Monday, 21 March 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Matt doesn't like my cookies  He never has.  Sure, they're tasty and he eats them, but he once asked me why I spent all the time and effort making chocolate chip cookies, when the Pilsbury blue-tube ones were better.  Yeah.  That didn't go over very well.

So I tried several different recipes, and none of them fit the bill.  He wanted crispy outside, chewy inside - but without having to undercook them.  Perfectly golden.  I never found it.

So, last year we had a friend over for a BBQ, and she brought cookies for the dessert.  Matt took one bite and said, "Carrie, get this recipe.  This is a perfect cookie!!"  I was thrilled!  This cookie was the same golden on the top as it was on the bottom.  The entire outside - even the middle - had a crispy, snappy crunch, and the entire inside, all the way to the edges, was soft and chewy, but fully coked and not gooey.  Now, I would finally find out the secret ingredient, or the secret combination of liquids to dry, or whatever it was!!

I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to ingredients.  I don't really like using "fake" stuff, like instant milk powder, splenda... even white flour.  Now that I'm on a fairly strict diet, I've had to make a few concessions, but very rarely.  So it turns out that this cookie recipe was really normal!!  Nearly all the ingredients & amounts were about the average for any chocolate chip cookie, with one exception.  It used Crisco.

I was crushed.  What about all those bad fats?  What about my real sweet cream butter?  Surely Crisco can't be better than butter!?!  I made this recipe for the first time today, and they were the same crisp, chewy perfect cookie that we remembered.  So sad.

It turns out that butter and crisco have different solid & liquid content.  Crisco is 100% vegetable oil, while butter has milk liquids in it.  The butter adds additional non-oil liquid, which softens the dough as it bakes, and prevents the crispy crust from forming - as well as keeping the center more liquidy until it's too late and all the extra liquid evaporates leaving the center dry.

So here I present my friend's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe - complete with Butter flavored Crisco, in all it's cookie perfecting glory.  I have not tried this, but I'd be really interested in seeing side by side results between crisco & butter.  Maybe someone could try making half a batch with each, cook a few of each kind on the same cookie sheet, and see how they bake/set/cool.  And taste, of course.

These cookies are really tasty, in addition to having a perfect texture.  You'll notice a touch of cinnamon, and a tiny bit of cloves.  You can't taste them!  They add such a small background flavor, that when you take a bite you say, "Mmmmm... what is that? I can't quite put my finger on it..."  I don't think that these would be offensive even to a non-clove-lover. 


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
by Whitney - Mercer Island, WA
1 C butter flavored crisco
3/4C packed brown sugar
3/4C white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C all purpose white flour (I used 1C white, 1/2C WW and they were great)
1/4t cloves
1/2t cinnamon
1t vanilla extract
1t baking soda
1t salt
2C rolled oats (Old fashioned, not instant)
2C semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2C walnuts (I left these out of my batch, but Whitney's were super yummy)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Cream together the crisco and sugars.  Add in everything except the flour, oats chocolate and nuts.  Cream well.
  3. Use a spoon to stir in the flour, then add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. I used a baking stone (no oil needed) or prepare a baking sheet by spraying quickly with EVOO spray, or laying a piece of parchment paper (I think the paper would give better results).
  5. I made my cookies really big.  I used a soup spoon mounded up and left about 2" between cookies.  I'd say each one was around 2T or a little more.  Whitney made smaller ones so Abby could be allowed to eat 1 or 2 without getting too much sugar.  Wasn't that sweet??
  6. I baked my large cookies for 16 minutes, and each sheet turned out the same - whether on a cold or warm stone.  Whitney's recipe says 12 minutes, for regular walnut sized balls.  
  7. When I took the cookies out, they were evenly golden, and the center was still very soft to the touch.  
  8. Let the cookies cool about 3 minutes on the rack.  They shoudl be nice and solid adn not stick to the sheet at all adn transfer easily to a wire rack to cool.
I got about 25 large cookies, probably 3 dozen or so smaller ones.