Sunday, August 12, 2007

Chocolate Chip Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

It's your lucky day. I happen to have one of the best cookie recipes ever created, and I'm going to share it with you.

I'm also going to tell you why you should make them. The addition of oatmeal makes them a very chewy cookie, unlike many regular chocolate chip cookie recipes made with butter. They taste delicious right out of the oven (well, given 2 minutes to cool), as do most cookies, but they also taste delicious frozen for a month and thawed. And they have toasted pecans in them.

Did you know that toasted pecans makes nearly everything better? Carrot cake, cookies, pecan pie, green salad, chicken salad, cheese, fruit, nearly everything. Maybe not pizza, but I can't be sure, as I haven't tried it yet. I usually just toast the pecans for this recipe as I'm preheating the oven for about 10 minutes, then toss them in the freezer to cool before adding them to the dough.

One other note about storing these: where you store your cookies is terribly important. If you throw them in a zip-top plastic bag, they'll taste dry and plasticky. (My computer is telling me "plasticky" is not a word, but I don't believe it.) Those are two things you really want to avoid, as they will seriously diminish the pleasure of eating your cookies in the days ahead. Hard plastic leftover containers are really not much better, since they are not nearly airtight enough. You'll still end up with dry cookies. What works best is a glass container with a tight lid. My favorite one is from Pyrex, has many other useful purposes, and can be found here. However, I'm sure there are several options, as I also keep my flour and sugar and granola in glass containers with metal screw-on lids I bought at Target. Those should do. I can't speak for the ceramic cookie jars that are labeled "Cookie Jar" and found all over the place, since I haven't tried them, but I would avoid them unless they're airtight. If you don't have a great place to store them, they'll stay fresher by wrapping them and storing them in the freezer.

One very final note before handing over the recipe. If you want a variation, you can exchange 1 cup of the chocolate chips or all of the lovely toasted pecans for 1 cup of peanut butter chips. So, before I go off on something else, here is the recipe. Let me know what you think.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
courtesy Jen Gastelum

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose or bread flour
2 c. oatmeal
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 c. chocolate chips (preferably Ghirardelli 60% cacao, or half milk/half dark, or chunks of dark and milk)
1 c. toasted, chopped pecans (or 1 c. peanut butter chips)

Preheat the oven to 350
°F. Set out a baking sheet topped with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, mix butter and sugars with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended. (Please believe me on this, and don't use an electric mixer, or your cookies will turn out flat!) Stir in the eggs and vanilla until completely incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt. Stir into the butter blend until just moist. (OK, I admit it, I don't alway whisk them in a separate bowl, but I'll throw the baking soda and salt directly on top of the flour and whisk it together a bit before adding the oatmeal and stirring into the rest. It works.) Add the chocolate and pecans; stir gently.

Drop the cookie dough onto the prepared pan in 2-Tablespoon portions (I like using my 1-oz. scoop). Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just set and slightly golden. Remove from oven. Let rest 1 minutes on tray before removing to cool completely on a clean countertop. Delicious with milk.


Anonymous said...

your cookies are so good.If I do say so myself.

Seth and Sarah said...

We made these last night. Substituted dried cherries for the pecans (for Jonas' sake) and they turned out fabulous. Now we just need a cookie jar...