These Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies are not pretty, but boy are they delicious. My younger son vociferously objected to the dried cranberries, so I made the cookies as directed up until adding the cranberries. I scooped out half a dozen cookies without cranberries then put in the cranberries and finished the recipe as directed.
I didn’t spring for the fleur de sel, so my cookies don’t have that pretty, flakey white salt on top but they are still delicious. Oh, and the recipe calls for chopping your own chocolate to make the chunks for the cookie. When I make these again, I will buy the chocolate chunks they sell at Trader Joe’s. I made a big mess chopping up chocolate and I didn’t buy a chocolate nicer than what Trader Joe’s sells in their bag. If you spring for a nicer chocolate, then chopping it yourself is absolutely worth it. Can you use chocolate chips? I don’t see why not. This recipe is very forgiving. Most of Contessa Garten’s recipes are. She recommends using the fancy version of ingredients, but I can’t imagine she would give anyone the stink eye for using what they had on hand.
I think the Contessa wants us to have fresh baked cookies. Which means she wants us to be happy. And happy people are fine with tossing some chocolate chips into a cookie recipe, if that is all they have on hand. is a basic cookie recipe. If you have made cookies before, then these won’t be a challenge. If you have never made cookies before, after putting the cookies in the oven, DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN. You might forget the cookies are in the oven and then they will be burned and you might feel sad and you don’t need that during your first cookie baking experience. Set a nice loud timer, then stay in the kitchen and clean up the mess you made making the dough. Or (if your oven has a window) sit in front of the oven and watch the dough transform into an edible cookie. Talk to your cat. Contemplate the vastness of the universe. Read this. Just don’t leave the kitchen.
Also, younger son says that the cookies are crunchy, but that it’s okay because they are still really good. He also calls them pancakes because they are big and flat. I didn’t let him stack them up and pour syrup on them. There are a few limits around here.
Try the recipe for yourself:
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1¼ cups old-fashioned oats, such as Quaker
- 3/4 pound bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, chopped in chunks
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- Fleur de sel
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. On low speed, add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl again.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Mix in the oats. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Don’t overbeat it! With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate and cranberries until the dough is well mixed. With a 1¾-inch ice cream scoop (or two spoons), scoop round balls of dough onto the prepared sheet pans. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Copyright 2014, Make It Ahead by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved