Saturday, April 28, 2012

Oatmeal White chocolate-walnut cookies

Remember those walnuts on the side of the carrot cake? And in those shortbread cookies? Well I still had some left. And since Whole Foods charged way, way too much (sorry Whole foods- but seriously I'm on a teacher's budget here!) I had to make sure I used them up. And what better way then to throw them into a cookie.

I am actually quite proud of this little cookie. I think because I took the basic recipe from Cook's Illustrated and I adapted it to what I had. The original recipe called for bittersweet chocolate (I had white chocolate on hand), pecans (enter, walnuts!), and dried cherries (maybe, next time cherries) and came out with this cookie.

Someday- probably in a much much distant future- I will write my very own cookbook with my very own recipes. Until then, this is as adventurous as I get recipe-wise.  How sad am I that I actually got nervous that this combination would not work. But I had never seen an oatmeal white chocolate-walnut combination! Or at least never googled it. And I google a lot of recipes. Either way, I had a hankering for oatmeal cookies, with the rest of the ingredients on hand, and at 8:00 p.m. at night there would be no running to the store. White chocolate and walnuts would have to suffice. And suffice they did. Boy, oh boy, these came out good. Move over expensive macadamia nuts! We got a new nut in town that pairs very nicely (perhaps a little too nicely- I had one for breakfast and lunch) with white chocolate. 

On that to the gym.

Oatmeal Cookies with white chocolate and walnuts
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Makes about 16 large cookies

1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 (3 3/4 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.  Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.  In second medium bowl, stir oats, walnuts, chocolate together.
3.  Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until no sugar lumps remain, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed.  Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Gradually add oat-nut mixture, mix until just incorporated (I did this with a spatula and some elbow grease.) Give it one final stir to make sure no flour pockets remain.
4.  Working with 1/4 cup of dough at a time, roll into balls and place 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Press dough to 1-inch thickness using bottom of a greased measuring cup. (I used the palm of my hand and it worked just fine. And saved me dirtying up another utensil!)  Bake until cookies are medium brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will seem underdone, and will appear raw, wet, and shiny in cracks) about 20 to 22 minutes switching and rotating baking sheets half-way through baking.
5. Let cookies cool on baking sheets (always recommended but who am I kidding- I snuck a bite) for 5 minutes; transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

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