Monday, January 16, 2012

Special Oatmeal Cookies

What could be so special about oatmeal cookies?  When you add orange zest and a whole bag of white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips they go from ordinary to something special.

It's a cookie you can't walk away from.  If you're a one cookie for dessert type of person think again.  These are too good to walk away from after only one.  You'll feel the need to eat them until your stomach hurts.    

These cookies are also special because it's just about the only cookie recipe I ever make.  They're so good no one complains about the lack of variety.

Orange zest is one of those ingredients that elevates a dish and heightens the flavor of other ingredients in a recipe.  Chocolate for example goes well with orange zest.  At Thanksgiving I found out that orange zest goes great with sweet potatoes too.  

If you have a canister of Quaker Oats you have the basic recipe for these cookies.  Add a few extra ingredients and take out the raisins (yuck, who wants raisins in a cookie?) and you have something special to share with friends. (...Or you can bake the cookies on a day when no one is home and eat them all by yourself.)

Special Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Quaker Oats

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
the zest of 1 orange
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (this is an optional ingredient, but I never skip the salt)
3 cups oats, quick cook or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 bag good quality white chocolate chips
1 bag good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on the medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy. (I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer).  While your mixer is running add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and orange zest.  Beat until smooth and creamy.  This should resemble something similar to a thick icing.

In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Add to your wet ingredients in thirds with your mixer on low.  Mix just until combined.  Scrape down edges and mix quickly once more.  Add oats and mix until just combined.  Remove from mixer and add white and semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Mix with a wooden spoon.  (I've gone through several spoons with plastic handles that have snapped in half trying to mix this batter.) 

Use a small ice-cream scoop to make even sized cookies.  Drop on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cook on the middle rack of your oven for 10 minutes.  Let them cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack. 

These cookies freeze great (if they last that long.)

My kitchen counters are good for cookie baking and baby bathing.  

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  1. Evan is a good little helper for baking and bathing.

    1. He's also helpful at getting the cookies eaten. He's so good I don't even know he's doing it half the time.

  2. I wish I had all of those things on my counter right now. The cookies, the helper and especially the baby!

    1. You can easily have the ingredients for cookie baking on the counter. The baby and Evan....that would take a little more work.