February 28, 2011

More cookies, please

Some of the best cookies in the world have chocolate chips. Am I right? Anyone care to disagree? Some of the best cookies in the world have oats, too, and now, one of the best has both. I give you, from one of my favorite blogs, no less, the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.

Make them as soon as possible. Make them on a rainy day, when you need an excuse to turn on the oven to warm up your kitchen. Make them when you feel happy, make them when you feel sad, make them when you feel the urge for a hearty cookie. They've got to have at least a three inch diameter. I've never measured, but that seems appropriate, based on memory. They're quite thick and chewy, too, like an oatmeal cookie should be. Much like the author of the blog advises, I recommend allowing the cookies to cool completely to room temperature before eating. They taste best that way. When warm, they're too rich. When cooled (all the way through), they're perfect.

Large amounts of both oats and chocolate chips are the obvious reasons for this cookie's goodness and its size, but a substantial amount of vanilla extract in the dough is the clincher for me. A whole tablespoon is pretty substantial, when most cookie recipes require about a teaspoon at most, and it creates something wonderful in the baked result, a flavor that's neither subtle nor bold, a creamy taste that sort of binds everything into a cohesive whole that makes resisting seconds hard, as large as one is. So don't. Go ahead and indulge yourself with two.

Refrigerating the dough before baking prevents the cookies from spreading in the oven, and you don't want these cookies to spread. They're meant to be chunky, not flat. If you're a cookie dough enthusiast, you'll have to force yourself to keep away from the fridge, or you may end up with fewer cookies. The vanilla extract, again, is the culprit. Of all the types of cookie dough out there, I can attest that this one has the most nibbling potential.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Orangette

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. (I've gotten away without using parchment, but it helps to prevent the cookies from sticking to the pans).

Process the oats in a food processor for a few seconds, just enough to break them up a bit but not so much that they turn into oat flour.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter and both sugars until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk, mixing until light and creamy. Mix in the dry ingredients, working just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and oats. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour.

When ready, use a butter knife to scoop and press dough into ¼-cup measuring scoops, and, using the same knife, ease the dough out of the measuring cup and onto the prepared cookie sheets. Space cookies three inches apart.

Bake cookies for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cook completely.

Makes 20 cookies.

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