Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chocolate-Oatmeal Cookies

I'm not much of a cookie-baker. Maybe that comes from me not being much of a cookie-eater. I've just never gotten consistent results, or even good results, when it comes to baking cookies. I guess I've never had much incentive to get good at it. I just always thought that cookies should be the easiest thing to make, and since I didn't do it well and I didn't really like them anyway, I never made the effort to try.

A couple nights ago, though, I got a craving for cookies. WHAT?!?! Maybe it was just a craving to bake something, and I knew I didn't have the time or the energy to bake something "serious." So I asked my daughter if she wanted to bake some cookies with me. "YES!!!" came the answer from the living room. But after she helped me get all the ingredients out, she left me alone in the kitchen so she could go "feed her babies." Apparently that's much more important these days than helping Mommy in the kitchen.

I didn't take many prep photos... and the ones I did take didn't turn out well because it was so late in the evening and the lighting just wasn't good. But I fortunately remembered a few little tricks on cookies that I had stored away over the years.

1. After the batter is mixed together, let it chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before spooning it onto the cookie sheet. For some reason this helps prevent the cookies from spreading out as they bake. {I normally end up with one big, thin cookie instead of several individual cookies.}

2. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. While this has no effect on the cookies themselves, it makes for much easier clean-up.

3. Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to put the batter onto the pan - the cookies bake much more evenly if they're all the same size.

4. After baking, let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack. The cookies firm up a bit and don't fall apart so easily after the slight cooling.

5. Cookies are best eaten right out of the oven --> and the rest should be given away!

Chocolate-Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Melt unsweetened chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl; allow to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the melted chocolate, egg, and vanilla until combined. Beat in the flour, stirring by hand if necessary. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

Drop dough about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, lined in parchment paper. Bake in a 375° oven for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

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