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A Baking Bonanza and an Oatmeal Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Cookie Recipe

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This time of year, cookie recipes and tips are everywhere you look – your local newspaper’s food section, the morning news shows, Buzzfeed, HuffPost, Bon Appetit, and of course, on your favorite food blogs. But Hermine, my favorite cookie baker of all time, would say this: Just get in the kitchen and bake – it’s the best way to learn and improve your skills and techniques.

Oatmeal Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk CookieOatmeal Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk CookieAnd that’s exactly what 8 of us were doing last week as we prepared for the 3rd Annual Hermine Memorial Cookie Exchange. We arrived with a platterful of one or two of her holiday cookie creations and then left with a platterful of all of them.

Oatmeal Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Cookie

Oatmeal Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk CookieMy task was the rugelach (which we use my recipe for since Hermine crowned it worthy) and I was also assigned her Oatmeal Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Cookie — see below for recipe.

After sipping on champagne and cosmos, taste-testing the cookies and a few cheeses, we settled in for a bowl of chili and some salad to round out the comfort food-filled evening.

We toasted Hermine, while her daughter reminded us that the tradition started with just one cookie jar full of chocolate chip cookies and grew quickly from there to this multi-cookie production that Hermine managed all on her own year after year. Now it takes a village but it’s a labor of love that I am certain Hermine would be proud we undertake.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So try your hand at a batch of cookies this season and share them with your friends and family. It’s amazing how restorative a 15 minute break with a couple of cookies and some hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate can be, especially during this busy, chilly, festive time of year.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip CookiesWhat is your favorite sweet during the holiday season – to bake or just to eat??

 

Hermine's Oatmeal Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Cookie Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
One of Hermine's classics - a simple cookie dominated by chocolate and oatmeal - a combination that really never gets old or overdone.
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
  • 16oz (about 2 cups) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (I used high quality chocolate chips)
Instructions
  1. ln large bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat with a spoon until fluffy - I did it by hand but a stand mixer would be great here.
  2. Beat in the egg, baking soda and 2 tsp water.
  3. Stir in the flour, oats, walnuts, and chocolate. Transfer to a bowl just large enough to hold the dough, cover and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours or overnight. (I think you can skip this step if you want or just refrigerate for an hour or so. BUT, it is a great make-ahead dough if that helps with time management.)
  4. Preheat oven to 350° regular or 325 convect. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Using 1-2 Tbsp of dough for each cookie, shape the dough into balls and space them out on the cookie sheet with 1.5 - 2 inches of space between each dough ball.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies spring back when very lightly touched. Do not overbake or the cookies will dry out.
  6. Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes then transfer to racks to cool. Repeat the baking procedure with cool baking sheets.

 

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4 Responses to A Baking Bonanza and an Oatmeal Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Cookie Recipe

  1. Hannah December 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    This is a stunning plate of festive cookies, Beth! What a wonderful way to honor Hermine. It sounds like a warm, wonderful gathering. I just love this time of year! And chocolate oatmeal cookies are such a favorite of mine. I hope you’re enjoying lots of family time. Sam is home now for winter break and it’s so good to have us all back together for awhile. Hugs to you!

    • Beth Lee December 18, 2013 at 9:28 am #

      Always puts a smile on my face to see a comment from you! G is finishing up finals tomorrow and my daughter is in the throws of them now so our family time has been mostly watching her do school work. We can’t wait for Friday!

      It was a lovely gathering and just the perfect way to remember Hermine. Still enjoying the cookies. I hope to try my hand at some snowballs for my husband – that’s the one cookie his mom made and he loved them. His mom was good friends with Hermine. So that would be a fitting one to tackle all the way around.

      Hope you are staying warm and cozy in your cabin.

  2. Deb December 18, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    What a lovely holiday tradition! Hermine has left a legacy of smiles and delight, what more could a baker ask for? A festival of cookies is certainly the way to celebrate any holiday!

    • Beth Lee December 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      Yes Deb – you are so right. I hope this season brings you many platters full of cookies and everything else you are hoping for.

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