When Ed Astarita, pastry chef at Iowa State University, recently hosted the corporate chef from the California Raisin Board he wanted to do something that was fun and different than the regular raisin recipes already available. These oatmeal “raisin foam” cookies were one of three desserts he created. The recipe takes a classic oatmeal raisin cookie and puts the chef's own signature on it.
"I took the whole raisins out of the recipe, and after a little trial and error, I found the right mixture and consistency needed to develop a raisin foam," Astarita says. "When you bite into the cookie and foam together it tastes like an oatmeal raisin cookie but with a twist. Everyone who has tasted it was impressed with the taste and thought it was unique and fun."
Oatmeal Cookie Base:
3 oz. all-purpose flour
2 oz. oatmeal cereal
4 ½ oz. brown sugar
3/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
3 ½ oz. unsalted butter, melted (or margarine for dairy-free alterative)
1 ½ lb. raisins
2 ¼ lb. water
18 oz. raisin juice
1 ¼ tsp. Lecite (soy lecithin)
1. Combine dry ingredients in bowl. Add butter to dry mixture and mix well. Using a #70 scoop, scoop and flatten balls on tray. Bake at 325 °F for 8 minutes.
2. To make foam, start with making raisin juice. In a sauce pot, combine raisins with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Purée with immersion blender. Bring to a boil again and simmer for 6 more minutes. Skim any impurities off top. Purée once more with immersion blender. Strain through fine mesh strainer. Chill in ice bath.
3. Mix juice and Lecite in tall bowl. Using immersion bender, mix ingredients at surface of liquid to bring in largest possible amount of air, so that foam forms on surface.
4. For service, collect foam with spoon and place on cookie.