Saturday, March 12, 2016

Druid Circles

Raisins are nasty.  At least that is the consensus around the Friday afternoon water cooler.  Yes, we spend our Friday afternoons very ah, productive.  This week's discussions ranged from horse jumping to Real Housewives to celery and raisins :)

I tend to agree with that raisin thought, though.  To me it is pretty disgusting to drill down into the ooey gooey center of a cinnamon roll only to find a dozen raisins all nested in there.  To The Bellman that is the holy grail.  Yes, he loves those nasty raisins.  

Druid Circles?  Well, I finally made it into the new Trader Joe's.  It took several tries, omg that parking lot!! Anyway, they have soooo many yummy things to try.  As I drooled over the baked goods table I noticed a bag of something called Druid Circles.  I was oh so curious and after reading the label I see that those are good ole oatmeal cookies.   Druid Circles = oatmeal cookies chocked full of nasty raisins = a Bellman favorite. The Bellman deserves a lil treat now and again and being that home baked is so much better than store bought,  I decided to give those Druid Circles a whirl.  I am pretty sure I'm not well versed in tasting or baking oatmeal cookies.  Remember, my not so domestic goddess mother didn't touch anything non chocolate so I've not had much exposure to oatmeal anything. After several tries and tweaks I think I have the recipe nailed down.  These are Bellman endorsed, and as he so proclaimed them "enchantingly delicious".  Like a Druid...Elf?  Even I like them, nasty raisins and all.

I'll share a couple of my secrets with you.  You hear all the time that one of the keys to good baking is to use the best ingredients you can find. I believe in that and have some favorites that I invest in.   I am in love with the organic Amish butter from Troyer Farm, good ole Nielsen Massey vanilla, Vietnamese cinnamon, cage-free organic eggs (happy chickens really do produce better eggs) and these nasty raisins from Trader Joe's.  They are plumper and not as chewy as the ones in the red box.  It's a texture thing, isn't it? 

I also really like my cookies to be crispy on the edges and chewy in the center.  To accomplish this I use a large scoop (see below) to form nice uniform mounds of dough.  I also bake the cookies until they are just barely starting to turn golden brown on the edges.  I usually let them rest on the cookie sheet 5 minutes or so before I move them to the rack.

Give them a try, ya never know!

DRUID CIRCLES (aka Oatmeal Cookies)
Yield = 24

1 C butter
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg, fresh ground
3 C oats, old fashioned
1 C raisins
1 C walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. In a 2nd bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture until combined.

3. Fold in rolled oats, raisins, and walnuts.

4. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely.


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