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  1. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

  2. Beat together the butter, sugars, spices, salt, baking soda, and vanilla, mixing until smooth.

  3. Beat in the egg, then the honey.

  4. Stir in the flour, then the oats, then the raisins.

  5. Cover the dough, and refrigerate it for 1 to 2 hours, until it's thoroughly chilled.

    Note: To save time, you can freeze unbaked cookies for 1 hour, rather than refrigerating the dough; see step 6, below.

  6. Drop the chilled dough by generous tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. The cookies will spread, so leave 2" or so between them.

    If the dough hasn't been chilled, place the pans of shaped cookies in the freezer for 1 hour.

  7. Just before baking, preheat the oven to 375°F.

  8. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, until they're barely beginning to brown. Reverse the pans (top to bottom, bottom to top) midway through baking. If the cookies have been frozen, bake them for 14 minutes.

  9. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool right on the pan; or transfer to a rack if you need the pan for the next batch.

  10. To keep cookies soft, store them airtight at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Why the range in the amount of sugar? Some of our taste-testers thought the higher-sugar version was just too sweet, while others thought it was just right. Our advice? Try the lower-sugar version first, and see how you like it. If the cookies seem not quite sweet enough, increase the sugar next time you bake them.
  • Not a fan of honey? Substitute light or dark corn syrup, or molasses.
  • Enjoy fresh cookies whenever you want them: Drop the balls of dough close together onto a pan. Place in the freezer. When the dough balls are frozen, wrap them airtight in a plastic bag. They'll be ready to bake (just a couple at a time in a toaster oven, if desired) whenever you get a hankering for a warm cookie.