Posted on November 2 2011

Recipe #12: Oatmeal-chocolate-walnut cookies

Heading into this baking session I was very excited for a couple reasons.  First of all, this was the first real classic cookie recipe, with a few Tartine-esque surprises of course, (molasses in oatmeal-chocolate cookies!) that I’d be making.  More importantly, my excitement stemmed from the fact that I was baking something for someone, but it was a mystery as to who that person was!  Riveting baking, friends!  Making anything for someone other than yourself always means you have to be on the top of your game – no egg shells up in the mix and no using something after it’s been on the floor.  It’s just common courtesy.  So, it was a bad idea for me to listen to Mindy Kaling on NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ because that meant I was totally distracted and laughing when I should have been reading things more carefully.

More chopping chocolate!  We know by now what a fan of this process I am, as evidenced here.

The dry ingredients patiently waiting to be incorporated.

At this point, when I started mixing those wet ingredients, that’s when I got distracted.  Mindy Kaling was probably telling Renee Montagne about her unique look as a child as she reflects, “I can’t believe how little effort my parents put into making me seem like an appealing little girl.”  This resonated with me, and I started thinking back on how I convinced my parents to let me get my ears pierced when I was six so people would stop mistaking me for a boy.  (Sadly, this didn’t work.  The timing was unfortunate for me because there was a sudden influx of boys getting their ears pierced around that time!  Geesh!)  There I was, thinking about my short boy-haircut and my pierced ears, and BOOM!  I’m mistaking tablespoons for teaspoons!  What a rookie mistake!  After a quick glance at my Baker’s Helper chart, (because who remembers how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?) I had to figure out how to remove two teaspoons from the butter.  I hadn’t mixed it together yet, so it wasn’t too difficult. 

Everything mixed together, and it looked and tasted like cookie dough, so I don’t think my molasses mistake was detrimental.

A little bowl of water helping me smash down the cookies, and saving me from sticky fingers.

The directions suggest using an ice cream scoop to make piles of 3 1/2 oz. cookies.  I eyeballed it, impressed with my probable accuracy, and filled the tray with cookies.  They turned out pretty small and quite thin, nothing super special.  I have no idea why I didn’t get the scale out in the first place, but I decided that was now a necessary direction because I was on track to have a yield over double the amount of cookies they say you’ll end up with.  The cookies weren’t terrible, but they weren’t showstoppers.  Since I was sending this to someone, I wanting amazing cookies.  After making the mistake with the molasses, I was worried that I had messed up other measurements, which may explain why I had so much cookie dough!  I needed to figure this out, like amateur detective Jessica Fletcher would, and so I busted out the scale.  (A Murder, She Wrote reference felt right – she plays detective and writes about it, right?  I don’t really remember because I would always leave the room if it was on.) 

Turns out, the size of the cookies was off.  I was shocked that I’d eyeballed such an inaccurate amount!  No, I really wasn’t shocked.  My initial cookie portions was more of a shot-in-the-dark guess than a calculated estimation at what three and a half ounces of cookie dough looks like.  This was a huge pile of cookie dough on the scale – three times bigger than I’d baked in the first batch! 

Ready for the oven.

The bigger cookies turned out perfectly!  Brown around the edges, slightly soft and moist in the center.  SO GOOD! 

Three cookies roughly one-ounce equals one three and a half ounce cookie.

Needless to say, I taste-tested one of the large cookies that the winner of the giveaway will be receiving!  I had to make sure it tasted amazing and that it wouldn’t kill someone.  They were delicious and I’m not dead, so these cookies are off to a special delivery! 

P.S. Thought I’d share some proof.  That’s me (on the left, of course) with my boy-haircut and pierced ears.  Yes, my sister’s shirt is amazing.  I designed my own XXL shirt from foraged leaves and finger paint.

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