As we all know, hurricane Irene paid the east coast a little visit this past weekend. She pretty much ruined all the plans everyone had, has made getting anywhere in north Jersey a 2+ hour drive, and has flooded out homes, towns, and places of employment. My heart goes out to all those who now have severe water damage to their homes and are still without electricity. If I could, I would pack a little basket of cookies and sail them to you!
Fully knowing I was going to be rained in this weekend – well, mainly just Sunday – I stocked up on all the essentials: flour, sugar, brown sugar, marshmallows (I’ll be putting those to use shortly!), butter, eggs, milk, and chocolate chips. Phew! My hobby is getting expensive. So Sunday was a lazy day filled with baking, reading, eating, and sleeping. My kinda day!
Before I get into these delicious peanut butter chocolate chip oat cookies – they’re worth the wait, trust me! – I have to express my addiction to Stieg Larsson’s trilogy. If you haven’t yet heard of his books – starting with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – I highly suggest you look into them. Before I began reading his first novel I had no idea what I was in for. By the end, main character Lisbeth Salander had me absolutely hooked. I’m now on the second book nearing the end and literally cannot put it down. Every page brings a new twist or turn to the already captivating plot. Larsson combines mystery, journalism at it’s finest, scandals, murders, the Swedish sex trade, and family saga together to form novels that will literally have you on the edge of your seat.
Hurricane Irene basically gave me an excuse to seclude myself from the world and submerge myself in this book, which, I didn’t hate. But the fact that my place of employment is fully submerged in water makes me wish Irene minded her own darn business this past weekend…
Nonetheless, I was left with free time and decided to whip out my favorite cookbook: Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours. I actually made these cookies last week for my coworkers and since they were such a hit, I decided to make another batch over the weekend. Dorie really knows her desserts and this variation from the traditional chocolate chip cookie is just what I was looking for. I’ve always been a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate so these were right up my ally, but then they also have rolled oats and cinnamon to give them that chewy, spicy, oatmeal raisin cookie feeling. I’m not quite sure whether I ate more of the dough or the actually cookies… I get the feeling that’s become a far too common dilemma of mine. Oh well!
Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipster
Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 1/2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks (I used chocolate chips)
Getting Ready: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. (I only baked one batch at a time on the center rack. In fact I baked one dozen and then froze the dough and did not reuse it for another week. I then let the dough thaw and baked the rest one batch at a time)
Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Mix in the chips.
If you have the time, cover and chill the dough for about 2 hours or for up to one day. (Chilling the dough will give you more evenly shaped cookies.) If the dough is not chilled, drop rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. If the dough is chilled, scoop up rounded tablespoons, roll the balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the sheets. Press the chilled balls gently with the heel of your hand until they are about 1/2 inch thick.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be golden and just firm around the edges. Lift the cookies onto cooling racks with a wide metal spatula – they’ll firm as they cool.