I'm a little bummed today. It's hotter than Hades outside and I am far from swimsuit ready. Remember when I lost an amazing 22 pounds just 4 1/2 short months ago? Yeah . . . . I'm pretty sure it's all found its way back to me. To be honest. I wasn't making many tactical maneuver efforts to keep the extra pounds off my trail. I wanted to lose them for good, but it turns out I wanted my sweets even more. So - although I have no idea how much I weigh (because I never have and probably never will own a scale) I feel like a fat blob melting into my chair right now in this oppressing heat. Yuck!
But, I have made a new resolve! I will lose the weight again - and I will have my sweets too. I just need to remember that ONE cookie is good for the day - not 6 (OK 8 to 10, if we are being honest). Self control. Not my strongest suit, but one that I need to work on more. So, in homage to my new weight loss resolution and life style of restraint (that just sounds hard) I am sharing with you one of my reasons for being a little more chubby these days. . . COOKIES!
I love me some cookies! As you well know, if you have been following my blog. I don't think there is a cookie that I've met that I haven't liked. I've covered a few recipes: Chewy Cookies and Cream Cookies, Nutella Crinkle Cookies, Lemon Crinkle Cookies, My Grandma Roberts' Snickerdoodles, Coconut Macaroons, I keep these and many more on hand in my freezer stash, that I haven't been able to blog yet (The Best Double Chocolate Cookies, Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, and Peanut Butter just to name a few). Yes, I love cookies. And my favorites as of late are Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies, and these Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Walnuts.
I came up with this recipe while visiting my in laws in Montana. I wanted cookies and I found a recipe for The NY Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookie. It's been floating around the Internet for a couple of years, and has found some new life on Pinterest lately. Well, I wanted to try these cookies but didn't have all the ingredients on hand, so I improvised and came up with these instead. I don't know how the original cookie compares, but these are AMAZING! These are my Handsome Man's new favorite cookie and mine too (although I find it hard to choose a favorite when I love them all so much!).
I will say, though, that these are the cookies I find myself craving most often. They are chewy and crunchy and delicious. Try them for yourself and let me know what you think. Just remember - ONE cookie is good. . . . You might want to give away the rest.
Here's how they start:
2 1/2 sticks of butter. (I said they were good - not low fat.)
Next comes 1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar. Light brown will work too, but it will be slightly less chewy that way.
Next comes 1 1/8 cup (1 cup plus 2 Tbsp) white sugar.
The butter and sugars get creamed together until light and fluffy (4-5 minutes).
Add 2 eggs, one at a time. One . . .
Beat until smooth . . . Two . . .
Scrape down the bowl.
Next comes the vanilla - about 2 tsp. I always eye ball this.
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda (you really should sift this, but I'm usually in too much of a hurry)
and 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (sift this too . . .)
With the beater on low, stir in the bread flour - bread flour makes for a chewier cookie. (This also should be sifted - seeing a pattern?) Make sure the mixer is on low, or you and your kitchen will be covered in flour!
When all the flour is incorporated, scrape down the bowl again.
Next comes the oats. 2 cups, slowly added, just like the flour.
and the chocolate chips. I only add about 1 cup, but you could add more if you wish. I think 1 cup lets the chocolate have a presence in the cookie, but also plays well with the walnuts. I like to taste both.
The last mix-in is the 1 cup of chopped walnuts. I usually measure out about 1 cup of whole walnuts (a rounded cup) and toast them in a dry pan until fragrant.
When they are toasted, they get chopped,
and stirred into the batter.
I just fold them in with a spatula, because I don't want them to get too broken up.
When everything is well combined it gets refrigerated until cold.
Just cover and put in the fridge as is. - A minimum of 30 minutes and up to 36 hours. The longer it sits, the more gluten develops and the chewier it will be.
When the dough is really cold, preheat oven to 350F and scoop out onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (There's plenty of butter in the cookie to keep it from sticking.)
They will spread, so give them some room.
As a rule, I usually only bake one batch this time, so I don't eat too many. (This would work if I didn't end up eating almost the entire batch that I do make by myself, but I digress. I will have more restraint in the future - or just give the baked cookies away before I can eat them all myself.) The extra batter gets scooped out into balls to freeze. I just put them onto a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer as is. Once the cookie batter balls are rock solid, I put them into a labeled zip-top bag and save them for another time that the oven is hot and I have a craving.
The cookies bake @ 350F for 10 minutes, or until brown around the edges. They will look puffy when you first take them out, and then they will fall as they cool. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
When they are cool (or at least cool enough not to burn your mouth), just eat. . . chew . . . smile and savor. (I would normally say "repeat" but I'm trying to exercise self control here!)
Aw, so pretty.
Never mind that I ate this entire plate after I took these shots.
I will control myself . . . I will . . . I will . . . I will find a friend to give the rest of the cookies to, so that I won't torture myself. :)
Here's the recipe:
Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies With Toasted Walnuts
2 cups rolled oats
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (to taste) coarse salt (use 1 1/2 tsp if using unsalted butter)
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) salted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) dark brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add eggs. Stir in vanilla. Reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients slowly, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 36 hours. (The longer rest time is optional, however the longer it sits, the chewier it will be.)
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F.Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until brown around the edges. (Mine were perfect after 10). They will puff while baking and then cool flat. Enjoy!