Oatmeal Raisin Crisps

This weekend has been about the balancing act of relaxation and productivity. It's a delicate harmony to achieve; so often the scale tips in one direction over the other. Either nothing gets done and guilt is felt the moment you turn away from the television or computer. Or, everything gets done but, with no detox from the stressors of the week before, Monday morning is definitely started off on the wrong foot.

At times this balance seems impossible to accomplish, especially if you happen to be like me.

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I woke up early on Saturday morning to go to the gym. Though I set my alarm for seven (two full hours later than I get up on weekdays), the sun hadn't yet thought about rising and the morning was darker than the dead of night. I struggled to pull myself out of bed and wipe the sleep from my tired eyes. It wasn't exactly the start to the day I imagined. Nevertheless there were muscles to be worked, so to the gym I went.

I juggled the rest of the day between working and falling asleep midway through episodes of reality TV. Sometimes I managed to do all three activities at the same time (does this make me good at multitasking?). Despite the spontaneous and unsatisfying naps, a lot more work (or stressing about doing work) was done than relaxing. Balance was not achieved.

Today, thankfully, was a different story. I slept in until after the sun had said its hellos and, after a week of little sleep, it was exactly what I needed. I started off my morning with a honeycrisp apple and pumpkin spice latte. Even though several hours of work followed shortly thereafter, the day felt brighter. It was brighter.

And that made all the difference. Though I accomplished more today than I did yesterday (I even had time to make you a batch of cookies. It's true), I hardly feel like I spent more than a few moments surrounded by my endless to-do list. My attitude made all the difference. I think that just might be the secret to balance after all.

Well, that or caffeine...

These Oatmeal Raisin Crisps have a dark depth of flavor. The cookies are made with heaps of oats, plenty of raisins, and extra molasses to bring out a deeper flavor. The cookies spread out quite a bit while baking, making them relatively flat and the edges crispy. If you are anything like me, you might just find yourself reaching for a second (or third) from the cookie jar.

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Oatmeal Raisin Crisps

Yields about 18 standard-sized cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (these cookies tend to stick to the pan).

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and continue mixing until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract and molasses. Mix in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the rolled oats and raisins.

Scoop out dough by the spoonful and place at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet (these cookies will spread out quite a bit). Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and the center is golden. Because of the molasses, these cookies will appear darker than a traditional oatmeal raisin cookie as they bake. Just because they turn darker than you may be used to does not necessarily mean they are done. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.