Monday, March 25, 2013

Four Weeks of Cookies: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

 I know it's slightly ridiculous, but I feel like I should finish my Four Weeks of Cookies series, albeit three months late. So here it is, the fourth and final cookie recipe of the series (not like I won't have a million more posts about cookies in the future, but whatever…) ­— oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Could you make this cookie during the holiday season for a party or cookie swap? Sure. But you can also make it at any other time during the year, because it is a classic. A cookie for all seasons.

This is my all-time favorite cookie recipe, my go-to, my signature. So it's kind of a big deal that I'm sharing it with you guys. It's originally adapted from the recipe for Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies printed inside the top of every container of Quaker Oats. Personally, I believe that some of the world's most tried and true baking recipes come from various ingredient packages, boxes, and bags. These recipes are simple, but they work. 

Quick aside, there's a hilarious Friends episode on this particular topic (The One with Phoebe's Cookies), in which Monica asks for Phoebe's grandmother's chocolate chip cookie recipe in lieu of an engagement gift. When Phoebe discovers she lost the recipe in a fire, Monica spends days trying to recreate it, using all sorts of special ingredients. Eventually, Phoebe mentions that the recipe came from her grandmother's French friend, "Nestle Toulouse," leading Monica to realize that she's spent days attempting to recreate the recipe from the back of the Nestle Tollhouse bag. Aside from being hilarious, this illustrates my point that sometimes simpler is better.

Anyway, back to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. My recipe is virtually identical to the Quaker Oats recipe, except I substitute chocolate chips for raisins and add a dash of my secret ingredient, nutmeg. This gives the cookies a subtle hint of spice, which I think makes them unique.

The recipe is pretty self-explanatory, but feel free to halve it, if baking for a smaller crowd. As written, it makes a boatload of cookies (although I dare you to eat just one). As I said, this is my most beloved cookie recipe, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Bon appetit!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 4 dozen small or 3 dozen medium
1 stick plus 6 tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2  c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 c old-fashioned oats
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line cookie sheet(s) with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly.

Cream butter and sugar in stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until smooth (this process should take about 3-4 minutes). Then add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add oats and mix until evenly distributed. Add chocolate chips and stir by hand until combined (at this point, the dough will likely be too unwieldy for the mixer to handle, it's best to do it by hand).

Form dough into balls, one tablespoon at a time and place an inch or two apart on the ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown. Keep in mind that the cookies will harden significantly once cooled, so don't worry about them being a little soft when removed from the oven.

Cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the process with any remaining dough.

Enjoy cookies warm or at room temperature with a glass of milk. Store in an airtight container.

Om nom nom nom.

Source: adapted from Quaker Oats

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