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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sowing My Wild Oats

I bake cookies all the time but I rarely make anything more exciting than chocolate chip and an occasional peanut butter cookie.  Now don't get me wrong.  I don't always make the same chocolate chip cookie recipe -- there are millions from which to choose -- but let's face it, chocolate chip is chocolate chip.  Good but not particularly exciting.

Today I was perusing my cookie cookbook collection and happened on Alice Medrich's Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your- Mouth Cookies and felt a new wave of inspiration for trying something different.

This cookbook is chock full of yummy sounding cookie recipes, any of which would have been a nice change from chocolate chip.  As I was flipping through, salivating, I came across a recipe for oatmeal cookies.  I love oatmeal raisin cookies.  My family does not.  Kate, in particular, doesn't like raisins "in things" and Ted, while not downright disdainful of oatmeal cookies, has never shown any particular interest in them either.

But you know what?  I decided that today it was going to be all about me and I made the oatmeal cookies. Because I'm a mother and my job is to make sure that everyone else is happy (and because there was no way I could eat a whole batch of cookies myself), I substituted chocolate chips for the raisins which I figured would bring Kate onboard.  I was also out of walnuts, which is shocking since I always have them in the house, so I substituted in pecans, which I toasted before adding to the batter.

These cookies bring the tried and true oatmeal cookie to a whole new level.  They're really chewy and just  little crisp -- the perfect balance.  Another really nice thing about this recipe is that you don't have to mess up your stand mixer.  The butter is melted as opposed to creamed.  Good news and less cleanup.

I am happy to report that the cookies have been a big hit around here.  Kate likes chocolate chips "in things" so I think I have a winner on my hands.  Nothing like shaking things up a bit.

Recipe:  Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Adapted from Alice Medrich)


2 cups rolled oats'1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 pound unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Place the oats in  small bowl and sprinkle with the water.  Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork.

Cut the butter into chunks and melt in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from the heat and stir in the sugars, vanilla, and salt.  Add the egg and stir briskly.  Stir in the flour mixture just until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in the pecans, chocolate chips, and oats.  Let the dough sit for at least 1 but preferably 2 hours or (better still) cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350.

For large cookies, scoop about 2 level tablespoons of cough and space the cookies 3 inches apart on ungreased pans.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown.  Rotate the pans halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.  Remove from oven when done and let cool on racks.


  1. I love oatmeal CCC's. Love the addition of nutmeg in these.

  2. How funny, Nadine. Today (June 17th) just happens to be the birthday of Ruth Wakefield, the woman who invented the chocolate chip cookie!

    It looks like you have a winner on your hands too. I use to do half and half with the raisins and the chips. Sometimes thirds, I would keep some of the batter plain. Now that the kids are on their own, I load up on the chocolate chips but I always include oatmeal!

    The melted butter is an interesting twist!

    Thanks for sharing...