Friday, November 20, 2009

Salted Oatmeal Cookies

What do you associate with oatmeal cookies? The sad, lonely plate that nobody buys at a bake sale? Something old ladies have with tea? A dry, bland cookie with raisins? Somebody's attempt at making a "healthy cookie?" If those things come to mind when someone mentions oatmeal cookies, get out your mixing bowl and cookie sheets, because this recipe will break the oatmeal cookie stereotype.

I found this recipe in Cook's Illustrated when I was trying to replicate a cranberry-oatmeal cookie from a bakery. I was pleased with the outcome, but they didn't really stand out. At least not until I decided to add kosher salt. With that addition, the resulting cookies are both sweet and salty . . . or in other words, awesome. I took a batch to a gathering at my friend Amanda's last year and although I can't prove it, I think she may have actually clapped when I said I was leaving the whole plate with her at the end of the evening. Now, instead of a cake, she gets oatmeal cookies for her birthday. Next year I'll have to make sure to bake her batch to be the thicker/chewier variety (see below) so we can put candles in them!

Salted Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. kosher salt or extra coarse sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time.
4. With a wooden spoon, stir dry ingredients into butter/sugar/egg mix. Stir in oats.
5. For thinner, crispier cookies, bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes. For thicker, chewier cookies, refrigerate dough at least one hour and bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 23 minutes. For either baking method, use 2 tbsp. dough per cookie and space 2 inches apart when baking. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet a few moments, then transfer to wire racks to cool. (The thinner/crispier cookies are shown above)

- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (omit nutmeg) - mix in with oats
- 2 tbsp. orange zest and 1 cup dried cranberries and/or  1 cup toasted chopped almonds (omit nutmeg) - mix in with oats
                                              - Adapted from Cook's Illustrated


Jaime said...

I love oatmeal cookies
you should try this recipe too

Leah S. said...

I agree! I use kosher salt for everything...but I use it when I make chocolate chip cookies too. I love the sweet/salty combo...its my fav. Although, until now I had never thought that they might be so yummy because of the kosher salt vs reg salt! I love a good oatmeal chocolate chip cookie so thanks for sharing!