Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies w/ Coconut

I'm supposed to be gearing up for marathon training this winter, so I really need to stop this whole baking experiment I started a little while ago, or at least shift to whole wheat, flax seed, no-butter baking, i.e. cardboard manufacturing. But I felt like these cookies were at least a step in the right direction since they had oatmeal in them (and everyone knows oatmeal is a runner's best friend).

I got the inspiration for these cookies from Potbelly's. On the rare occasion when I buy my lunch (like today) I always go to Potbelly's. The sandwiches are fantastic, even if the lines are ridiculously long. And every time I go I have to summon all my willpower not to buy one of their oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes I lose this battle. Oatmeal is definitely my favorite breakfast food, but I never really liked oatmeal cookies until I tried the ones at Potbelly's. Probably because I never had an oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips in it, always the ones with those nasty little brown raisins (I reaaaaally dislike regular raisins, white raisins and craisins are great though.)

This is my attempt at a close approximation to their cookies, although I'm sure it's not exactly right, and of course I added coconut which is not--as far as I can tell--in theirs. The coconut helps to keep the cookies moist and chewy and adds a little sweetness. Now I have to admit this is the third time I made these. The first time, I didn't have very much oatmeal left so I tried to make these with only 2 cups of oatmeal. The result was paper thin crunchy cookies. Poppop makes something like them that he calls lace cookies, but mine were not nearly as good. The second time was pretty tasty, but a little too-oatmeally and dense. The third time was perfect. (I feel like Goldilocks.) This is what I did the third time.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies w/ Coconut
Yields 25-30 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
2/3 cup shredded, sweetened coconut

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread parchment paper on baking sheets or spray with non stick cooking spray.
-Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
-Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until incorporated, then raise the speed to high and continue until the mixture is fluffy. Add the brown sugar to the mixture, beating with the mixer, then add the eggs one at time. Mix in the vanilla.
-Add the flour mixture slowly, using the mixer to combine the dry and wet ingredients.
-When the flour is fully incorporate, fold in the oatmeal using a spatula. Stir in the chocolate chips and the coconut.
-Spoon about a tablespoon of dough onto the baking sheet for each cookie, leave 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes in the middle of the oven, or until the cookies are just brown on top but still spongy. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack. Store in tupperware so they stay moist.

(If you're cookies start to get hard, put a piece of sliced white bread in the tupperware with them. They will get moist again. I learned that from an innkeeper in Gettysburg.)

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