Advocate-tested recipe

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 3 to 4 dozen. Recipe is printed with permission from “How to Cook Everything the Basic: All You Need to Make Great Food” by Mark Bittman (Wiley, 2012).

About 1/2 lb. chocolate

8 tbls. (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups rolled oats (not instant oats)

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

2 tsps. baking powder

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Chop the chocolate. Use a chef’s knife with a rocking motion to cut the bars into pea-sized pieces. You should have about 11/2 cups.

2. Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Crack the eggs on a flat, hard surface, add them one at a time, and beat until well blended.

3. Mix the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and baking powder together in a small bowl. Alternating with the milk, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little at a time, mixing on low. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla.

4. Drop tablespoon-sized mounds of dough about 3 inches apart in rows and columns on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool for about 2 minutes on the sheets before using a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks to finish cooling. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for no more than a day or two.

Tips: Dark chocolate is my first choice for these cookies, but go ahead and use whatever kind you like to eat. You can always stir batters and doughs together by hand. Start with a whisk to handle butter, sugar and eggs, then switch to a rubber spatula to add dry ingredients. But the electric mixer is much faster and usually gives better results.

Variations:

n Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies — Substitute 1/4 cup peanut butter for 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter. These cookies have a tendency to burn a bit more quickly, so keep an eye on them.

  • Coconut-Cherry Cookies — Skip the cinnamon. Use coconut milk instead of the milk, 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut instead of the oats, and 1/2 cup dried cherries instead of the chocolate.