Chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal

chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal

February 7, 2010

Even as I was writing that last post I thought, “Maybe you shouldn’t make any promises. Don’t smother the baby!” I’ve certainly been reading blogs long enough to know that any noise about posting more frequently is often followed by a long, unexplained silence.

But I’ve also been creating long enough to know that sometimes you just….lull. And sometimes life starts pulling your energy in a different direction. Which is exactly what happened in September, when I started working a full-time job after many months of unemployment.

Which isn’t to say I’m giving up this project. Just that my slightly diminished energy stores (OK, greatly diminished energy stores — getting cleaned up and out the door every day is hard when you’ve spent the last three years working from home) have been focused on behind-the-scenes stuff, like implementing this snazzy new design. (Thanks, RustyDog!)  And then there’s Twitter.

But onward.


Toward the end of last year, when the redesign was almost finished, I took a look around me and realized that my creative lull had extended into the kitchen. Somehow the massive change in my schedule had made planning, shopping, and cooking look like a chore again. I decided that one of my primary goals for the first part of the year would be to rediscover what I loved about cooking. Which brought me to chocolate chip cookies.

This was not the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I did not hunt down the definitive recipe, the finest chocolate, or the unexpected ingredient that would surprise and delight anyone who bit into them. I just decided I felt like making cookies, walked into the kitchen, and started mixing.

And you know what? They were good. Not the cookies of my childhood, or the best cookies I’d ever had, but solid. Good with a cup of tea. OK for breakfast in a pinch (with a glass of milk, so you can tell yourself you’re getting some sort of nourishment). A delightful reminder of the simple chemical magic that turns flour, eggs, butter, and sugar into something to enjoy and share.


Chocolate Chip Cookies with Oatmeal
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tbsp milk
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 oz milk chocolate, coarsely grated
3/4 chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Fleur de sel to finish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375° F. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar, brown sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until smooth.

Coarsely grind oats in a food processor or blender (or skip this step if you want a heartier cookie). Stir oats, chocolate chips, milk chocolate, and nuts (if using) into dough.

Using a large cookie scoop, shape dough into balls and drop them about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press on the top of each ball to flatten slightly, then sprinkle the top of each with a few grains of fleur de sel. Bake one sheet at a time for about 8 -12 minutes or until slightly brown. (You may want to rotate the sheet midway through cooking to ensure even browing).

The cookies will still be soft in center when you remove them from the oven. Let them stand until they firm slightly, then transfer to a rack to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

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