Oatmeal raisin cookie slander is one of those baseless takes that belongs in 2009. (Other very 2009 takes: bacon on everything; squealing at the word “moist.”) It comes up again and again—like yesterday, when a Twitter user under the name “Satan” tweeted:
“Some people think I’m the great deceiver. But have you ever bit an oatmeal raisin cookie thinking it was a chocolate chip?”
A delicious, juicy raisin embedded in a sweet, nutty cookie? The horror.
The brands are in on it, too. Earlier this week, in honor of National Oatmeal Cookie Day, Potbelly promoted its Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, which are “always guaranteed to be raisin free.” And while I have no problem with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, I’m here to defend oatmeal raisin cookies once and for all. Behold, my three-part defense argument, steeped in the robust legal knowledge I’ve gathered from watching TV.
I’m convinced that the oatmeal raisin haters simply haven’t had a good oatmeal raisin cookie. This isn’t anyone’s fault—there are a lot of bad cookies out there, raisins or no raisins—but lackluster oatmeal raisin cookies seem to be at the center of this years-long PR crisis. My theory is that the oatmeal raisin haters aren’t actually responding to the raisins; they’re responding to a dry, crumbly, thin cookie they consumed four years ago at a church picnic.
Let the bad cookie go, readers. Release the trauma and welcome peace back into your heart. The truth is that a great oatmeal raisin cookie is a thing of beauty. Oatmeal raisin cookies are packed with caramelized brown sugar, nutty oats, and comforting cinnamon, all of which contrasts beautifully with the raisins’ brightness. The flavors really are deeper and more complex than a standard oatmeal cookie. It’s chemistry, baby.
If you have a problem with the word “moist,” please review my note about opinions that belong in 2009. Let’s move on. Here’s the Lord’s truth: when treated with care, raisins are a bastion of complex flavor and moisture, even if you don’t have time to make your own. Yes, a melted chocolate chip will also lend moisture to a cookie, albeit temporarily. But a pre-plumped raisin will stay juicy throughout the baking process, ensuring a pleasant chewing experience. When I say “pre-plumped,” I’m referring to the act of soaking raisins before baking. (The Spruce Eats has a great raisin-soaking guide.) You can plump them with hot water, but you can also leave a handful of raisins soaking in rum or brandy to add an extra level of complexity to your baked goods.
Science tells us that texture really does impact the flavor experience, and that rings true for oatmeal cookies. The older I get, the more I appreciate firm, fibrous textures. I’m talking apricots; I’m talking raisins. I certainly won’t kick a chocolate chip cookie out of bed, but I can’t get enough of the unexpectedly toothsome elements of an oatmeal raisin cookie. More texture = a more satisfying cookie consumption experience.
Now, I’m no superhero. I’m just a mere slip of a girl, typing away at my little desk, begging the public to reconsider this unfairly maligned baked good. Will my screed fall upon deaf ears? Maybe—but that just means more oatmeal raisin cookies for me.