Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oatmeal Cookies

Baking is therapeutic for me. After a rough day at school, it's pretty common for me to come straight home and bake something. Today was one of those days. You'd want to bake oatmeal cookies too if you had to study this all day. 
Yeah, that's the actual chart I was tested on today. Torture.

So, oatmeal cookies.. I think this is the most versatile, forgiving oatmeal cookie recipe of all time. Will they help me forget about the lab practical I think I failed earlier today? Probably not. But I'll find comfort in the extra calories getting deposited into my system.

Oatmeal Cookie Base
  • 1 stick [1/2 c.] unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  3. Beat the butter until creamy.  Add the sugars and beat (by hand or on medium speed in a stand-up mixer) until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla, mix until well-combined.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture with either a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Stir in the oats.
  5. Using a rounded tablespoon, form the dough into 1-inch balls. Place them at least 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for approx. 10 minutes. The edges should be browned, but the rest of the cookie will still look very light. Cool on the rack for two minutes before either moving to a wire rack, or just throwing the parchment paper & the cookies onto a cool surface (such as your countertop).
I added 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/3 c. Heath toffee bits to my batter, along with the oats.

Other variations I've tried:
  • Oatmeal-Raisin:
    • 1/8 t. nutmeg, 1/4 t. cinnamon added to the flour mixture. 
    • 3/4 c. raisins stirred in with the oats.
  • Cranberry-Orange w/ White Chocolate Chip:
    • Substitute orange extract for the vanilla extract (or use 1 T. fresh orange zest)
    • 3/4 c. dried cranberries, 1/3 cup white chocolate chips stirred in with oats. 


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