Ultimate Oatmeal Cookies

Cindy's note: This recipe is from the May/ June 2005 issue of Cook's Illustrated. I adjusted the cooking times (they originally suggest 12 minutes, then 8-10 minutes and I found this to be far too long, but experiment with your own oven).

Yield: Makes 16 4-inch cookies.

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried sour cherries or cranberries, chopped coarse
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (choc. chip size)
12 T. unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla extract

1. Adjust over racks to upper- and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, stir together oats, pecans, cherries and chocolate.

3. Beat butter and sugar together using hand or stand mixer at medium speed until no lumps remain. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add flour gradually and mix until just combined. Add oat/nut mixture gradually and mix until just combined.

4. Roll dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Place 8 balls on each baking sheet. Gently press the top of each ball with your hand.

5. Bake both baking sheets 9 minutes, then rotate them front to back and top to bottom. Continue to bake until cookies are medium brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will still appear raw, wet and shiny in cracks), 9 minutes longer. Don't overbake.

6. Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire rack 5 minutes; transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Categories: Desserts
April 15, 2005

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