What do you get when you win a bet against a Hoosier fan? The answer is chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies, if you make the bet with Hungry Bear. My Penn State buddy, Jeff, made a bet with her on the Penn State vs. Indiana football game last month. Since Jeff lives in New York City, they agreed to wager on homemade cookies, which are easily shippable. Despite a valiant effort by the Hoosiers, the Nittany Lions narrowly came out on top and Hungry Bear was relegated to baking cookies! One batch for Jeff and another batch for us to enjoy.
We don't have a tried and true oatmeal cookie recipe, so Hungry Bear used a recipe from The New Best Recipe cookbook, which has our favorite chocolate chip cookies recipe. She followed the recipe with one minor change for the first batch. Instead of using semisweet chips, she used Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate chunks for a more rustic look and a richer chocolate taste. The second batch contained half bittersweet chunks and half butter toffee chunks from chopped Hershey's SKOR candy bars.
Both batches of cookies turned out great and had a super nice texture — crispy around the edge, but still soft and chewy in the middle. I have never had oatmeal cookies made with Scharffen Berger chocolate. I loved the fruity, bittersweet chocolate with the oatmeal. The toffee and chocolate batch was equally as good and had an extra gooeyness from the toffee. I preferred the regular chocolate oatmeal cookies, while Hungry Bear liked the chocolate toffee ones more.
The only issue with the cookies was the oatmeal. Hungry Bear used old-fashioned Quaker Oats. The next time we make these cookies, we want to try a higher quality, steel-cut oatmeal and possibly add more of it. The cookies were delicious tasting as is, but we'd like a more prominent oatmeal texture.
What's the best way to pack and ship cookies? After a little research, Hungry Bear discovered the best method is to Saran wrap the cookies, back to back in pairs and then place them in a tin. We didn't have a cookie tin; instead Hungry Bear used the round Quaker Oats container and a large plastic yogurt container to store the cookies. On Monday, these containers were carefully packed in a box and shipped to NYC via DHL 2-day service.
Sadly, the package didn't arrive on Wednesday and these pictures are the closest Jeff will get to the cookies right now. Either DHL or the shipping store screwed up and sent the package via ground service, which will take five business days. Hungry Bear is quite upset, as she put a lot of love and effort into baking the cookies. She's afraid the cookies will be stale when they finally arrive in NYC. I think they still will taste good.
The moral of the story is don't ship your cookies using DHL and more importantly, don't bet against a Penn State fan without taking the points! WE ARE...
Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
Makes about 18 Large Cookies
If you prefer a less sweet cookie, you can reduce the granulated sugar by 1/4 cup, but you will lose some crispiness. Do not overbake these cookies. The edges should be browned, but the rest of the cookie should be very light in color.
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1) Adjust the oven racks to the low and middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with a nonstick cooking spray.
2) Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
3) Either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at time.
4) Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture with a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
5) Working with a generous 2 tablespoons of dough each time, roll the dough into 2-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
6) Bake until the cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies with a wide spatula to a wire rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes.
Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies or Date Oatmeal Cookies
Follow the recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, substituting 1 1/2 cups of raisons or 1 1/2 cups of chopped dates for the chocolate chips. Additionally, add 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg with the dry ingredients.