For Christmas this year, I bought Nancy Baggett’s book Simply Sensational Cookies for The Wife. It was widely regarded as one of 2012’s best cookbooks, but my motive was simple: she needed to bake more, particularly more cookies. She enjoys baking and had not done it much since The Kid arrived. On the other side, I
like love obsess over miss when she made me would put out for enjoy cookies. For store bought, Trader Joe’s does a nice job, and Provisions is probably the best bakery cookie in Syracuse but, nothing beats homemade.
The Wife took to the kitchen on Saturday and brought along a helper. The Kid has been very curious about what Daddy is cooking and I typically let her stir something when it’s on the stove. While my parents and grandparents would have seen no problem in giving e a knife to trim green beans at age 3, I think it will be a few years before The Kid takes on a functional role in the kitchen. But, cookie making is just The Kid’s speed.
I think it was good for The Wife and The Kid to work on something together. Much of the day had been an act of parenting a two and a half year old: a lot of “no” and “get down from there,” followed by some potty training failures. The Kid seemed to take the responsibility of pouring and stirring ingredients seriously, and did championship job of pressing the fork on top of each cookie to form a criss-cross pattern. Of course, it should surprise no one that she didn’t like these cookies.
Frankly, she’s dead wrong. The end product was spectacular with the complementary peanut butter, chocolate and oatmeal flavors and textures. Of course, we’re also talking about a child that would eat yogurt, pancakes and crackers for three meals a day if we let her. Sigh.
Enjoy the photos, but definitely enjoy the cookies.
Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chipsters
From Simply Senational Cookies by Nancy Baggett
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1 1/3 cups smooth or chunky peanut butter
- 1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups quick oats (not instant)
- 2 cups all-purpose white flour (if you want to use whole wheat flour, Baggett suggests substituting one of the cups of white for whole wheat)
- 10 to 11 oz. bag of semisweet or milk chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Vigorously stir in the peanut butter, brown sugar, baking soda and salt until evenly incorporate and free of lumps. Let cook until warm to the touch, if necessary. Vigorously stir in the eggs, then the oats. Let stand for 5 minutes so the oats can hydrate. Thoroughly stir in the flour and chocolate chips. If the dough is soft at this point, refrigerate it for 10 to 15 minutes, or until firm.
Using a 2-inch diameter cookie scoop (we only had an 1 1/2-inch, so The Wife overloaded the scoop), drop the double into mounds about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using a lightly greased fork, press down on the cookies to form a crisscross patter in the tops.
Bake one sheet at a time for 11 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly tinged with brown all over and barely firm when pressed in the center top. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks. Let stand to firm up for about 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, transfer the cookies to the wire racks. Cool completely. Cool the baking sheets between batches to prevent the cookies from spreading too much.