Thursday, April 26, 2012

Big, Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies for the Kids

Whenever Matthew's little friends come over, I try to have a cookie recipe in mind to make with them.  Both Matthew and his friend Isabella are fascinated with kitchen utensils of all shapes and sizes; Bella's older sister Sophie is at the age where she loves to help with little tasks in the kitchen, such as measuring out the flour and scooping the cookie dough.  It has become a little bit of a tradition to make cookies with these kids after they have finished eating their lunch and it is something that we all look forward to.  

Bella and Matthew get so excited when I turn on the mixer to beat the butter and sugar to a creamy consistency.  They ALL get excited when the chocolate and butterscotch chips are pulled out of the pantry (I had to re-measure the chocolate three times because our sampling got a little out of control!).  The hardest part for everyone was waiting for the cookies to be done baking and cooling.  But I think the wait was well worth it.  After I served them their cookies and tall, chilled glasses of milk, the room went completely silent except for the low sound of the children humming in approval:  "Mmmmmmmmm....."

I love this recipe because it uses a hefty amount of oats to make these cookies some of the heartiest I have ever tried.  I've been trying to make a batch of these at the beginning of every month to freeze so Paul can have a treat in his lunches.  But then Paul put himself in an attempt to lose the small pouch that has been steadily growing beneath his chin since the day we got married and since then I have not been baking cookies for him.  It's funny how he's so convinced that the cookies are what is causing him to plump up and not the processed cheese dip he eats by the jar full with buttery crackers on a weekly basis.  I'm sure if I leave a plate of these babies out on the counter, he'll forget all about his diet and gobble them down before kissing me hello.

Chunky, Chewy Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
from The New Best Recipe

2 sticks unsalted softened butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used a combination of chocolate and butterscotch)

Adjust the oven racks to the middle and lowest positions and preheat the oven to 350 degress.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy.  Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until completely incorporated.  Using a spatula or a sturdy wooden spoon, stir in the flour until completely incorporated.  Fold in the oats and the chocolate.

Using 2 heaping tablespoons of batter, form into 2-inch balls and place on the baking sheets.  You should be able to get about 16 huge cookies.  If you want to make them smaller (I do), feel free.  Keep in mind that the baking time will change significantly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, rotating baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking.  Let cool on the baking sheets 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack with a wide spatula.  Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

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