Thursday, December 6, 2007

Day 5: Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever

Best Oatmeal Cookie Ever: Chocolate Chunk, Pecan, Dried Cherries

Today's cookie is a little late in the day but trust me, they are worth the wait. When I asked Steven what cookies I should make for the 12 days, the first thing he said were "Oatmeal!" Oatmeal cookies are his favorite but this ain't your average oatmeal raisin. These are absolutely, positively the best oatmeal cookies ever. Ever. They're big, they're chewy, and they're loaded with chocolate chunks, pecans, and dried cherries in every bite. It doesn't get much better than that. Out of the six cookies (including the one for tomorrow) I've baked so far, Steven deemed these the best yet but there's still six more cookies to go.

You can substitute walnuts or hazelnuts for the pecans (but I love pecans so I never use anything else), and dried cranberries (what I did since I ran out of dried cherries) for the dried cherries. You can also use quick cooking oats but the cookies will be slightly less chewy.

Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chunks, Pecans, and Dried Cranberries
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

1 1/4 C AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 old fashioned rolled oats
1 C toasted pecans, chopped
1 1/4 C dried cranberries
1 C semi sweet chocolate chips or 4 oz. bar of semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/4 C packed brown sugar, preferably dark
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Chop the dried cherries.

Pour about 1/2 C of hot water on them to soften them. This way they retain some meaty chew and don't dry out in the oven. Chop the toasted pecans and bar of chocolate.

In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, toss the pecans, chocolate chunks, and oats. Drain the cranberries.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer beat the butter until fluffy, add the brown sugar and beat again. Then add the egg and vanilla, scrape down the bowl, and beat until throroughly mixed. Add the flour mixture and mix until the dough starts to come together. Then add the oats mixture and cranberries and continue to beat until everything is evenly distributed.

Using a large 1/4 C ice cream/cookie scoop divide the dough into 16 portions exactly making sure the cookies are all the same size. Roll them into a ball then flatten them until they are about 3/4 inch thick. Stagger the cookies about 3 inches apart. My cookie sheet can hold 8 and I bake one sheet at a time.

Bake for 10 minutes then rotate the sheet, and continue to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes (I baked about 18 minutes total). The cookie edges should be cooked and set but the center will look a little underdone, still wet and shiny in the cracks. Remove the tray and let the cookies set for 1 minute on the sheet tray then using a spatula, slide them onto a cooling rack.

Makes 16 cookies.

Day 1: White Chocolate Cashew Macadamia Butter Cookies
Day 2: Shortbread Bars with Mango Jam
Day 3: Pumpkin Butter Thumbprints
Day 4: Butterscotch Cookies with Hazelnuts

I will be submitting these to Susan for her Eat Christmas Cookies Event. So head on over for even more Christmas Cookies!


Bettina said...

YES!!! these are the best!!!

ksklein said...

wow. they do look delicious. i should try them. thanks for the recipe.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Amy, I wish I could "help" Steven decide which cookie is the best! :)

Lydia said...

Oatmeal cookies are my absolute favorite, too. I've never tried them with dried cherries -- I guess I'm a bit of a purist -- but this recipe looks too good to pass up!

Jennifer said...

Yum! The cherries seem like an interesting twist on a classic.

Veron said...

I'm looking for the best oatmeal cookies ever. This looks like it.Yes!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Whoa! No wonder they're good. That's a whole lot of butter!

Amy said...

Yah I looove these.

Let me know how you like them! I love this cookie.

hehehe Steven is too picky anyway, I'd love to have another opinion. :D

Do try these. I like oatmeal raisin too, with some yellow raisins. :)

The dried cherries are really good but cranberries work in a pinch.

Oh do try these. :)

Yeah normally I'm hesitant to use a lot of butter but for this cookie? Lay it on me!

Kevin said...

Oatmeal cookies are always good. I really like the sound of chocolate and dried cherries in them!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Oatmeal raisin cookies are my absolute favorites. I've never tried them with dried cherries, but I love them too. I know that this will be a winner for me!

Anonymous said...

i've made these many times and they are indeed the best! i LOVE the texture that the dark brown sugar provides. yay! for cooks illustrated

Susan from Food Blogga said...

One can never have too oatmeal cookies recipes. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Hi, just thought I'd tell you thanks for the recipe, I just made them last night on a test-run for my holiday cookie spread, and made them with Trader Joe's dried orange cranberries and lavender, and they are delicious!!

A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

First time here...just love your recipe..and can't wait to try it soon..but can you tell me the substitute for egg...????


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