We did not have an oven when I was growing up so never really ate cookies. I don’t have any fond memories of standing in my mother’s kitchen and licking the cookie dough or shaping them into funny shapes. The closest to cookies I would assume that we ate were biscuits, unless we had relatives visiting from abroad who would carry a tin of cookies for us a gift. And those were not even proper cookies, they were really just fancy biscuits.
So cookies were something that were a bit of an enigma for me and I have generally avoided them. Although mind you the husband loves them, so I have now started to bake them. Infact to be honest I have been baking a lot of cookies lately. Don’t know why though as we hardly have anything with Sugar anymore but I have this obsessive need to bake and since cookies are the easiest things to make, I keep baking them continuously.
And as I learn how to bake them I realize I seem to finally have mastered the art of making a decent cookie. Not that I was pursuing the art of making perfect cookies by design, it just happened by chance, with constant experimenting and separating the bad cookies from the good ones and the perfect ones from the imperfect ones. And let me be honest even the bad cookies don’t taste that bad either.
I searched a few blogs for a good cookie recipe till I stumbled upon a lovely blog called “Half Baked Harvest” . Her “Simple Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie” recipe is the closest I have come to believe to having the perfect fail proof cookie recipe. It is easy, simple and has all the ingredients that one has in their pantry already.
A few things I did differently was substituting Coconut Sugar instead of Brown Sugar/Granulated Sugar in the recipe and I refrigerated the dough for atleast 30 minutes before I shaped the cookies. You can let it rest for as long as 36 hours. Infact with this recipe I froze half of the dough and only used the other half. A few weeks ago I had read in online article on NY Times that a long hydration time is important because eggs, unlike, say, water, are gelatinous and slow-moving making matters worse, the butter coats the flour preventing the liquid from getting through to the dry ingredients. The extra time in the fridge dispatches that problem. And the last thing to remember is NEVER FORGET THE SALT. The salt is the main ingredient that lifts the cookie up. Trust me on this, I have tried cookies with and without salt. Also I have used Butter instead of Canola oil and it works just fine for me.
I can now safely say that if I ever have kids they will boast that their mom makes the best Cookies in the world 🙂 Don’t you think?
Ingredients (Cooking & assembly time 30 minutes, refrigeration 30 minutes)
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar & 1 cup Brown Sugar (I used 1 1/2 cup Coconut Sugar)
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup canola oil or melted coconut oil (use a little more if dough seems is too dry) I used 1 cup unsalted Butter at room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (use really good quality ones)
Preheat the oven to 160 C degrees C. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer add the oatmeal, flour, Sugar/brown sugar or Coconut sugar, Baking soda, salt, canola oil/Butter, Eggs and vanilla, beat until the dough is moist and all the ingredients are combined. The dough will be crumbly. Mix in the chocolate chips. Now refrigerate the dough for atleast 30 minutes. If you don’t want to use all the dough you can freeze half of it.
After 30 minutes remove the dough from the fridge and using your hands clump together a tablespoon of dough. Use you hands to really squeeze the dough into a ball. If the mixture is not holding add 1 tablespoon more of oil. You will have to work fast as the warmth of your hand will start melting the Chocolate chips.
Place on prepared baking sheet. If your balls are a little crumbly do not worry, they will come together while baking. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake for 10 -12 minutes or until set and golden. Let them cool on a rack before you put them in an air tight container.
PS: *Information about refrigerating the dough quoted from NY Times.