A bit ago I had some delectable currant oatmeal cookies at Mangia in Midtown with good friend Nikki. I had never though about replacing raisins in oatmeal cookies with currants, but the concept was delightful! Currants are very popular in Europe, but in the states they are harder to come by, at least in grocery stores.
This summer we had the pleasure of getting many currants. One week I made Blueberry Currant Jam, which I posted about here. Another week I decided to dry the currants in a very low oven temperature (150 degrees F) on parchment paper. After about 48 hours, they became raisin-like and can now be used as an ingredient in oatmeal cookies or traditional current scones.
I haven't decided what to use mine with (I'm storing them in the refrigerator until I do), but most likely they will be in either my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe from the Gourmet cookbook or in traditional scones. I love the following oatmeal cookie recipe because it focuses on the oats, and not so much the flour.
1 3/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 TBS) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Put racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter two large baking sheets. Stir together oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add oat mixture and beat until just combined.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart onto buttered baking sheets and flatten mounds slightly with moistened fingers. Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 12 minutes total. Transfer cookies to racks to cool.
Add 1/2 to 1 cup raisins, dried cherries, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or any combination to dough if desired.
Sometimes I substitute half of the white flour with whole wheat flour. This makes me feel like I'm eating something a bit healthier.