Friday, October 14, 2011

The Hunt for the Perfect Oatmeal Cookie

Oh the yumminess...
Okay, so I have already blogged two recipes for oatmeal cookies: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have already declared my love for oatmeal cookies twice on this blog, and I fear I will have to do so again in this post. You see, I am on a quest to find the perfect oatmeal cookie recipe, one that I can use as a base recipe and change up the add-ins as fits my taste and the weather. I don't want to speak to soon, but I may have already found that recipe. Look out, folks, I feel an ode coming on...

Ode to Oatmeal Cookies
by Ray-Ray
oh, oatmeal cookie
with your soft and chewy
yet toothsome
you fill my mouth with joy
you make my spirit bounce
and my tummy jiggle
your cinnamon and nutmeg and cardamom
flood my mind with memories
of home
and Fall
and crisp red and orange leaves
that crunch below my feet
like your crunchy edges
when I bite into you
I think about you
oh, oatmeal cookie
and I am reminded that life is good

I know, I know, I'm being silly. But I am very passionate about cookies. I can say definitively, nay, I can shout from the mountaintops and yell in the streets, that I love cookies. Love, love, love them. As in, I would do anything for them (but I won't do that*). And so, when I get my baking business up and running, cookies will be a major feature. I love baking them and I love eating them and I really love experimenting with them. Cookies are fun, folks!

So, back to these special cookies that I made last week. They are oatmeal with dried cherries, hazelnuts, and milk chocolate chips. The cookie itself was moist and chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside. And full of the flavors of Fall. Ideal, in my mind. So good, in fact, that I kept a lot of them to myself...

Oatmeal Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Cookies
adapted from Baked:New Frontiers in Baking

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 lrg eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through cardamom), and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the sugars and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl often. Add the vanilla and beat very briefly.

Add half of the flour and mix until just combined, then add the rest of the flour and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the oats, beating until just combined. Stir in the cherries, nuts, and chocolate chips using a spatula.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (trust me, this is necessary).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Using a size 20 scoop, drop the dough onto the cookie sheets, about 6 per sheet. Gently use your palm to press down on each cookie, just to flatten the top a little (do not smash!). Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until just golden.

Once removed from the oven, allow the cookies to remain on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely (or until you can no longer stand it and have to taste a warm one...not that that's ever happened to me...).


*Bonus points if you caught my Meatloaf reference.

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