Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MOM'S Old Fashioned Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookies and a little History on our Family

I have to tell you something about Italian recipes that has always had me thinking. Mom never use to measure anything. For those of you looking for authentic recipes, stop looking.  just remember, most of them come from those who still live among us, unfortunately all of our family has long since past that came from Italy that learned from their mom's and grandma's. When they lived in those Italian Regions they grew up with their versions of recipes. My parents were both born here in the early 1900's. Mom being born in America learned  her families way of cooking, Italian, and from the Region, Bari. She got her cooking expertise from her mom that lived in Bari, then later on, her motherinlaw, that came from Rome, Italy .No cookbooks back then, no two cooked alike. To this day, I cherished her penmanship she left behind although just ingredients no amount. It was all assumed measurements. The Region she was born in Italy, Bari, was very different than my grandmother who lived in Rome, Italy.  Aunts from Calabria, and many many other Regions all made things differently. For instance we have cousins that put raisins in their meatballs, mom put boiled eggs in lasagna. Was it wrong? No, not wrong, just different style,  to the kids that grew up in those different households and families that grew those additions were the only way to eat these foods and nothing else compares to mom's. We continue to recreate what their legacy and traditions were, however, it's a bit impossible to duplicate anything the same, just give you guide lines of what we were used and the close similarity of what we can reproduce since the creator isn't here critique it. There is no Authentic anything,  it is certainly an opinion of the original origin here. Years change what was once first created adapted and perfected. I can't possibly get the fresh chickens, eggs and meat they had, mom was a butcher too, so the meat was 100% better tasting back then so we can't produce the same ingredient in some cases either, that taste can't be reproduced without them.   I can't be an authority on Italian cooking by Authenticity, I didn't live there or that time period. I just the love her simplicity of the recipes that once was created, we will try and recreate as close as possible, adapt and hope to make a recipe close to the same.. my mom made great cookies, cakes, and fabulous recipes of foods for dinners, that never got written down...here on this site you will find my best guess and the closest resemblance of my dearest memories of her, that has long since past.. I have never tried to suggest its exactly like  hers, similar, as I could never replace the original which is long gone and by far in my eyes the best!
So enough about my feelings on mom's, grandma's, and originality, she lives on through her teachings and cooking, it's as  close to what some remember as we can get here, keep looking its out there somewhere, and kept experimenting you'll get there~ for the love of family and cooking!... Thanks for reading~
Her cookie recipe:

Mom use to tell me the trick was to start out soaking the raisins in hot water till they plump before adding them. This time I did it, they actually seem to keep the cookies fresh longer, soft and chewy, these were delicious.
A simple easy cookie I always think why not for breakfast it's healthy there's oatmeal in them!
When I was a kid I actually hated raisins, so she cut this batch in half and added chocolate chips to one half and raisins in the other.. if you have picky eaters, like I was, you won't be sorry these are an awesome cookie!


Old Fashion Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup molasses
2 eggs
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins( place in a bowl with hot water for around 1/2 hour then drain optional)
or 1 cup chocolate chips
Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir together sugar, butter, molasses and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients except raisins until well blended. This is where you can split the batter into two bowls, add chocolate chips to one and raisins to the other. Stir in preferred blend. Even split I add a cup of each.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 9 to 10 minutes or just until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.

34 comments:

Shelby said...

Claudia, these cookies look great - and Oatmeal Raisin is one of Grumpy's favorites. I will be trying your cookies very soon and will let you know what he thought! Hugs!

Indonesian In Turkey said...

Interesting Fam story you Have Claudia..
And those cookies I think will be everybody' favorite! ^_^

Ann said...

These look wonderful. I like the tip about plumping up the raisins. You're right my Italian ancestors had no recipes even for baking! And everything was fantastic!

denise fletcher said...

Claudia - I fell in love with soft raisin oatmeal cookies when I was in NYC last year and have been looking for a good recipe since. I have a very good feeling about yours - thank you so much for sharing. I've always felt "authentic" is a very loaded word and people are too hung up on it. Authentic should be what speaks to you, or takes you back to a time or place, not slavish reproduction of something that you have no real feeling for or understanding of - you'll never succeed for the very same reasons you cited. Things have changed irreversibly. We just try our best and that's all anyone can and should expect. Thanks for a great read and a lovely recipe!

Claudia said...

It's all so true. My aunts and my mother always tried to recreate what Grandma did but in the end - they made it their own. I love the oatmeal cookie recipe - it seems most Italians plumped their raisins in boiling water - or many plumped them in rum! They certainly were on to something - the cookies are more moist. Lovely posting!

Trix said...

I have always thought that anyone who has a culinary tradition to recreate and remember is very lucky indeed. Thank you for sharing so much about your family's unique history, and for continuing to share the recipes that have been handed down through the generations.

