Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cranberries and Pecans

Oatmeal Craisin Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie
I have a bad habit not being able to follow a recipe word for word, not even my own! I always have to adjust, substitute, omit, or change something. It’s pretty ironic I keep a recipe journal (I hope I didn’t lose too much credibility there). Oatmeal craisin chocolate chip pecan cookies are my default cookie of choice. I love how there’s so much good stuff in these, there’s barely enough dough to bind everything together. It’s like trail mix in cookie form. And I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like these. The name is a mouthful but I can't come up with anything better. OCCCPC? POCCC? POC^3? Eh, med school is full of enough acronyms and mnemonic as it is. I’ve been making these cookies for years now, but the urge to change a perfectly good recipe struck again. Combined with post finals laziness, I couldn’t be bothered to measure out the 1 1/4 cup here and there so I changed everything to one cup. I was going to delete the original recipe but I’m guessing people who use the original version wouldn’t be too happy if I just overwrote it. So now there are two versions, the original and the shamelessly lazy one. Hm I’ll need to do something about that 2 tsp of vanilla, since it requires measuring twice. Next time...

Okay in all seriousness, don’t let my silly laziness deter you, these are as good as the original. It involves just a tiny bit less work and there’s a higher chocolate to everything else ratio in these but I don’t think anyone would mind that.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cranberries and Pecans

1 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C old fashioned rolled oats
1 C toasted pecans, chopped
1 C dried cranberries
1 C semi sweet chocolate chips or 4 oz. bar of semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
4 oz./ 1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 C packed brown sugar, preferably dark
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a heatproof bowl, pour about one cup of hot water on the dried cranberries and let them soak for 5 minutes. The cranberries will absorb some of the moisture and retain their chew after baking and won’t dry out. While the cranberries are soaking, chop the toasted pecans. After the cranberries have soaked, drain in a sieve, rinse them off under cold running water, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until evenly combined. In another bowl, toss the chopped pecans, chocolate chips, and oats together.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, add the brown sugar and beat again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, like frosting. Add the flour mixture and mix the dough is beginning to come together. Then add the oats, nuts, and chocolate mixture and cranberries and continue to beat until the dough is evenly mixed

I like to line my cookie sheets with parchment instead of a silicone baking mat, I find that cookies don't spread and brown as nicely on a baking mat. Scoop 1/4 C of the dough and space the dough 3 inches apart. It's easiest to use a trigger release cookie/ice cream scoop. Use your hands and flatten them slightly until they are about 3/4 inch thick and look like a hockey puck. My cookie sheet can hold 8 or 9 cookies and I like to bake only one sheet at a time.

Bake for 10 minutes then rotate the sheet, and continue to bake for another 5 to 8 minutes. The cookie edges should golden brown but the center will look a little underdone and still gooey and doughy in the middle. Remove the tray and let the cookies set for 1 minute on the sheet tray then using a spatula, slide them onto a cooling rack.

Makes 16 cookies.

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