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Thin & Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies

Thin & Crispy Salted 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.

Thin & Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups oatmeal (pref. quick cooking)
approx 3/4 – 1 tsp coarse kosher or sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until mixture is creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla, followed by the flour mixture. Stir in the oatmeal, mixing just until the oats are well-distributed and no streaks of dry ingredients remain in the batter.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and arrange on baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches between them to allow for spread. Gently flatten each ball (so it is approx 1/2 as high) with your fingertips, then sprinkle cookies with coarse salt.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are golden brown and cooked through.
Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 3 1/2 – 4 dozen cookies.

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  • Amanda
    January 14, 2013

    These look SO good. And they way you describe them totally makes me want to make some immediately! 🙂

  • kelly
    January 15, 2013

    these look delicious!
    do you use salted or unsalted butter?

  • Jennifer J-W
    January 15, 2013

    I made these last night and they are already gone. I used salted butter and sprinkled the tops with Maldon sea salt. So good! I think I didn’t press mine down as much as I should have, so they weren’t quite as crispy as they should have been, but we still really liked them.

  • Stephanie
    January 16, 2013

    Oh thank you! I love crunchy and crispy! How do you think these would be sandwiched with penaut butter orBiscoff?

  • Meagan Todd
    May 26, 2013

    Made these yesterday and they were fantastic. A hit topped with ice cream and salted caramel sauce for dessert last night (or on their own with my coffee this morning)!

    I too must not have pressed them down enough because mine were chewy. But honestly, I loved them that way! Good to know you can do variations on the texture by how thick/thin they are pressed.

    My new go-to oatmeal cookie.

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