Long one of my favorite cookies, Big O’s are exceptionally excellent, and they have been for probably three decades now. Every time I take a bite of one I’m reminded why I like them so much. Culinary beauty in such a simple, super-accessible form totally makes me smile. It is, in many ways, what I think Zingerman’s is all about. Taking something that’s typically mundane and making it over into a world-class offering that everyone can enjoy.
Like almost everything we make and sell, these oatmeal raisin cookies are so good because they start with great ingredients. Organic soft white wheat grown by Ferris Organic Farm in Eaton Rapids that we mill fresh at the Bakehouse. Old-fashioned organic rolled oats, big juicy red flame raisins, Muscovado brown sugar. Maple syrup from Michigan Maple Farms in Rudyard in the Upper Peninsula makes for a marvelously magical cookie. Add in real vanilla, some cinnamon, and nutmeg. Even after all these years of making them, every time I taste one I’m reminded of just how amazingly good they really are. The depth of flavor and complexity is wonderful!
A bit of background? The Bakehouse team shares some history:
Oatmeal cookies have been an American staple since the late nineteenth century, when Fannie Merritt Farmer published the first recorded recipe for them in the original 1896 edition of her famous Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, better known today as the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. The cookies evolved from oatcakes, a type of plain flatbread made centuries ago by the English and the Scots. Raisins and nuts were added to the mix sometime around the Middle Ages to make the oatcakes tastier. By the early 1900s, the cookies were billed here in America as “health food,” and a recipe appeared on every container of Quaker® Oats.
Raisins became the “norm” for oatmeal cookies not long before the first National Women’s Day when Quaker® began printing a recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies on every carton of their oats. They shared the same marketing firm as Sun-Maid® Raisins, and the collaboration came about!
Big O’s are great as they are, and pretty much perfect with a pot of that Erlita’s Lot coffee from Peru. Very good with a scoop of the Creamery’s vanilla gelato. While cookies aren’t considered proper breakfast food, the truth is they’re great with your morning coffee—sort of a bowl of oatmeal in hand-held form!
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
- Sign up for Ari’s Top 5 enewsletter to hear more from Ari every week!
- Get some Big O cookies from the Bakehouse.
- Pick up a 6-pack from the Deli.
- Bake your own! Buy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie dough from the Bakeshop freezer or find the recipe in our cookbook, Zingerman’s Bakehouse.