Saturday, June 7, 2014

Killer Oatmeal Cookies

 4 " Killer Oatmeal Cookie

Yesterday, our contractor finished up his work on our foundation and new concrete driveway, so I thought I'd make him cookies to celebrate.  He chose Oatmeal Raisin when I ran down my list of offerings.

I said. "Oh good!  I make a killer oatmeal cookie."

I used to make these a lot, especially for my friends at Pip's, and West End Gallery, and when people were ill as a gift. Now was a good time to make them again.

This is a power packed cookie ---oatmeal, dried cherries, dark chocolate, pecans and hazelnuts -- all of which make them "killer good".

I originally posted this recipe in May 2009.  It is a Cook's Illustrated recipe which I have changed to include hazelnuts and dark chocolate chips.  Be sure to toast the nuts.  It makes a difference.

The Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie
(adapted From Cooking Illustrated, 2005)

Makes Sixteen 4-inch cookies

1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c. pecans, toasted and chopped, and cooled

1/2 c. hazelnut, toasted and chopped, and cooled
1 c. dried sour cherries, chopped coarse
3/4 c. dark chocolate chips
12 T.
(1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla extract

Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, baking powder (be sure to use fresh), baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

In a second bowl, stir together oats, pecans, cherries and chocolate.

In a standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until no sugar lumps remain, about 1 minute.

Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Scrape down bowl; with mixer running at low speed, add flour, mixture;mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.

With mixer still running on low, gradually add oat/nut mixture; mix until just incorporated.

Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide dough evenly into 16 portions, each about 1/4 cup. 

Stagger 8 balls on each baking sheet.

Using hands, gently press each dough ball to 1 inch thickness. Bake both baking sheets 12 minutes (but I have learned to only go for 6 minutes), rotate them front to back and top to bottom.

then continue to bake until cookies are medium brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will seem underdone and will appear raw, wet and shiny in cracks), 8 to 10 minutes longer (but I have learned to go only 6 to 8 minutes longer, or 12 -14 in total). Do not over bake.

Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire rack 5 minutes; using wide spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature. 

Our contractor said, "Hmmmmm!  These are good!"


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