Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cookies for College Students

Our elder daughter is a freshman in college this year, about 90 miles away. She comes home every few weeks and we make cookies for her to bring back. Her favorite is Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk (recipe below) but we are branching out. This week she is getting Connecticut Nutmeg Hermits from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies. This book is out of print, but you can still get it online from several places, including Amazon. If you are interested, you might like to go to the blog My Little Kitchen. Cathy, the blogger, has a feature called Mondays with Maida--every Sunday she made cookies from the book, then took them to work on Monday and let her coworkers rate them. She went through the entire book in order. I am not going to post any Maida Heatter recipes (nor does Cathy) due to copyright and respect for the author but I heartily recommend both the book and the blog.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 24 big cookies

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon vinegar, white or cider
6 ounces soy-free semisweet chocolate*, cut into chunks
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted

1. Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and vinegar, beating to combine. Add dry ingredients and beat until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Cover dough and chill 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let soften slightly before continuing.)

2. Arrange 2 racks in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Form dough into balls, using 1/4 cup dough for each. Place on prepared sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. (I could only fit 6 cookies on each cookie sheet.) Flatten with hand to 3 1/2-inch rounds.

3. Bake 8 minutes, then rotate sheets. Bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges and firm in the center, about 4 minutes longer. Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

* I used Trader Joe's. I also think this recipe needs more chocolate; next time I will use 9 oz.

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