These are always a big hit at my farmer's market stand. Plus, someone asked me for the recipe, so here you go. These are adapted from my Chubby Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies -- I wanted the chewiness of that cookie, but with oatmeal and whole wheat flour. Healthy!
I leave my cookies plain and unspiced, except for vanilla. That way, the butterscotch and toffee flavors of the brown sugar and molasses really shine. Feel free to add a teaspoon of your favorite spices and/or a cup of additions, like chocolate chips, nuts, seeds cranberries, raisins -- whatever you fancy, really. If you're using any additions, your cookie yield will be greater.
My favorite way to eat these is when they're still warm from the oven, or even better, when they're warmed by the afternoon farmer's market sun. But if it's a chilly day and you've got cookies, nuke in the microwave for 15 seconds. And try them with a dollop of jam for breakfast -- super delicious.
Lastly, the key to chewy cookies is not to overbake. Be vigilant with the oven timer! —mrslarkin
Test Kitchen Notes
Wow, these cookies are everything mrslarkin says they are and more! They come together so easily and the taste is buttery and the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I rolled mine in a mixture of oats, cinnamon and turbinado sugar (we liked the extra crunch). I halved the recipe and made 20 medium-sized cookies that took just under 18 minutes to bake. A fantastic recipe -- I've already sent it to the chewy cookie lovers in the family! —drbabs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 heavy-duty cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Cream together butter, sugars and molasses in mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment.
Add vanilla and beat for a minute or two.
Add eggs one at a time, and beat until combined.
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda and add to the egg mixture. Pulse until flour is just incorporated, then beat on medium speed for a minute or two. Stop the mixer, and using a spatula or plastic bowl scraper, mix in any pockets of flour underneath.
Add oatmeal and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Scrape bowl. The cookie dough will be very thick and stiff. If you've got a small stand mixer, the cookie dough will try to escape -- just push it back down into the bowl.
Using a large cookie scoop, scoop dough balls that are about 3 ounces each (smaller than a tennis ball, but bigger than a ping pong ball). With your hands, roll dough into balls to smooth the edges.
Dip tops of each dough ball into a small bowl of extra oatmeal. Place back on pan. Press balls gently with the back of a fork or your fingers to slightly flatten. (I use a flat-bottomed 3-inch-wide 1-cup measuring cup and press the dough until it's the diameter of the cup.) Sprinkle with a little flaky salt.
At this point, cookies can be frozen and baked off at a later time. Place them in one layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Stash in the freezer overnight or for several hours. (I prefer this freezing method, and I'm convinced it produces a chewier cookie, but I could also just be imagining it all.)
To bake the cookies right away, place them a few inches apart on parchment-lined pans. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, and no more. Rotate pans back-to-front and top-to-bottom at midpoint.
Again, don't over bake your cookies or you'll lose the chewiness. When finished, the edges will feel set and the centers will feel soft. They'll be pale on top and lightly golden brown underneath. Let cool 5 minutes on pans, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Now, go get a cold glass of milk and eat your cookie.
Store cookies in an air-tight cookie jar or sealed plastic bag. Cookies reheat nicely in the microwave for about 15 seconds. They also freeze very well.
Alternatively, for a small cookie, roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on parchment-lined sheet pan about 1-inch apart. Dip balls into extra oatmeal. Slightly flatten balls. Sprinkle with a touch of flaky salt. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. If necessary, press cookies down at midpoint. Makes about 4 to 5 dozen small cookies. (Small unbaked cookies can also be frozen and baked off at a later time.)