My first foray in the world of “oatmeal cookies” wasn’t the dry, underseasoned oatmeal raisin cookies that everyone detests. They were my mom’s beloved oatmeal raisin chocolate chip triangles. Thin, crisp, and delicious. The raisins added a different kind of sweetness than the semisweet chocolate chips, the oatmeal provided both softness and crunch…they were DELICIOUS. I knew that I would need to have my own oatmeal cookie recipe one day, and as I was pregnant I searched high and low. I found a good base recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron and tweaked it to fit what I wanted – salty, sweet, nutty, crunchy, and just plain delicious. My friends have dubbed these the greatest cookies on earth, and based on how quickly we can go through a batch, I have to agree.
1. Preheat your oven to 350F, turn on that convection setting, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. No butter, no sprays, nothing. If you don’t have a convection oven, bake it at 375F instead.
2. Take 1 cup unsalted, room temperature, European-style butter. It’s a tip I learned from Cristina Tosi, famed owner of Milk Bar. If you can, bake cookies with European-style butter. The flavor is so completely worth it. Anyway – take that super delicious butter and cream it together with 1 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light work equally well, but dark will give you a bit richer flavor) and ½ cup granulated sugar (Chelsea’s recipe says white sugar, but I think demerara would also be delicious as all get out). Once it’s a unified blend of sweet, buttery deliciousness, you may proceed.
3. Add two eggs (room temperature – seriously, it helps with the mixing process), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon – yes, TABLESPOON – vanilla. Yes, it’s a lot of vanilla. Yes, it’s needed. Beat the heck out of all that until it’s unified and smells delicious.
4. Now for the dry ingredients. Add in 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking soda, barely a teaspoon of fine sea salt, and 3 cups old fashioned oats. The sea salt won’t leave a minerally aftertaste like table salt does, and it’s frankly just easier to mix in if it’s a fine one. The mixture’s gonna seem like it’s way too wet, but roll with it. You’re about to add flour.
5. Mix in 1 and ½ c flour until JUST combined. Like, the moment you think “I think this miiiiight be mixed,” STOP.
6. Time for the yummies. Fold in about 1 cup semisweet chocolate (chips, chunks, whatever floats your boat), about 1 cup chopped hazelnuts, and about 1 cup chopped walnuts. You want everything to be about the same size to make it easy to mix everything together, which will also keep you from overmixing.
7. Scoop onto your parchment-lined baking sheets. I recommend using two silverware tablespoons (as opposed to measuring tablespoons) to make consistent blobs. Depending on the size of your cookies, it’ll take about 8-12 minutes to cook. You’ll want the middle to still be a little soft when you take them out, but want the outer edge looking crisp.
8. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle with a flaky salt of choice. Fleur de sel, kosher salt, whatever. Hit those bad boys up. Salt Bae sprinkling method works extra well for this. Then CAREFULLY slide the parchment off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack. After about five or ten minutes, you can transfer the cookies off the parchment and onto the cooling rack. Or just eat them. That works, too.
9. For a more fall or winter-ish variation, I’ve added ¼ t ground clove, ½ tablespoon almond extract, ½ tablespoon orange extract, swapped the semisweet chocolate chips with broken bits of chocolate covered marzipan or white chocolate, and replaced the walnuts or hazelnuts with dried cranberries. Those got devoured faster than a picture could be taken, but trust me – they were gooood.