Sunday, October 9, 2011

Some really awesome cookies

So, if the title doesn't give it away, what follows here is a recipe for some really awesome cookies! If you are a cookie person and don't already own Carole Walter's Great Cookies, please do go out and get a copy. You can buy it off Amazon right now for about 20 bucks. It's the best cookie book out there!!

Anyway, cookies were on the menu on Friday since I found out that I have a nephew who is on the mend and I decided I needed to send him a little care package. These really awesome cookies are easy to make, use ingredients I already have, travel and store well and are AWESOME!

Most people are pretty familiar with how a basic cookie recipe comes together, but this one uses a few alternate ingredients that I'd like to take some time to explain.

One of the first steps for making a cookie is usually the creaming step. Butter is whipped until soft and then sugar(s) mixed in, edges scraped down and mixture continued to be whipped until "light and fluffy." This recipe, however, uses brown sugar in addition to regular sugar, and it also calls for a small amount of corn syrup. Brown sugar is a less refined sugar than granulated sugar and usually contains molasses. The molasses contributes not only to the distinct flavor of brown sugar, but also to its more hygroscopic nature. Brown sugar contains about 35% more moisture than granulated sugar. Hygroscopic means that it absorbs or attracts moisture. So, when brown sugar is added to a recipe, it serves to allow the cookies to be chewier, even after they have been cooled. The darker the brown sugar (i.e. dark brown sugar), the higher the molasses content. The extra addition of corn syrup in this recipe helps to give the surface of the cookies a little bit of a shine and it browns at a lower temperature than regular sugar. It is also part of the liquid in this recipe, and contributes to the moisture of the cookie while limiting its spread.

Finally, Carole's recipe incorporates oatmeal in 2 forms, the whole oats that are actually mixed in to the recipe, but there is also a little over a cup of oats that are ground in the food processor and mixed in with the sugar during creaming. This seriously limits the spread potential of these cookies, since the oatmeal binds the dough. This counteracts (in a good way) the impact of the added moisture from the brown sugar, leaving you with a cookie that is magically thick and chewy. On with the recipe...

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
(by Carole Walter)
makes 3 dozen cookies

3/4 c lightly packed brown sugar
2.5 c old fashioned oats, divided
1/3 c sugar
1.25 c flour
3/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
8 oz butter, slightly softened
2 T light corn syrup
1 egg
2 t vanilla
2 c semisweet chocolate chips
2 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 375 F and prepare parchment-paper lined sheet pans for baking. Grind brown sugar, 1/2 of the oats and the regular sugar in a food processor and process for 3 minutes until finely ground and powdery. In another bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in the remaining oats and set aside. Cream the butter and corn syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium, until smooth and lightened in color. Add the oat-sugar mixture in 3 additions and mix well. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for another minute. Add the dry ingredients on low in three additions, mixing just until blended. Mix in the chips and walnuts by hand. Drop golf-ball sized mounds of dough on your cookie sheet, allowing a couple inches between to allow for spreading.

Bake for 10-12 minutes and rotate pans halfway through. Remove from oven when the edges are just beginning to brown, and allow to cool 2 minutes on the pan then move to a cooling rack. Try not to eat them all in one sitting. YUMMY!

1 comment:

Mary said...

I have to try these I love oatmeal cookies, and I love chocolate chip.