I consider myself an authority on cookies. I’ve garnered my expertise through years of experimentation and an appalling diet. If you are writing a dissertation entitled, Cookie: a phenomenological analysis of flat, sweetened dough, you may quote me on this: Cookies are f*c*ing delicious.
They are prime baked goods because their manageable, hand-held size lets you swallow just one to satisfy a sweet craving without removing your pants. (I’ve witnessed this, but have little self-control in either department.)
Furthermore, unlike cakes that can go horribly awry, cookies allow room for trial while still assuring some sort of scrumptious result. You can take a basic cookie recipe and replace the chocolate chips with some white chips and some peanut butter chips and invent a tremendous dessert without much risk. Or, in some cases, you can substitute raisins for something that doesn’t make you want to yak.
This brings us to my recipe for Mike’s Ultimate Oatmeal Raisinless Choco Chompers. I’ve received no negative feedback on these. They are slightly crispy on the outside and oozing with chocolaty rapture inward. I will offer explanations on the science behind certain steps, but they will be predominately fabricated. Just know that if you follow these instructions , you will get a delicious treat, and if you don’t bother, you’ll still probably make something pretty good.
Mike’s Ultimate Oatmeal Raisinless Choco Chompers
2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon butter at room temperature (providing you don’t live in an igloo or south Florida).
1 cup white sugar.
1 cup brown sugar. (Irish-American pop-rock rappers, House of Pain, once declared, “pack it up, pack it in, let me begin” something something “jump up, jump up, and get down.” The “pack it in” part can also apply to brown sugar. Push a chunk down into the measuring cup until it gets hard and then add more and repeat until you get to the 1 cup line. This is because brown sugar is less dense than the white kind and you want the same amount of sweetness from both.)
2 eggs at room temperature.
2 tablespoons milk.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract. (I think generally you should double the amount of vanilla extract any particular recipe calls for. Except this one.)
2 cups all-purpose flour.
1 teaspoon baking soda.
1 teaspoon baking powder.
1 teaspoon salt.
2 teaspoons cinnamon. (I think it affects the smell more than anything, but this humble addition will endow your cookies with a uniqueness to trump most others. Your friends will say, “Did you put cinnamon in these!? You are a wizard! You’re out there, with a wand, making it happen!”)
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (rolled, not instant or steal cut). (I recommend buying this in big cartons because oatmeal is cheap, nutritious, and with fruit, yogurt, brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey mixed in, shockingly delicious.)
1 bag of chocolate chips
About 1/2 cup grated chocolate. The grated chocolate provides consummate chocolate unification. That is to say, it guarantees awesomeness for each bite. (You can buy giant bars/chunks of chocolate at various specialty stores. If you can’t find them, you can use any chocolate bars.)
Day 1: Sift the sugars, flour, baking soda/powder and salt into a bowl. If you don’t have a sifter, you can put it all into a strainer and tap the edge until it all falls through. Sifting is labor intensive and carpal tunnel inducing, but it helps distribute everything better and makes the finished product lighter. You will see when you do it that your flour will look like powdered sugar. If you use sea salt, it will be too chunky to fit through the mesh, so you should mix that in separately by hand. Grate the chocolate bar until satisfied and leave aside.
Next, drop the butter and sugars into your stand mixer (or another bowl for the less bourgeois juntas) and mix until it’s a unified creamy substance. Then beat in one of the eggs and then the other. (I think it’s a good idea to crack eggs by tapping them horizontally down onto a table, as opposed to knocking them against the edge of the bowl. The table-tap method gives the egg a nice slit or dent so you can easily pull it apart without the risk of shell chunklets diving into your batter.) Finally, mix in the vanilla extract and the milk.
Then add in the previously combined dry mixture, one-third at a time. Mixing it in sets allows for better absorption. After all the powder is out of sight, mix in the oats and chocolate by hand (assuming you were using a stand or hand mixer up until this point.)
Now put some plastic wrap over the dough and insert the bowl into the fridge until the next day. I very much recommend this. I do not know the Alton Brown behind this. It has something to do with all the liquid stuff distributing itself better over time. I do know that cookies taste a great deal better if refrigerated for a day before baking.
Day 2 (20 to 2500 minutes later) (the longer the better) :
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. After the ready light turns off or on (my crapoven doesn’t have one of those), you should give it five extra minutes so the temperature doesn’t drop 100 degrees the moment you open the door.
Scoop out a chunk of the cold, revitalized dough and roll it by hand roughly into the size and shape of a tiny golf ball (you know what I’m talking about, Tiger Woods). Place these spheres on one or more baking sheets cookie-length apart. Slide the cookie sheets into the oven. About 12 minutes later, remove them from the oven (check them at 10). There is a good chance the cookies will look like flat, wet dough. Do not let this persuade you to bake them longer. For some reason people loooove to eat cookie dough when it’s cold, but hot cookie dough freaks them out. Anyway, your cookies are now sitting on a 175ºC sheet of metal. They will still cook even when they are outside of the oven. Like burgers, well-done cookies are terrible. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then spatula them on to cooling racks or a plate. Wait about five minutes. I have no further instructions. Good luck!