Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Last week I chaperoned a field trip to the Oregon Food Bank.  I spent roughly three hours with an ambitious group of fifth grade boys trying to separate bulk raw oats into family-sized quantities. The kids were grouped into teams of three to weigh and box oats into 2 pounds bags, and almost immediately they naturally started to compete to see who could produce the most bags, the quickest, and with the least waste.  It was hilarious watching these kids turn an ordinary service project into a head-to-head competition.  And I'll admit, I had fun.  The time was enjoyable and moved quickly since we laughed our way through the process.

What I found even more hilarious was the boys' conversation as they were separating all the oats.  It very quickly turned to discussions of oatmeal cookies, oatmeal muffins, and all things oatmeal.  The smell of the raw oats did circulate around the room as we worked, and for foodies, aromas often trigger food memories and food thoughts, but what was fun for me was to see and hear average 10-year olds doing the same thing.

After the field trip, I went straight home and began searching for oatmeal cookie recipes.  I wanted to reward the kids for not their effort, but for their joyful and exuberant attitude while serving others.  I was proud of these kids and what better way to say, 'job well done' than to provide them with the a small taste of what they had been talking about for hours...an oatmeal cookie.

For this recipe, you can substitute walnuts for the pecans if you choose.  I personally enjoy the toasted flavor of pecans over walnuts, but that is simply a personal preference.  In addition, I may be the only person in the world that does not care for semi-sweet chocolate chips.  I substituted in milk chocolate morsels where the original recipe called for semi-sweet chocolate chips.  However, if you are a semi-sweet chocolate fan, milk chocolate may be too sweet of an option for you, and in that case, I would recommend semi-sweet chips instead.

Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
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INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups uncooked oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cups chopped pecans, toasted (walnuts are a good substitute if you prefer)

DIRECTIONS:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position racks to upper third and lower third of oven.  Beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment.  Beat until creamy, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and beat until blended.


2.  In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add the mixture slowly to the butter-sugar mixture, beating on low speed until just incorporated.  Remove bowl from stand mixer and stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.


3.  Form into 1-inch balls and place on lined cookie sheets.  Bake in preheated oven for 11-13 minutes, or until cookies have reached your preferred doneness.  Ten minutes will produce a slightly underdone chewy cookie whereas 14 minutes plus will produce a crispy cookie.  Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes approximately 4 1/2 dozen cookies.


Recipe adapted from joythebaker.com.

Other cookie recipes you may enjoy:
Orange Creamiscle Cookies by Sweet Pea's Kitchen
Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies by Use Real Butter
Strawberry Shortcake Cookies by Sweet Pea's Kitchen
Hot Chocolate Cookies by Kitchen Trial and Error
Pistachio and Lemon Cookies by Jolly Vindaloo
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies by Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Lofthouse Cookies by Runs with Spatulas

This recipe is linked to Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Tasty Tuesday.

25 comments:

Lilianna Grace said...

I love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but I seem to be in a class by myself...in my family anyway. They're not fans. Crazy right?

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