Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Joy

Sometimes, on a cold fall night, warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are the perfect way to end the day.

Every once in a while I come upon a recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and I start to clip it, print it, download it or bookmark it when I remind myself I don't need another oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have the perfect one on page 821 of The Joy of Cooking. And yet I persist in being drawn in by other versions that inevitably are never as good.

I first made these cookies in 1998, according to the note I made in the margin of page 821. And I liked them. I gave them my highest honours: 'v.v. good'. So why do I entertain other oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipes when I know I have a perfectly tasty, completely reliable, never-let-me-down version on page 821? It's a mystery to me, but I think it might have something to do with what I'll call the 'what if' factor. What if that untried recipe is even better than page 821? What if I only think my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are the best I've ever tasted? What if I'm missing something by sticking with 'old reliable'? That other recipe has nuts! White and dark chocolate! Cinnamon!

I know. It's just cookies right? But the 'what ifs' can take over other parts of my life as well. So what do I do? I keep clipping oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipes. Usually they just sit in my recipe file until I clean it out, and I re-read the recipe(s) and wonder what made me want to try it in the first place. The novelty, the shine, the 'what if' wears off. And I end up, happily, back on page 821.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup corn or canola oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/3 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 tbsp skim milk
2 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat cookie sheets with non-stick spray.

Whisk together flour through salt. In separate bowl, beat oil through vanilla until well blended. Add oats and chocolate chips to oil mixture; let stand 10 minutes so oats can absorb some moisture. Stir in flour mixture. Drip the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets, about 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time, 7-10 minutes. Cookies should be tinged with brown all over and centres just barely firm when lightly pressed. Remove and let cookies cool on sheet 2 minutes before transferring to racks to cool.

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