Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Go-To Cookie: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip


This cookie is my go-to cookie.  I have been waiting for the perfect moment to share it with you.  And actually any moment is the perfect moment.  I could make up an occasion in each month that could merit these cookies being served. They are my favorite cookies to make.  They are consistent, travel well, are versatile and de-li-cious! They are hearty and a little on the salty/sweet side (if you are into that, like I am).  They are chewy and buttery, but oaty as well (so I can justify eating one at 8 a.m. on a road trip- hypothetically).

packed and ready to go
When my friend Amy recently moved, I asked her what kind of food I could bring for the moving/helping friends.  She immediately responded with “THE cookies…you know, your sister’s cookies, the moving day, mission trip, road trip, just had a baby cookies”.  “Yes, I know!”, I replied.  I have made them for many occasions and they never disappoint. So that's what I did. Some classic oatmeal chocolate chip and some that I call "kitchen sink"-oatmeal, chocolate chip, pecan and Craisin.


This is my sister, Jennifer’s, recipe.  She actually made it up- drawing from several of the recipes she had to make the perfect one. So I asked her to share the story of how she developed this cookie and here is what she said:

Several years ago, I was making chocolate chip cookies and pulled a card from my recipe box entitled “Crisco’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies”. Sounds amazing, right? Well, they were okay. I decided at that point to play around with the recipe to make something more worthy of the word ‘ultimate’ in the title.  I like a cookie that is soft and chewy, not crunchy, crispy, or cake-y.

I tried different combinations of butter, margarine and shortening to get the mix of chewy and crunchy that I wanted. I added white sugar instead of only brown sugar as the recipe suggested. I have liked the addition of oats in chocolate chip cookies since I was a little girl, so I decided that would be another thing to try in this recipe. I finally got the consistency I was hoping to find and we have enjoyed many ever since!




There was a time, after we had been making these cookies for a while, when mine started to turn out flat every time. (Flat dough with chips sticking up - not what I was hoping for and not what they had once been!) Julie and our mom were both making these cookies and having great results. I was so frustrated!!! I would call Julie every time and ask again what combo of shortening, butter, etc. she used. I made dough and baked it in Mom’s oven and also baked her dough in my oven. I realized that the problem was with my oven and decided it was not hot enough.  I raised the temp about 15 degrees and they worked!
A couple of suggestions:
*I sometimes make the dough up to the point of the oatmeal and then add in different things to a portion of the dough. My daughter likes these with raisins and my son prefers chocolate chips. Sometimes I split the dough in half and make some of each.
*I make a batch of dough and scoop it out all out onto a cookie sheet. I freeze the pan of balls of dough and once frozen, put them into a freezer bag. Pull out a few (or as many as you need) and have warm cookies in a matter of minutes.
*For the “perfect” consistency, it is important to not over-bake. Take them out of the oven when they still look a little gooey in the middle. I leave them on the pan for a couple of minutes (but not too long or they will be stuck) to finish baking.

It’s fun how people develop their favorite variety of this cookie.  One of my kids loves Chocolate Chip, one wants chocolate and peanut butter chips, many friends (and I)  want the kitchen sink. Oh and M&M is a favorite too- and the seasonal colored ones are fun,  and the great thing is that one batch makes about 4 dozen, so you can mix in whatever you want for each pan!


The Go-To Cookie: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
¾ cup Crisco
¾ cup butter, softened
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
1 ¼ cup white sugar
4 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 ½ cups self-rising flour
2 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 cups oatmeal
3 cups chocolate chips (or whatever mix ins you choose- M&M's; pecans, raisins, peanut butter chips, or my favorite “kitchen sink”:  craisins, chocolate chips, pecans)

Blend together Crisco, butter and sugars.  Add milk, vanilla and eggs.  Add in remaining ingredients except for chocolate chips. Mix until blended.  Add chocolate chips.

Drop by spoon (or scoop) onto un-greased, cookie sheets. (I like to bake them on parchment lined sheets for ease and clean up). Bake 375 degrees 9 to 11 minutes (until golden).  Remove from oven and let sit on counter for a few minutes.  Remove from cookie sheets to cool.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


Tool Tips:  

If you don't have a cookie scoop and you like to make cookies, you should treat yourself to one! It's what I call a cheap thrill! You can use it for many things and they come in a variety of sizes. I have a few sizes- you can make little cookies or giant ones, all consistent and perfectly round. It makes the process much easier and cleaner.

Speaking of easier and cleaner- another great tool to put on your wish list, if you don't have one, is a solid measure. This one is from Pampered Chef. It is an amazing and clean way to measure Crisco and peanut butter for recipes. (Sometimes I buy the sticks of Crisco, but the can is cheaper and with this tool it is not so challenging to deal with).

Okay, I can't stand it. I have to go make a batch right now. Surely I can come up with a reason why this is necessary today!

11 comments:

  1. I have the same tool from Pampered Chef and love it! I have to admit, I haven't baked or cooked with Crisco much (or maybe ever) but I do adore soft-baked cookies so I may have to brave it.

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  2. The baking soda says "1 1/2" - is that teaspoons? Can't wait to try these! :)

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  3. OOPS! That is important. Yes, teaspoons! I have now corrected the recipe. Thanks for the good eye, Jennifer!

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  4. I love these cookies, and I never make them without doing at least one full pan for the freezer. Anytime there is a sessional M&M being sold I hink of these cookies!!

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  5. This is my very favorite cookie in all the world. I prefer the craisin version. Jules, when I started reading this post I thought, "Mission Trip Cookies!" I always associate these cookies with being at the airport. :) Love you. And your cookies.

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  6. Perfection. I'm with your son, though. Chocolate, please! :)

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  7. Made these for a friend last night! Perfect!!!!

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  8. When I saw the title I immediately thought, "Your sister's cookies"! Definately going to make these THIS WEEKEND!

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  9. Thanks for all of the endorsements! I love it.

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