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Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
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Categories: American Recipes, Chocolate Recipes, Contest Winners, Cookies and Brownies, Dessert, Favorites
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Total Time: 1 hrs. 42 min.
Baking Time: 22 min.
Preparation Time: 20 min.
Refrigeration Time: 45 min.
Cooling Time: 15 min.

First, I have to say these are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. This is based upon a recipe I found in the May/June 1994 issue of Chocolatier. It was featured as one of their 10 best chocolate recipes of the past ten years. The recipe isn't difficult at all and the results are definitely worth it. You can add or substitute all kinds of "stir-ins" along with the chocolate chunks and the pecans. The original recipe included a cup of sweetened coconut flakes. Basically, it doesn't matter what you add in as long as it is a quality ingredient. I like to use Ghiradelli chocolate chips (of good quality and domestically manufactured, thereby affordable). The key to having them bake so big and thick is refrigerating them before baking.

1 cup oat flakes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter - slightly softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar - packed
1/2 cup dark brown sugar - packed
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
14 ounces semisweet chocolate - chunks or chips
1 cup pecans - chopped

In a blender process the oatmeal until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter for 30 seconds at medium speed, until creamy. Add the light and dark brown sugars, and continue beating 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is light in texture and color. One at a time, add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

At low speed, a third at a time, beat in the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate and pecans.

Line three insulated cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Fill an ice cream scoop so that it is heaping slightly with cookie dough and drop on to one of the prepared cookie sheets. Continue, leaving 3 inches between cookies. Refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes, until the cookie dough is chilled.

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Bake the chilled cookies for 17 to 22 minutes, until the edges are set and the centers are still soft. Do not over bake.The cookies will brown very little and as they cool they will become crispy on the edges and the centers will remain soft and chewy.

Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet placed on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely (10 minutes). The cookies are best eaten the same day they are baked. If desired, they can be stored for up to 2 days or frozen for up to a month.

Calories: 364 Calories From Fat: 43%
Protein: 6g Carbohydrate: 48g
Cholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 228mg

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