Verdict: Win

"You bring the milk, and I'll bring the cookies."

I've been asked a few times at work what I like to do for fun. Most recently when I started to describe how I love to cook/bake (no matter how much of a novice I am), it naturally segued into how much I love food, to what food I like, to what food the other person liked, to what we wished we could eat at the moment, to consequent drooling, and finally to the above promise.

And thus the search for the perfect oatmeal cookie began. I've tried a recipe once before, which led to tasty, but rather unexceptional, cookies. Relying on good ol' Cook's Illustrated, I think I found my ideal oatmeal cookie. Fortunately for spacey, sleep-deprived me (first few days of working early shift at 2:30 am took a toll on me...), these cookies were easy to throw together too.

Good oatmeal cookies are usually studded with plump purple raisins, but more often than not the store-bought variety use sad little wrinkled, wanna-be raisins. My experience with them have made me averse to any raisins in general. My co-worker at the other end of the promise didn't care for them either, and instead likes his oatmeal cookies plain! No hate for plain cookies, but I prefer any biscuits with a little pizzazz. I made a few plain cookies, but I adorned the rest with butterscotch chips I had lying around (hint: leftover from making frau brownies). Feel free to substitute with your favorite mix-in (chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, it's up to you!).

Lastly, for extra thick cookies, here's a tip: chill the cookie dough for a few hours in the fridge before baking. Do it. It leads to some satisfyingly handsome cookies.

***7:44 PM 6.24.12
Note to self: after munching on these for a few days, I feel like they're a bit too sweet for my taste. Scale down on the sugar next time.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies adapted from Cook's Illustrated Cookbook found on Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Yield: about 18 cookies

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (7 oz) packed light brown sugar
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups (9 oz) old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups any mix-ins (for example, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, raisins, etc)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Mix in the oats and desired mix-ins until evenly distributed in the dough.

Divide the dough into 2 tablespoon balls and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between them. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown (the centers will still be pale - don't overbake). Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool a few minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough (be sure to let the baking sheet cool in between batches).

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


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