August 28, 2012

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies - High Altitude and Sea Level

I purchased Pie in the Sky cookbook after taking a high altitude baking class.  I saw the cookbook before the class, but the instructor recommended the cookbook so I decided to take a second look.  The cookbook is nice because it gives you the measurements/directions for sea level, 3,000 feet, 5,000 feet, 7,000 feet and 10,000 feet.  In Boulder, we are at 5,430 feet above sea level.  I've found that some recipes aren't affected by the altitude, but I have definitely had my share of baking issues.  I like to blame them on the altitude.  =)  I can notice a difference in a few of my recipes that I've made at sea level and now trying to make them here at altitude.

These cookies are very tasty.  With all the oatmeal (3 cups), the cookies are dense, but you can feel good eating the oatmeal.  It's good for you!  =)  You have to love my logic because it allows me (and you) to eat more cookies.

Trout Dale Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1 1/2 tablespoons at 5,000 feet)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (generous 1/4 teaspoon at 5,000 feet)
1 teaspoon salt (generous 1 teaspoon at 5,000 feet)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (1 1/2 teaspoons at 5,000 feet)
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (6 ounces) raisins

Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or nonstick mats or coat with butter or nonstick vegetable spray.

Position oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, using a sturdy spoon or in the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy, then beat in both sugars.  Scrape down the bowl and beater, if using, and beat until smooth.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla, and scrape down the bowl again.

Stirring slowly, or with the mixer on the lowest speed, gradually work in the flour mixture, then the oats and raisins.  The dough will feel very stiff.  (You can make the dough ahead, cover, and refrigerate for several hours.)

Drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets by the heaping tablespoon, placing the cookies about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12 to 16 minutes at sea level, 13 to 15 minutes at 5,000 feet, or until the cookies are golden brown; the longer they bake, the crisper they will be.

Cool the cookies on a wire rack.  If the cookies were baked on parchment or a baking mat, simply slide it off the cookie sheet onto the wire rack to cool.  When the cookies are completely cool, store them in an airtight container.

Yield - 55 to 60 cookies (2-inch diameter)

Hat Tip - Pie in the Sky by Susan G. Purdy


  1. Thank you for this recipe! I haven't baked much since I moved from Portland, OR to SLC, UT. My first batch of oatmeal raisin cookies at altitude were made by following the oh-so-delicious-at-sea-level recipe from the Quaker Oats container. I was less than impressed. I turned to Google for my second attempt and found your blog. Much better! I made my cookies a bit bigger, though. Instead of 55-60 I got 38. I mean, if I'm gonna eat a cookie, I'm gonna eat a cookie!

  2. I'm glad to hear you liked the cookies!