Perfecting the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie

For about five years, I’ve been testing iterations of my oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. A quick rundown of my tweaks: I’ve added more milk, doubled the vanilla, added sweetened coconut, added unsweetened coconut, doubled the chocolate, tripled the chocolate (yaaassss!), added orange zest, doubled the nuts, used half whole wheat flour and half AP flour, partially ground the oats, fully ground the oats, let the batter rest overnight… I’ve done it all. My go-to guinea pig was the husband, who, of course, loved them all. (Not helping, sir! lol)

After all that work, in 2015 I landed on what I thought was the perfect oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, which really was a bunch of chocolate held together with oats and flour. (It’s all about the chocolate for me. If I get a bite without chocolate, it is highly disappointing.) It was the perfect balance of dark chocolate, hearty oats, chewiness, and crispiness.

Then last week I had the nerve to try a new recipe. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF? Why couldn’t I leave well enough alone? It’s King Arthur Flour’s fault. Yeah, that’s it. I wasn’t consciously looking for a new cookie. I don’t recall what I was looking for in the moment, but when I found King Arthur Flour’s highly rated recipe, I had to try it. I’m so happy I did.

This recipe produces the perfect chewy texture, maybe because of the slight reduction of sugar and liquid. Compared to my recipe, it has about a 1/4 cup less sugar, no milk, and it reduces the egg from two whole to one whole plus a yolk. It also drastically reduces the oats by two-thirds.

My first time making them I mostly followed the recipe – I added orange zest, coconut, and roughly doubled the chocolate. Next time I think I’ll add pecans or walnuts and increase the oats, which were nearly undetectable in the original version (I like a bit more textural contrast). I’ll also use my old trick of swapping in half whole wheat flour or using all whole wheat pastry flour.

So here is my adaptation with my initial tweaks italicized:

King Arthur Flour’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie
Yield: 20 to 100 cookies, depending on size.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups King Arthur unbleached AP flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats (I used about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used about 5 cups, half bittersweet, half semisweet)
  • Zest of 2 nectarines (I had these on hand, but the zest from a large orange would work)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease with non-stick vegetable oil spray.

Beat together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla one at a time, beating well after each.

Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add to the butter mixture in the bowl. Mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and mix briefly. Stir in the chocolate chips, zest, and coconut.

Decide what size cookies you want to make. A muffin scoop (1/4 cup) will make 20 large, palm-sized cookies. A tablespoon cookie scoop (4 teaspoons) will make 50 medium (2 3/4″ to 3″) cookies; and a teaspoon cookie scoop (2 teaspoons) will make 100 small (2 1/2″) cookies.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2″ to 2″ between cookies. Bake the cookies for 12 to 17 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown, with slightly darker edges. Their middles may still look a tiny bit shiny; that’s OK, they’ll continue to bake as they cool on the pan.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and as soon as they’re set enough to handle, transfer them to racks to cool.

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