This week’s blog post is going to be something totally different than normal and I’m pretty excited about it. It won’t end with an original recipe (sorry!) but instead you’ll end up with the recipe for the BEST oatmeal chocolate chip cookies… sound like a fair deal? 🙂
This all started with my husband’s birthday. Since his birthday always fell on a holiday weekend in the US, we usually did something really big to celebrate – one year I organized paint-balling with a bunch of friends…. another year I created a scavenger hunt all around town which ended in a surprise party… and yet another year we spent an entire evening at Game Works in Seattle… then last year we did a joint birthday celebration by taking a cruise to Finland with a few of our friends. Maybe it’s because we’re over the 30 hump (yikes!) or maybe it’s because we’ve been so busy, but when I asked my husband what he wanted to do for his birthday this year, he said he just wanted a night at home with a steak dinner…. and oatmeal cookies.
Now, anyone that loves to bake knows there are SO many types of oatmeal cookies… some are chewy or soft, some are crunchy or cakey… some have raisins, some have nuts, and others have chocolate. So I pressed my husband for a bit more information about exactly what type of oatmeal cookies he wanted and I got, “Ones that are both hard and soft… with chocolate chips.” Well, hmm…. challenge accepted :).
So I searched high and low on Pinterest for the best oatmeal cookies, and came up with dozens of results. But how do I pick the best one? So, we decided to turn it into something fun… an oatmeal cookie competition! I had my husband look through the pictures and help pick the top recipes that seemed to match what he was looking for. We ended up with three pretty different recipes and LOTS of yummy cookies to taste. So here they are… all three recipes, with a few notes we wrote about each one…. and at the end I’ll share our favorite :).
Recipe A: From Cookies & Cups
My husband and I were excited to try these cookies because the pictures looked exactly like what my husband wanted, cookies with crisp edges (hard) and chewy center (soft)… and they definitely delivered. We were also intrigued because of this recipe’s unique, secret ingredient: coconut! We don’t think the coconut added too much flavor, but we think it may have been what made these cookies so perfectly chewy. Some changes we made were using dark chocolate chips instead of white chocolate chips, and subbing dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar… but both ended up being good decisions.
Recipe B: From How Sweet Eats
This is one of my favorite food blogs, so I was really happy when my husband chose this recipe. I was a bit surprised because he had seemed so confident that he wanted chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, but he was drawn in by the power of the brown butter icing. And the icing turned out to be a BIG hit! The cookies themselves tasted delicious (especially with the icing… have I mentioned how much we love this icing?!) as they were filled with fall spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom… but the texture was a bit different than we were expecting. They were described as being “thin and chewy” but we ended up with more “thick and soft” cookies. Not a bad thing… just different. This totally could have been our mistake though… the recipe says to grind half the oats into chunks with some flour pieces, and I have a feeling I made mine a bit more on the floury side. I also had trouble with the “loosely packed” brown sugar, and may have added more brown sugar than the recipe intended. But again, the brown butter icing on these cookies was to die for.
Recipe C: From Rock Recipes
These little cookies were unique in that they suggested adding in nuts, something my husband was really excited about! There is something so satisfying about the added crunch in a soft cookie center. We did change this recipe to use chocolate chips instead of raisins (my husband despises raisins) but the dark chocolate went perfectly with the added walnuts. We found that we liked these cookies best when warm… they were soft and gooey and oh so delicious straight from the oven. They didn’t spread as much as the other two recipes, so they were a bit thicker, but it was a great texture to go along with the chunky walnuts.
So, which of these three recipes won the birthday challenge?
Our unanimous favorite was Recipe A! The texture on these cookies was too perfect, especially after they cooled… we loved the crunch of the rim and the chewiness of the center, and the taste was delicious too. One thing that made this experiment fun was thinking about why the textures of these cookies turned out so different, and we realized the “independent variable” was the butter! In Recipe A, the butter was supposed to be softened… in Recipe B, the butter was melted and cooled… and in Recipe C, the dough was refrigerated to make the butter more solid. A little science experiment was wrapped up in this cookie competition :).
As for second place, it really was a tie. My husband placed Recipe B in second place… he LOVED the icing and thought the cake-like cookies were perfect for dunking in milk. I, on the other hand, was set on Recipe C being in second place. I just loved the additional walnuts, plus the texture of the cookies when they were warm was addicting. So, we agreed to disagree and put them both in second place! In conclusion, we feel that the absolute best cookie would actually be one with the dough of Recipe A, the icing of Recipe B, and the walnuts from Recipe C.
Luckily, we did not have to eat all these cookies on our own (although we probably could have!) as my husband had his fika turn at work this week. He came back with an empty container, so I think that means all three recipes were a hit in the office :).
Hope you enjoyed this cookie challenge and let me know if you have any favorite oatmeal cookie recipes you want to share!
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRIS!!!