Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I began perfecting these cookies way, way back in the day. This was during a rather unfortunate stage in my life: my teeth were too big for my face, I had a boy haircut, and I was very geeky and awkward. I still cringe when I see photos from my elementary school days; the home videos are even worse.

At least one good thing came from my childhood geekiness.  Even then, before I was aware of my interest in food science, I was experimenting with these cookies, trying different ingredients, ratios, and baking times/temperatures. What I came up with in the end is an incredibly simple recipe and my all-time favourite cookie.  I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like these bad boys.

There are two secrets to making these excellent

1) Using melted (rather than softened) butter (and using butter, not margarine or shortening)

2) Using mint or orange flavoured chocolate

Ingredients

1 cup butter (225 g)
2/3 cup white sugar (130 g)
2/3 cup brown sugar (140 g)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour (210 g)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups instant oats (200g)
1 1/2 cups mint chocolate chips (275 g) or  one Terry’s chocolate orange, cut into small pieces

Note: When I made these while living in the UK and France, I couldn’t find any mint chocolate chips. To improvise, I chopped up bars of mint chocolate and I even tried those after eight (or ovation) mint sticks. Delicious!

Directions

Melt the butter and beat together with the sugars and the vanilla.

Beat in the eggs.

Beat in the flour, baking soda, and salt.

With a wooden spoon, stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

Take spoonfuls of cookie dough and roll into balls. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 min at 350 F (175 C.) Be careful to not overbake the cookies (unless you want crispy cookies.) They are done when they are golden and crisp on the edges and still mushy and gooey on the inside. They will take a few minutes of cooling time to harden up a bit.

Why melt the butter?

These cookies would be just fine if you used the typical creaming method with solid butter; however, melting the butter results in a slightly chewier cookie. If you use softened butter, air is incorporated into the butter during creaming. These tiny air pockets contribute to a fluffier, more cake-like texture. On the other hand, if you melt the butter, it turns into a liquid and can no longer easily hold air pockets. Thus, you are left with a more dense cookie dough (and yayyy… chewy cookies!)

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