I haven’t made cookies in a long time, and when I started to think about what I would most like to have at elevensies with a cup of tea, the salted oat cookie from Teaism immediately came to mind. The R Street Teaism (there are four in the Washington area) is a short walk from home, and a good place for a hearty breakfast or lunch, not to mention a pot of exotic tea. It’s uber-casual: you order your food, you wait (and watch) while they make it, and then you eat – simple foods from the countries whose teas they sell: bento boxes from Japan, curries from Thailand, and Tandoor breads from India. You can get a burger too, but why would you, when you can have kabocha and mushrooms or a Korean brisket sandwich?
Their salty oat cookies are deservedly popular, and it turns out that many have tried to replicate this recipe, with varying degrees of success. In 2007 the Washington Post printed a recipe that is an approximation of the Teaism version, but not quite the same. Full disclosure: the Teaism salted oat cookies have raisins – which I loathe – but I included them in this recipe in case they lend some ineffable flavor that is part of the overall taste experience. (And to the raisin growers out there: sorry – it’s not you; it’s me.)
This is a hearty cookie whose sweetness is leavened by the crystals of sea salt on top. You’ll want to eat it in tiny bites, to fully savor the taste, and it’s what I think of as a power cookie – one at a time is more than adequately satisfying. It’s important to let the dough rest in the refrigerator to allow the ingredients to emulsify – it really does make a difference in how the cookie tastes. I can’t say definitively that this is THE salted oat cookie from Teaism, but it’s pretty close. Enjoy!
Serves: 12 cookies
Prep time: 45 minutes, plus one hour to refrigerate the dough before baking. Overnight is even better.
- 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- ¼ cup rice flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup quick oats
- Sea salt for sprinkling
- 1 cup of raisins
- Note: this is not the place for table salt; you need a larger grain of salt to offset the sweetness of the cookie.)
- Beat the butter in a mixer on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and filled with air. Add sugars. Scrape sides of bowl to make sure mixture is well-combined.
- Add eggs and vanilla, and combine with sugar and butter.
- Separately, mix flours with baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
- With mixer on low, add flour mixture until just incorporated – do not overmix.
- Fold in oats. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking pads.
- Form the dough into three-inch sized balls and place well apart on the baking pads. Sprinkle a generous pinch of sea salt on top of each cookie.
- Bake one sheet of cookies at a time for 20 minutes. Cookies should begin to turn golden, but they should be soft inside.
- Allow to cool before serving – they will be soft and crumbly until they cool completely.