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Monday, March 2, 2015

Baking Away the Blues - Barefoot Contessa Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Hey winter! You stink.
Yeah, you could say we are pretty much over this gray, gloomy and bone chilling season. Our vitamin D thoroughly depleted, we want nothing more than a few sun rays to help us smile a bit bigger and just generally lighten up. It's a lot easier to look on the bright side and not have a short fuse when you have cookies. In particular, these cookies. 
Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies Baked By My Hubby!  Photo: NK
That's why we're sharing our latest recipe obsession, Ina Garten's Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

We've made them a few times (the recipe yields a ton and they make great gifts) and they are really pretty flawless. We wouldn't recommend making any changes to the recipe,  not that I normally quibble with the Contessa

These cookies solve a major problem in our household. That is, my husband finds Oatmeal Raisin cookies to be worthy desserts where as I require there to be chocolate chips in most of my cookies for them to qualify as an after dinner treat. What's worse than biting into a a delicious cookie and finding a Raisin instead of a Chocolate Chip?? You know you've been there! These cover all the bases and are absolutely fantastic. Though I usually fall squarely in the chewy cookie camp, believe it or not, I think these are best crispy. Ina gives you instructions on how to achieve both textures. We did not have Fleur de Sel around so the only teensy change we made was to sprinkle French Grey Salt, another Sea Salt which is quite similar, atop the cookies.   

Below is the recipe, exactly as it appears on Barefootcontessa.com

                      Ina Garten's Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
                      Yield: 28 - 30 Cookies 
                      Recipe exactly as it appears in Ina Garten's Make It Ahead 


Photo: NK 
Ingredients:  
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1¼ cups old-fashioned oats, such as Quaker
¾ pound bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, chopped in chunks
¾ cup dried cranberries
Fleur de sel
Method: 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. On low speed, add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl again.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Mix in the oats. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Don’t overbeat it! With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate and cranberries until the dough is well mixed. With a 1¾-inch ice cream scoop (or two spoons), scoop round balls of dough onto the prepared sheet pans. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*If you prefer cookies thin and crisp, bake them straight from the mixing bowl. If you prefer them chewy in the middle and crisp outside, chill the balls of dough.

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