If you have been reading the blog for any length of time, you know I love Zingerman’s. From my most recent trip there to mentioning visiting the outposts in Ann Arbor, Zingerman’s is the quintessential metro Detroit food purveyor. From baked goods to candy to cheese to ice cream to coffee to sandwiches and the best butterscotch pudding ever, they know how to make good food.
Zingerman’s desserts are some of the only ones I eat outside the ones that come from my kitchen. They are made with love and the best ingredients available. They also have really unique creations of European desserts I have never even heard of before. I know I can depend on Zingerman’s for everything from soft pretzels to towering layer cakes.
And now Zingerman’s Bakehouse has their very own cookbook. It’s really more than just a cookbook though since it tells the story of Zingerman’s from its founding to the ingredients they use to how the recipes have come about.
Because the story behind a recipe is so important to me, I love this feature of the cookbook. Food isn’t just about making and measuring, it’s about where the recipe came from and why it’s meaningful. Zingerman’s understands that and I promise you it is not only evident in the book but also anytime you step foot in the Bakehouse or taste one of their products.
I do wish there were a few more recipes in the book. Zingerman’s cakes are some of my favorite things and there are only a few cake recipes in the book. I would have loved to have seen more of the unique cake, frosting, and filling combinations that are so often available, particularly in their rotating cupcakes.
For a cookbook that places emphasis on weighing ingredients when possible, I found it frustrating that in this cookie recipe, for example, it was not specified as to whether to use light or dark brown sugar. I used dark and loved the results, as always, I encourage you to use what you have on hand. It was just surprising to me this was not noted in the recipe.
Also, while I know they are scaling down large bakery recipes, it’s pretty annoying to have to deal with all the additional tablespoons of ingredients in many of the recipes.
Let’s get to that recipe. I have had Zingerman’s Big O Cookies straight from the source and while they are hands down fantastic, I kind of, sort of thought mine were even better. Sorry not sorry.
These are giant cookies, which I love, and loaded with just enough mix ins to have interesting texture but still hold together and be chewy and even a little gooey in the center. Even better where a lot of oatmeal cookies have too much oatmeal and nothing else, these have almost equal amounts of oatmeal and dried fruit.
Feel free to use traditional raisins, but don’t be afraid to branch out and use cherries and cranberries like I did. Blueberries would be awesome too. Make these cookies and there will not be a doubt in your mind that Zingerman’s is one of the best bakeries out there!Print
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used 2 or 3 teaspoons)
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used ½ teaspoon ground ginger instead)
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 ¾ cups raisins (or dried cherries, cranberries, or blueberries)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will work too. Slowly beat in the maple syrup followed by the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the oats and raisins.
- Scoop heaping golf ball sized portions of dough onto the baking sheets. I make big cookies and was shocked to see I got 20 cookies when the recipe calls for 21; I am always way short. Zingerman’s totally gets me on the big cookie train!
- Bake cookies 15-17 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just barely set in the middle. Cool completely on the tray (or dive right in, who are we kidding?). Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw about an hour at room temperature or 30-60 seconds in the microwave.
Recipe adapted from Zingerman’s Bakehouse Cookbook
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this cookbook for my review but all opinions are my own. I LOVE ZINGERMAN’S!