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Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

July 20, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

- Merrill

Chocolate chip cookies are delicious. So are oatmeal raisin cookies. But in my opinion, the king of all cookies is a hybrid of the two. For years, I'd been sampling and comparing oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but had never tried making my own. Until this week, that is. After one misguided attempt resulting in insipid, cakey little domes that dried out almost instantaneously, I took a step back for a minute. I thought about a standard chewy oatmeal raisin cookie -- the kind that bends as you bite into it and leaves behind a rich, spicy aftertaste. And then I thought of the chocolate chip cookies my mother used to make when I was growing up. She took the recipe from the Nestle Toll House chocolate chips bag and tweaked it so that the cookies came out flatter and crisper around the edges, with rich caramel undertones. I decided what I was really looking to achieve lay somewhere in between these two.

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Because everyone raves about it, I started with the basic oatmeal raisin cookie recipe on the lid of the Quaker Oats canister, holding it next to the Toll House recipe and making some surgical adjustments. First, I decreased the flour a little and decided to use one egg instead of two so that the cookies would be thinner and less cakey. I added a little nutmeg and some allspice to the rather timid teaspoon of cinnamon decreed by the Quaker box. Instead of one cup of raisins, I added two full cups of chocolate chips (my mother's cookies were pebbled with chips). I also raised the oven temperature by 25 degrees (I really wanted those nice, crisp edges).

The resulting cookies were crisp indeed, almost lacy, with little pockets where butter and sugar had pooled to create crackly deposits of caramel. The spices were pronounced without being overbearing, and every cookie promised at least half a dozen chips. It was difficult to wait until they were cool enough to handle. I may never make plain old chocolate chip cookies again!

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen small cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Add the flour and spices in three additions, beating until just combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Do not overbeat!

3. Stir in the oats and the chocolate chips, distributing evenly. Drop the dough in heaping tablespoons on parchment-lined baking sheets, keeping the cookies at least 2 inches apart. Flatten gently with the back of a spoon and bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. The cookies are done when they turn lightly golden around the edges, and the tops look almost dry. Cool on the baking sheets for a minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. The cookies are best still slightly warm, but you can successfully store them in an airtight container for up to a few days.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Rosemary D. April 28, 2015
Baking is my serenity, this was the best recipe thus far . My husband will love these scrumptious Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Yummy!!!
twm3 April 7, 2011
I "Stumbled Upon" this recipe figuring that I should find a good recipe. Didn't find a good recipe rather I found a great recipe. THANK YOU.

Of course I can't or won't follow directions. Substituted whole wheat pastry flour for white flour. Substituted half the butter with non-sweetened apple sauce. Substituted one TBSP flax seed and three TBSP water for egg. And what chocolate chip cookie would be complete without pecans so added a cup.

Nicely crisp exterior with a chewy interior. Used a scoop and didn't flatten - perhaps next time.

Will try not to eat the entire batch today.

Thank you so much.
WishWorks August 8, 2010
I applied the higher heat and one egg..as you suggested... all spice has been one of my favorites for years, I even add it to chili, so you caught my attention with this recipe.
I did make a few changes, as I am "white stuff" phobic...
I used stone ground brown rice flour instead of white and omitted the white sugar..
Much to my surprise these cookies came out amazingly well.
Crunchy and tasty!
I made two batches...one traditional..just raisins and one with chocolate chips.
Both batches disappeared quickly. Thanks for the inspiration!!!!
Merrill S. August 8, 2010
I'm so glad it all worked out!
Jeannie M. July 27, 2010
For anyone wanting to know, if you use the alt key and key pad and press 1,6,7 º you get the degree symbol. Just a little FYI
Merrill S. July 27, 2010
Ruth July 26, 2010
Our family recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Coconut cookies evolved from one that my mother swears she got from her mother. Her mother says, "That wasn't my recipe." Regardless of its origin it has become known and revered by friends and family. The coconut addition was a result of the fact that my mother hated nuts and substituted coconut instead which gave it a chewiness and texture missing from other versions. Years later I found almost the exact same recipe proportions in The Frog/Commissary Cookbook for their Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Walnut cookies.
They resemble the picture of Merrill's cookies only with little pieces of coconut sticking out!
Merrill S. July 27, 2010
Love the addition of coconut. Will have to try that next time.
Joohee July 25, 2010
If you find yourself at the Ferry Plaza Building in SF, Frog Hollow Farm sells small, crispy cherry chocolate chip cookies with the perfect balance of crisp, sweet, tangy, chewy. However, anyone else find this sentence to be distractingly pornographic?: "The resulting cookies were crisp indeed, almost lacy, with little pockets where butter and sugar had pooled to create crackly deposits of caramel."
Merrill S. July 27, 2010
I'm blushing! And LOVE Frog Hollow Farm.
slothrop July 25, 2010
So, I made these, and my wife thinks they may be the best cookies she's had. Not too sweet, slightly salty. Excellent!
Merrill S. July 27, 2010
Wow, how cool! So glad you liked them. And yes, I tend to prefer my cookies with a fair amount of salt.
Nan R. July 25, 2010
My grandmother, a ranch wife and champion cooky maker, used to make some like these. She called them Cowboy Cookies and she made them HUGE! They were almost as big as the opening to her "vintage" glass cookie jar. One cooky could last you through a whole card game with her. I am going to make some of these using your recipe this afternoon. I shall think of Grandma Mary and then maybe teach my son how to play King on The Corner card game! Thanks!
Merrill S. July 25, 2010
Cards and cookies? Sounds like a winning combo.
PhoebeLapine July 25, 2010
Cara and I had a whole rivalry going about oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in high school! Her version is closer to yours--I like to take a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and add oats. These look amazing though!
Merrill S. July 25, 2010
You should post them, and we can have an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie showdown!
Kelsey B. July 21, 2010
I agree, I love oatmeal and chocolate chips together and you've finally created the perfect hybrid. Love the addition of allspice, awesome!
Merrill S. July 25, 2010
Thanks! Not sure what made me do it -- just a whim, really.
CarynCooks July 21, 2010
I have been on a similar oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mission - to find the very best one. The recipe from Cook's Illustrated has tasted the best so far - and it makes VERY large cookies. ;-) Might toy with adding those dried cherries, though!
Merrill S. July 25, 2010
I'll have to try the CI version -- thanks for sharing!
mrslarkin July 20, 2010
Hooray for cookies! Thanks, Merrill. Cookies = ?
Merrill S. July 25, 2010
You're welcome!
drbabs July 20, 2010
I have a crispy chocolate chip oatmeal cookie posted on this site also--more like a crispy chocolate chip cookie with oatmeal rather than a spicy oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips. Yours sounds great--I like what you did with the spices. (I'm not a fan of cinnamon in cookies--but I bet the allspice and nutmeg round it out nicely!)
Merrill S. July 20, 2010
Ooh, I'll have to check it out!
MrsWheelbarrow July 20, 2010
I've been combining the oatmeal cookie recipe from the Fanny Farmer cookbook with chocolate cookie recipe, too. I like to add dried cherries and omit the raisins because an oatmeal cookie without dried fruit seemed wrong somehow! Ha! Now, based on your experimentation I think I'll reduce the egg! Thanks for the continued inspiration, Merrill.
Merrill S. July 20, 2010
Love the idea of dried cherries -- always great with chocolate!
AppleAnnie July 22, 2010
White chocolate chips with the dried cherries is another nice variation for an oatmeal cookie.