Thursday, January 07, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies ...

Oh, hello.

Would you look at that? I haven't posted on this blog since December 2007. Slacker, that's me.

I've been baking, of course. I just haven't been photographing said baked goods and writing about them, but a recent series of Tweets by Angelo Surmelis inspired this post.

Angelo bought a new toaster oven and decided to christen it by baking a batch of cookies. A fine, fine idea.

He wrote:

here's the deal kids-the cookies (though a spectacular idea) were an exercise in futility-decided to start New Year with the occasional...

...healthy option. Made "gluten free" choc. chip cookies & after 1 bite, threw them out-All of them-Seriously...

Helloooooo All-Purpose flour! How I've missed you.

Ah, our friend, all-purpose flour. Gluten really is not our friend. Most people have a sensitivity to it, not just those with Celiac Disease. Grains, in general, should be eliminated from our diet. Mark Sisson can tell you all you need to know on that front. (I know. It seems radical, right? But I make it a point never to argue with a man who sports eight-pack abs.)

My point – yes, I have one – is that as I was making this recipe, I thought of Angelo because, hey!, there's no flour in it!

Yes, there are oats. And oats are grains. So they're not cookies of which Mark would approve, but I haven't made them in so many years that I can't remember the last time I made them. It's been at least a decade. And it's snowing outside. And I already shoveled. So baking was the next thing on the list.

Here then is the recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies. They bake up big, about 4 to 5 inches across, crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle. (Angelo, two should fit on your toaster-oven tray, I'm guessing.)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
(from my Aunt Stana, years ago; that's all I know)

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
18 oz. jar smooth peanut butter (I'm a Jif girl ...)
18 oz. canister of quick-cook oats
2 1/2 t. baking soda
1 C. chocolate chips

Blend the butter and sugars together thoroughly. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and peanut butter. Blend well. Add oats, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Measure out dough in 1/4-cup measuring cup or similar sized cookie scoop. Place two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

A few notes:

1. I have a Wonder Cup that I use to form the cookies. Push the plunger down to the 1/4-cup mark, pack in enough dough, level the surface if need be, then invert the cup over a cookie sheet, press the plunger, and pop the disc of dough off with the tip of a rubber scraper. You'll end up with what looks like a little hamburger patty of cookie dough. Put six, evenly spaced, on a standard baking sheet.

2. Be sure to use baking soda, not baking powder, as I just realized I did for these cookies. (I was wondering why they weren't spreading enough.) Luckily, baking powder can be used in recipes calling for baking soda, though I should have used more baking powder. Baking soda, however, cannot be used in recipes that call for baking powder.

3. This recipe makes about 24 large cookies from a substantial batch of dough. I strongly recommend using a KitchenAid or similar mixer to make this dough. A hand mixer won't have enough power to combine this volume of heavy dough.