May 4, 2010

The Greatest Cookie. Ever.

I love chocolate chip cookies.  I could make an entire meal of nothing but chocolate chip cookies.  Three square meals?  Pshaw.  Give me three round meals of gooey chocolate, soft buttery cookie and a hint of nuttiness.  Heavenly!  Throw in an unexpected twist and it’s sheer bliss.

I found nirvana in this cookie.  After several (tasty) attempts with different ratios of sugars, I finally found the perfect sweetness and texture.  A modification of the cookie variously known as a Cowboy Cookie or a Kitchen Sink Cookie (among others), this recipe combines the chewiness of an oatmeal cookie with the soft bite of hazelnuts coupled with a smooth chocolate finish to every bite.  I literally craved this cookie before breakfast, after breakfast and every minute of the day until the cookie jar was very quickly empty.

The recipe easily lends itself to substitutions.  I purchased a large bag of unshelled hazelnuts recently, and I couldn’t wait to crack them open.  Of course, I didn’t realize how far hazelnut shells can fly under the pressure of a nutcracker!  I’m still finding tiny bits of shells underfoot in the far corners of the kitchen.  But if you’re not a fan of hazelnuts, try this recipe with macadamia nuts, walnuts or your favorite.  Similar to the mint brownies made earlier in The Delectable Kitchen, sea salt is the secret ingredient that knocks this off the charts of deliciousness.  I guarantee you’ll find bliss with your first bite.

The Greatest Cookie. Ever.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened, if you can find it)
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.

Slowly add the flour mixture in small batches, mixing after each addition just until combined.  Be careful not to overmix.  Then, stir in the oatmeal, chocolate chips, hazelnuts and coconut.

Drop by rounded tablespoons (or use a small ice cream scoop) onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until brown.  Eat to your heart’s delight.

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