Monday, September 24, 2012

Crispy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

The original recipe from Cook's Illustrated was intended to make just a few very large and rather chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but by slightly overbaking smaller balls of dough, we ended up with very crispy, crunchy, and flavorful cookies--just the way Jeanne likes them!


1. Take butter out ahead of time to get a bit soft but not to room temp.

2. Use parchment paper.  Have 3 medium-size bowls on hand.

3. It's okay to use a handheld mixer but creaming the butter and then the sugars will take extra time.

4. Liz may want to use a short 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, since sometimes the flavor of nutmeg bothers her.

5. We used raw cane sugar--not the white granulated stuff--and the cookies came out fine.

6. The recipe calls for table salt.

7. Adding orange is a nice touch, but some websites say don't use orange extract because it gets bitter when cooked. In a similar recipe also at Cook's Illustrated, they called for 2 Tbl of orange zest and added it with the oats and chocolate chips.  2 Tbl would have been too much and the orange zest adds sweetness so cut back on total sugar; see the ingredients list...

After forming the dough into balls, you can freeze them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, then put them in a container in the freezer for storage. Thaw so you can flatten the dough before baking.

9. Makes about 40 large cookies; 80 smaller ones.


  • 2
  • sticks unsalted butter (1/2 pound), softened but still firm
  • 1
  • cup light brown sugar (3/4 cup if using orange zest--this is a guess!)
  • 1
  • cup granulated sugar (3/4 cup if using orange zest--this is a guess!)
  • 2
  • eggs
  • 1-1/2
  • 1/2
  • tsp table salt
  • 1/2
  • 1/4
  • tsp nutmeg
  • 3
  • cups rolled oats
  • 1 to 1-1/2
  • cups semisweet chocolate chips

  • 4
  • tsp orange zest (optional; be sure to cut back on sugars)


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Set aside.

2. In a second medium bowl, combine the sugars and set aside.

3. In a third medium bowl, combine oats and chocolate chips. Set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, and using an electric mixer, or with a handheld mixer or by hand, beat butter until creamy. 

5. Preheat oven to 350, with shelf in the middle of the oven.

6. Add sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes with an electric mixer; 6 min with a handheld mixer. 

7. Beat in eggs one at a time.

8. Using a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into egg mixture.

9.  Add orange zest if using it. 

10. Stir in oats mixture.

11. Form dough into 3/4" balls, placing them onto parchment–covered cookie sheets, about  2" apart. 

12. Gently flatten the cookies so they are uniform in thickness.  They won't spread very much.

13. Bake at 350 until cookie are golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes, depending on how thin you make the cookies. (Halfway during baking, turn cookie sheets from front to back.) Slide cookies on parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool a few minutes to harden and crisp up.

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