(*Edit* Upon further inspection--ie. eating the cookies a few hours after they were baked--I have amended several of my comments!)
So I think it's high time we have a very important discussion. You know, the one that can truly divide bakers into 2 teams, into 2 rivaling categories. There are those who support one side, and those who do not. Some who have superior taste buds, and others who are not in their right mind.
I am talking, of course, about the great Chocolate-Peanut Butter debate. Some, my mother and myself included, see this combination as the building blocks of decadence and indulgence, a flavor combination for the ages. Others, such as my father, could not think of a worse pairing of flavors. These people are crazy, obviously.
I began thinking about this last night when I was watching So You Think You Can Dance (guilty!) with my mom and an advertisement for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups came on. I seriously love these advertisements so much; maybe it's because I'm a die-hard choco-peanut-ophile, but I truly think these ads are just fabulous in every way. As my mom and I are watching the 30-second spot, we are salivating, our eyes transfixed by the TV screen. "What I would do for a Reese's right now..." my mom laments. We are devoted, you see.
My father, as I mentioned earlier, does not understand this. He hates those candies, and any cookie with said delicious combination of ingredients. Seeing as he is out of town this week, what better time than to make a cookie falling under this beautiful category. Enter Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. My mom and I had high, high hopes.
Alas, while the recipe was simple enough, and used ingredients that we really thought could do no wrong, it simply didn't live up to our expectations, at first. But before I elaborate, let me just say that there is hardly any flour in the recipe at all, thus producing a quite crunchy cookie, but also a rather flat one at that. Also, as I baked 2 batches simultaneously, they didn't bake evenly, and several cookies were a little burnt. But, the third batch I made used dough that had been refrigerated a bit, and this made all the difference. These cookies didn't flatten out so much, and looked more like the photos in the book.
In the end, though, I must admit that the dough tasted a little better than the actual cookie. For such a lethal (good-lethal) pairing of ingredients, I was underwhelmed at how they tasted straight out of the oven. After eating a few, I hastily sat down at my computer and wrote this entry, intending on giving the recipe a rather mediocre review. However, when I tried the cookies several hours after I finished them, they tasted a lot better. I think these improve with age; at first they were rather uninspiring, but now that they have sat out for a while, they are crunchier, crispier, and more flavorful. Plus, the addition of whole peanuts to the dough gives them a great crunch when paired with the softer chocolate chips and oatmeal.
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 6 dozen (I halved the recipe, obviously)
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups salted whole peanuts
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Put sugars, butter, and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low. Add oat mixture, and mix until just combined. Mix in peanuts and chocolate chips.
- Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop balls of dough 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.
Baking Difficultly: 1/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
Tastiness: 4/5 (At first I gave these a 3, but now I think they taste pretty swell, in fact)
Is it worth it?: Actually, I would say yes! Just give 'em a while to harden up and get crispier.
By the by, I made Lemon Meringue Cupcakes a few days ago as well. Check out my other blog, Notions & Curios, for pictures and the link to the recipe!