Archive for: oatmeal cookies
There are times when you want a thick, chewy cookie that you can really sink your teeth into. There are also times when you want a thin, crispy cookie that seems to almost melt in your mouth as you bite into it. Both types of cookies are delicious, it just depends on what kind of cookie you’re in the mood for. The next time you’re in the mood for a crisp, crunchy cookie, you should definitely bake up a batch of these Thin & Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies.
This recipe is a favorite of mine when it comes to crunchy cookies, and is adapted from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. It has been featured on their TV show, in several books and in Cook’s Illustrated, too. The fact that it keeps making “favorite” and “top 10″ lists should be a clue that they’re addictive. The cookie dough is easy to put together. There are two things that makes these cookies thin. The first is that they have a relatively high butter content to the amount of flour in the recipe. The second is that they contain a generous amount – compared to the quantity of flour – of both baking powder and baking soda, which helps the cookies spread and rise just enough to take on a delicate, crispy texture as they bake. They’re also topped off with a generous sprinkling of coarse kosher or sea salt before baking, and those bits of salt make the sweet and oaty flavor of the cookies pop when you eat them.
I love the buttery flavor of the finished cookies and the way they almost melt in your mouth when you eat them. They also stay crispy- even after you store them – and are perfect for serving with tea or coffee. I use a little less butter and a little more salt in the batches I make than the test kitchen does, and I typically make my cookies a bit smaller so they’re a more snackable size.
Don’t skimp on the salt when finishing the cookies. A few grains can look like a lot when you’re putting them on the raw dough, but as the cookies spread out, so will the salt. I also really prefer using quick cooking oatmeal in these cookies. Quick cooking oatmeal is essentially rolled oats that have been coarsely chopped (say, in the food processor for a few pulses). It tends to get distributed throughout the cookie more evenly and gives the cookies a really attractive finished look.
I love a good ice cream sandwich, and while you can simply buy a box in the freezer department of the grocery store, you get a lot more options when you make them yourself. I like to bake a batch of cookies and stock my freezer full of homemade ice cream sandwiches instead of buying them. I get better cookies this way (since the cookies in store-bought sandwiches are often “throwaway cookies” that aren’t great) and can make them in any flavor I want, for a perfectly satisfying treat on a summer afternoon. These Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are something that you will usually find in my freezer, and they feature an addictive combination of cinnamon-kissed oatmeal cookies and vanilla ice cream.
The cookie is the most important part of an ice cream sandwich because it holds everything together and is the main flavor in the sandwich. It should be sturdy enough to hold together while you eat the sandwich, but tender enough that you can bite through the cookie easily. I prefer to make a chewier cookie when I’m going to make ice cream sandwiches, because crunchy cookies often get too hard to easily bite through when frozen. These oatmeal cookies are a variation on my lower fat oatmeal cookie recipe, made with some applesauce or yogurt in the cookie dough that helps keep the cookies very moist and tender. The cookies are good plain and when made with raisins, which add some extra sweetness to each bite of the ice cream sandwich, but you could mix things up by using other dried fruits or chopped nuts in the cookie dough, too.
I used storebought vanilla ice cream in these sandwiches. I would rather put my time into baking a batch of cookies from scratch, then take advantage of the convenience of using a (good quality) storebought ice cream with them. Vanilla goes with just about every cookie flavor you might come up with, not to mention almost every dessert out there, so I always have some in my freezer. Feel free to mix things up by using chocolate, rocky road, strawberry or any other ice cream flavor that sounds promising to make your own ice cream cookie creations!
While I do like a classic chocolate chip cookie, I find it very hard to say no to a good oatmeal cookie. Oatmeal adds a great flavor and texture to cookies, making them tender and adding a slight nuttiness that goes well with any mix-in you might want to include. I often make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies are a family favorite, but I took these Tropical Oatmeal Cookies in a different direction and used pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts in them for a summery, tropical flavor.
The cookies are buttery and slightly chewy, but not too sweet. This allows the other flavors in the cookie to really shine. I used sweetened, shredded coconut and dried pineapple, which I coarsely chopped into small pieces. Dried pineapple is definitely the way to go in this recipe because fresh pineapple really just has too much moisture and will take these from cookies to small, moist cakes. Macadamia nuts add a nice crunch, and I included some dried tart cherries for a pop of color and a little contrast to the very sweet pineapple (although they’re not exactly tropical fruits).
This flavor combination is addictive and these are sure to be a favorite variation on some of my staple recipes in my house. The pineapple and coconut work well with other fruits and nuts, too. Candied ginger could be used in place of the cherries, and walnuts or cashews could stand in for the macadamia nuts. Even better, you could add a splash of rum extract to take these from a tropical fruit taste to a tropical cocktail taste for a snack that delivers a mini vacation!
The last time I ate a Butterfinger candy bar, I was on a road trip. I usually have so many baked goods around the house that I don’t always just pick up candy bars at the store – but there are definitely times when I make exceptions to this general rule because there are some candy bars that I really enjoy indulging in once in a while. Butterfingers are one of them, their crispy crunchy peanut butter centers have a really nice flavor and a very unique texture to them. I’ve even used them here as an inspiration for a batch of oatmeal cookies.
Oatmeal cookie dough is usually complimented with chocolate chips, raisins or nuts. Butterfinger candy bars turn out to be a great addition to cookies – oatmeal or otherwise – because of the consistency and flavor of their candy center. The peanut butter-flavored center melts during baking in much the same way that toffee does when added to a cake or cookie. It added a hint of toffee, a hint of roasted peanut and a definite savory-sweet note because of the salty-sweet flavor of the candy bar’s peanut butter center. The finished cookies are flavorful and surprisingly complex, given that all I did was chop up a store bought candy bar and add it to the dough!
Chocolate chips or raisins usually add some bulk to an oatmeal cookie dough and allow the cookies to be a little bit thicker than cookie dough without mix-ins. The amount of Butterfinger added is relatively small, so I made up for this by adding a little extra oatmeal than I would normally use to help keep the cookies from spreading too much. They’re still on the thinner side, rather than being the thick-and-chewy type of cookie, but they have a nice crispness around the edge and still have a chewiness – both from the oats and the bits of candy – in their centers.
There are three main types of oatmeal to choose from in the cereal aisle of the grocery store: regular oatmeal, quick cooking oatmeal and instant oatmeal. What kind of oatmeal is the best for baking? Sometimes, recipes will specifically call for different types of oatmeal and other times they’ll simple say “oatmeal” with no explanation. While it isn’t difficult to pick out which kind you want to have for breakfast, it can be difficult to know what works in a recipe.
Regular oatmeal, also often described simply as rolled oats, is the most basic type of oatmeal that you can find. This type of oatmeal is made with whole rolled oats that are steamed and then flattened. When it comes to breakfast, they cook in just a few minutes and have a nice, chewy texture. This type of oatmeal also lends a slightly chewy texture to baked goods and the whole oats are clearly visible in the finished product, leading to more rustic looking cookies and baked goods.
Quick cooking oats are rolled oats that have been coarsely chopped. Breaking them down into smaller pieces enables them to cook more quickly. They have the exact same flavor as regular rolled oats, but have a slightly finer texture. Cookies that are made with this type of oatmeal tend to look a little “prettier” because they don’t have big oats floating around in them and they give a baked good a very uniform texture. Quick cooking oats can be made at home by pulsing regular oatmeal in the food processor a few times.