Monday, June 22, 2009

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, as good as they are, the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies aren't my favorite chocolate chip cookies. These are. I stumbled upon the recipe on epicurious a few years ago, and they've been my favorites ever since (I just looked, and apparently I added them to my epicurious recipe box more than 10 years ago! I didn't think it had been that long...). I love the way the dough smells, I love the scent while they're cooking, and I love the taste. They're simple to make, and the dough freezes well -- I put the dough balls on a cookie sheet in the freezer until they're hard, and then pop them into zip-top bags for long-term storage.

These are so good that I don't actually have any pictures of the finished product - I made them for our babysitter before she left for the summer, and the few that we didn't give her got gobbled up in short order. So you're just going to have to trust me that they are that good. They are just a bit crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside -- truly chewy, in a way that non-oatmeal cookies just can't accomplish.

One of the key ingredients in these cookies is nutmeg. While these cookies are good if you use pre-ground nutmeg, they really come alive with freshly-grated nutmeg. It's worth buying a nutmeg just for this recipe, in my opinion (and a Microplane grater, if you don't already have one). And I admit that I don't actually measure the grated nutmeg when I make this recipe; I just grate it right into the batter and eyeball it.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Bon Appetit, via epicurious
Makes about 50 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I usually use a combination of light and dark brown sugars)
2 eggs
1 3.4-ounce package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 to 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) chopped walnuts or pecans (or some of each)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place parchment paper on 3 cookie sheets.

Beat butter in large bowl until light. Gradually add white and brown sugars and beat mixture until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pudding mix, vanilla extract, baking soda, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until well blended. Mix in oats, then flour. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop cookie dough by large rounded spoonfuls (or use a #40 disher) onto parchment-paper covered cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies appear dry and tops are lightly cracked but soft when pressed, about 10-12 minutes (do not overbake!). Cool cookies 5 minutes on cookie sheets, then transfer to racks and cool.


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