Maria said...

I am always up for cookies!

Katrina said...

These look great! I love handed down recipes.

Swathi said...

Awesome cookies, interesting family story.

Bridgett said...

My grandmother never measured anything and the old recipes from my great grandmother that I have are written 'suggestions' instead of actual measures and ingredients. I love that and the idea of plumping the raisins that end up keeping the cookies moist is a brilliant idea. These cookies are perfect for breakfast, I agree.

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

Clauida,
You have such a rich history and so glad to read about it here, thank you for sharing!

The cookies are a wonderful tradition too!

ARLENE said...

When I was young, it frustrated me no end that "recipes" to my mother or grandmother went something like: add eggs to a couple of handsful of flour.... I get it! The cookies look perfect; and why not for breakfast?

raptortoe.com said...

I've always loved oatmeal cookies the best. The texture and the sweetness is just perfect. Nice recipe!

Belinda said...

These recipes are the best - those passed down...these should be sitting on my kitchen counter!

kathdedon said...

What a treat to have a favorite old family recipe! Your cookies look great! I like the tip about plumping the raisins up before adding them.

Reeni said...

It's the same way in my family Claudia! My Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma all cook by intuition - and so do I - I only started measuring when I started my blog. The cookies are wonderful! I like your idea of eating them for breakfast!

Delishhh said...

YUM YUM! I would love one of these right now. Nice work Claudia!

Dulce Dough said...

What an interesting post! And a great recipe too! Just before I read this post I was thinking about a recipe that was in my grandmother's file. I wanted to post about it on my blog but the recipe is incomplete and I can't recreate it to be like she made it.

boulderlocavore said...

I love this post Claudia. I have my grandmother's recipe box and hava found some of the same general guidelines. I'm sure you experience when you cook, for familiar recipes you just have a sense of how much to use. This is a great reminder though we may cook that way, our children may want to make our dishes too so we probably should heed your experience and be sure there is at least one version WITH measurements written down (or on the computer these days!). Thanks for sharing this.

Lizzy said...

I adore oatmeal cookies...and yours look outstanding, Claudia! Yummy~

Cheryl and Adam said...

All families are special but there is an extra something in Italian families... one of my great pleasures when we live in Italy was traveling from region to region, even town to town and seeing the differences in the dishes and how they were prepared. The one thing they all had in common was that they were all delicious! Oatmeal cookies have always been a favorite and we look forward to trying yours! Thanks!

Magic of Spice said...

What a wonderful history of cooking in your family...and the cookies look delicious :)

briarrose said...

Wonderful post. The cookies look wonderful and hearty.

Elisabeth said...

These got to be the best Oatmeal Raisin cookies, ever. Loved reading about your family history. Thank you for sharing your mom's recipe, it's such a treasure. For sure I will make it this way the next time I make Oatmeal Raisin cookies/

bizzybakesb said...

These look like they will be a big hit with everyone and anyone. They are one of those popular cookies that goes. I want to try your recipe. It is making me hungry. I am thrilled you shared these.

roz said...

My favorite cookie of all time is Oatmeal Raisin, but since hubby dislikes raisins, we make half a batch with raisins, and the other half without. Gotta try your famly recipe, since I don't have a family recipe for these. Also, my mother just said today, "You have to understand that I don't write anything down when I cook!" becuase she made her best batch of meatloaves this weekend and I wanted to make a note of what she did! Funny how mothers are!

FOODESSA said...

Claudia...this post in particular resonated with my heart and soul. I found myself nodding throughout everything you wrote.
It's so true how fortunate we are to have had great examples from the older ways. Now, it's our turn to take their recipes and our instincts in the kitchen and make them proud ;o)

BTW...I soak my dried fruits all the time because this way we have less moisture to add to the recipe to balance with the dried ingredients.

Your cookie recipe sounds great...I shall make myself a small batch hopefully soon ;o)

Ciao for now,
Claudia

mywanderingspoon said...

Very nice post Claudia...great cookies:)

Belinda @zomppa said...

What sources of inspiration you have! And what delicious cookies as proof. Happy mother's day.

Sandra said...

Those cookies look wonderful and I can see that they are made from love!
Thanks you for sharing and Happy Mother's Day to you!!

freeeatsfood.com said...

Yum. I love that there is sugar and molasses in these. We all have favorite cookie recipes, but these look like real keepers!

Sandra said...

I would love to get my hands on some old family recipes! Like many families the women didn't write anything down. And I must admit I didn't always pay attention in my Mother's Kitchen. These cookies look so moist and that's a great tip about plumping the raisins. Thanks for sharing so much.

Torviewtoronto said...

deliciously done cookies
happy mother's day

Chyra said...

Looks great! What is the missing ingredient next to 1 2/3 cup? Thx!