Monday, September 25

A Cookie is Never Just a Cookie


Is it? With a tall glass of cool milk, it's a comforting end to a long day. It's the sweetness you crave at 3:00 in the afternoon, when it seems like an eternity since lunch. And if you're a baker, it's the perfect thing to help you satisfy your need to bake something without getting out too many pots and pans, or making a trip to the store.

Some people like them chewy, others crispy, some with nuts, some without. Or what about the addition of oats, shaved chocolate, dried cherries, or cocoa nibs? Some people don't give a gosh darn - they just want a hit of sugar, and don't mind how it's delivered. I like to say that I've never met a cookie I didn't like, but like most people, I do have my 'druthers'.

I almost never make the same chocolate chip cookie recipe twice - almost never. Usually I can't resist the idea of stumbling across another great cookie recipe, and I hope that somewhere along the way, I will learn so much about what makes a cookie turn out the way it does, that I can develop my own perfect cookie. But certain cookies require loyalty, like this one, or my mom's chocolate chocolate chip cookies, which are absurdly impossible to stop eating. More on these later.

My ideal cookie though is crispy on the edges, with an almost caramel-edge, and chewy in the middle. They have to be absolutely loaded with chocolate chips - no chip-free bites allowed. I don't want to find myself searching through the cookie bag, turning each over to see which one looks like it has recieved the greatest proportion of chips - I don't want my cookie to put me that position. Don't make me look desperate, cookie. Give me some toasty walnuts, and on occasion, some oats, dried fruits, or almond extract to spice things up, too. But for the most part, it all comes down to the chips and the consistency of the dough.

This cookie, however, was made for my loving hubby, who likes to end each and every day with something sweet, followed by a large glass of milk, which is always consumed in one amazing gulp, which is in turn followed by an immediate and mandatory horizontal position. This sweet tooth likes his cookies on the soft side, verging on underbaked. I left a few cookies in the oven longer though, so I could satisfy my craving as well.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from this recipe, which was adapted from this one.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ Tbsp vanilla extract
½ Tbsp hazelnut extract (or vanilla, if you don't have it)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 ½ cups best-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups rolled oats zizzed in a food processor for a few seconds

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats .

Sift together both flours, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter and brown and granulated sugars until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, hazelnut, egg, and egg yolk, mixing until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients, and mix until well-blended. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the chocolate chips and oats by hand. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour. Scoop and press dough into ¼-cup measuring scoops, and plunk the mounds onto the prepared cookie sheets. Give the cookies a few inches to spread out as they bake.

Bake cookies for 13 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Be sure to check on your cookies around 13 minutes, because mine didn't take much longer than this. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cook completely.

Enjoy!

8 comments:

  1. Oooh, Jess! These sounds incredible. I bet that hazelnut extract really takes these up a notch.

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  2. Oatmeal cookies are one of my very favourite! They're beautiful!

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  3. yum, yum! I agree with your type of cookie completely. The first bite that snaps into your mouth and then quickly gives way to that soft, chewy, caramely center. Get in my belly! Is there anyway we could be long lost sisters seeing as our culinary prefrences are so similar? PS to get an even deeper caramel flavor dark brown sugar does the trick!

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  4. zizzed, huh? Is this a technical term or did you come up with it on your own? I love it!

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  5. I agree, cookies are great!

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  6. Yes, a cookie is much more than a cookie. I like mine almost underbaked too. I've never used whole wheat pastry flour before, but it's seems perfect for these cookies. I must try that.

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  7. Natalia,

    I've started using ww pastry flour in almost all my baked goods, and I'm loving the result - I can never tell! And it makes me feel better about baking so often :)

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  8. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are my fav;s!! Throw in some coconut and nuts and I'm done for! Your recipe looks FANTASTIC!!!!!! I cannot wait to bake me some jess's perfect cookies! Whoo hoo!

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