fold in oats and raisins. Chill dough overnight before dropping by the heaping tablespoon onto a non-stick baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with kosher or sea salt.
5. Bake on the second rack from the top of the oven at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are just golden brown. Cookies will be extremely soft in the middle so transfer carefully onto a cooling rack. Lightly sprinkle a little more salt and let cool completely.
When I baked these, I used all all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour). Here is the DCist’s notes on why you should use rice flour:
Rice flour has less gluten than wheat flours. Incorporating a small amount will give your cookie a bit more crumble, but does nothing for flavor and is not a necessary step. After testing several recipes, however, we’ve determined that technique is just as important as the ingredients. Working with cool ingredients, cold cookie dough, and the upper racks of your oven are necessary.
Compared to the original cookie from Teaism, I can attest that these cookies do not have quite the same texture when baked with all-purpose flour only. The rice flour will add a very characteristic crumbliness to the cookie that you can only find at the tea house.
Also, try to use kosher salt. Regular table salt will be too fine and salty; kosher or sea salt will have a more delicate flavor on top of the cookies. And most importantly of all, enjoy only with a cup of hot tea!