LONG LIVE THE CHIPS

February 10, 2009

The last of the snowmen eyes have gone to good homes in the form of about 90 delicious cookies. This extravagant number was achieved not by a bucket of cookie dough but by making dough balls so small that I felt absolutely ridiculous cramming them onto my baking sheets. Luckily I placed my trust in Heidi (which has never been a bad idea except for when I took her encouragement to make this exquisite cake as multiple mini-cakes (the downside being abject failure, the upside being that since I couldn't get the cakes out of the pan I got to eat them all myself with a spoon)) and sure enough these cookies turned out to be the perfect size. They are airy and crispy like these guys, but I resisted the strong urge to put pepper in the batter or salt on top, instead following the recipe exactly. I did use hazelnuts instead of walnuts, but that was just because it was the best I could do in a belated celebration of Nutella Day. At least I didn't use applesauce this time, just straight butter.

I don't know about making these into ice cream sandwiches but they are delicious dipped in milk or coffee and would probably actually be even better crumbled over ice cream...I'll be right back.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Oatmeal Crackle Cookies
thanks to Heidi

To reiterate: really make these cookies small, even if you feel dubious. Maybe it's just because I was never allowed to have cookie crunch cereal when I was a kid, but the revelation that small cookies = more cookies = handful of cookies in my mouth was one that hit hard. Re chocolate: Heidi says to use a bar of chocolate of your choosing but I just used mini-chocolate chips because I couldn't bear to see them sitting on the shelf any longer. They worked out just fine but I wouldn't recommend using regular-sized chocolate chips because they will be way too big for the cookies. Re hazelnuts: I didn't toast them or skin them before chopping and the cookies suffered no ill-effects.
makes 80 or so cookies depending on how small you make them
5 oz mini-bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbl molasses
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup large-grain sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oats.

Beat the butter until fluffy, then beat in the sugar followed by the molasses, egg and vanilla.

Add the flour mix and stir by hand until mixed thoroughly, then add nuts and chocolate chips and mix just until uniformly incorporated.

Evenly distrubute doughballs of about 1/2 - 1 tsp in size over parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten the balls and, if desired, sprinkle some large-grain sugar over each one.

Bake cookies for about 8 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Mine might have taken a little longer but just keep an eye on them, there's no mistaking when they turn the right shade of brown and crispy. They also continue to crisp up while they cool so don't worry if they're a little bit soft when you take them out of the oven.

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