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.
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).