Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, Pecan Cookies

I was looking for an easy recipe to make tonight and decided this would fit the bill. I wasn't feeling particularly inspired by anything, but I had printed this recipe the other day from a new food blog I had found -- Smitten Kitchen (fantastic pictures, great looking food, and a nice writing style) -- and figured that they would be easy and they sounded good (it's a cookie... of course it sounded good).

From the title this cookie recipe sounds like a typical oatmeal, chocolate chip cookie, but it actually has a lot of flavor going on. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and orange zest give them spicy, complex notes, while the oatmeal, chocolate and pecans make them a standard, yummy cookie. Smitten Kitchen got the recipe from Epicurious and commented that she and several of the Epicurious reviewers, did not like the amount of orange zest in the recipe and suggested adjusting it to your taste. I went ahead and put the full 2 tsp in, and I thought it was a nice addition, adding a bright flavor which helped lighten up some of the heavier-tasting ingredients. I'm sure that if JB made them he would omit the orange zest altogether since it would violate his chocolate and fruit rule -- but I think he would be missing out. :)

These cookies are a touch crispy on the outside, but chewy and gooey in the middle. They are pretty flat, but unlike some flat cookies, it seems to be an attribute rather than a detriment. The instructions want the orange zest added with the oatmeal and chocolate chips in the last step, but I put it in with the last egg since I figured it would get mixed in more thoroughly with the wet ingredients.


8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cups chopped pecans
2 tsp grated orange zest
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla, and beat until well mixed, about 3 minutes. Stir in the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a separate bowl. Add half the flour mixture to the butter with the mixer on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half. Stir in the oats, pecans, orange zest, and the chocolate chips. Drop the dough by the tablespoon full, onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack. Store at room temp in a cookie jar or other airtight container.

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