Saturday, May 10, 2008

Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies

I'm a sucker for cookies. I pretty much stood no chance against this recipe posted on Smitten Kitchen today. Part of the problem is that one of my all-time favorite cookies -- and it could even be considered my very favorite cookie recipe -- is for a salted oatmeal cookie that I found in the Washington Post in June 2007. Those salted oatmeal cookies bake up big and soft and hearty with a very well-balanced flavor (well, unless you go heavy handed with the salt because then they aren't so good). There isn't a single fancy thing about them really -- no chocolate, no fruit, no nuts -- just a basic cookie with a little twist -- and yet they are so very good.

These cookies have white chocolate, which is something I don't tend to like much, but Deb from Smitten Kitchen mentioned that she doesn't like white chocolate much either, but that it's a good addition to these cookies. They bake up thin and crispy/chewy instead of big and soft like the other version, and the flavor is much sweeter from the white chocolate, but that is balanced out by the saltiness. They are very good, and I will take almost any excuse to make yet another version of oatmeal cookies, but they aren't quite as good (in my opinion which probably doesn't count for much) as the original salted oatmeal cookie.

Two notes about ingredients -- be careful what kind of white chocolate you buy. Most items calling themselves white chocolate in the stores aren't actually chocolate at all. Always read the labels to make sure chocolate is involved in the process, and avoid white chocolate chips. The best bets are to buy the higher end variations -- I usually keep ghiradelli on my shelves. For the salt, I used Maldon salt (I can't remember where I bought it though) which is a fancy flaky salt. Fleur de sel is a good substitute, but be careful if you go with table salt or sea salt -- you can get away with it, but the amounts will vary a bit.

from Smitten Kitchen and Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

6 ounces good-quality white chocolate bar, chopped

1/2 teapoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon or fleur de sel) (for sprinkling on top)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a medium bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and white chocolate and mix until well incorporated.

3. Divide dough into 24 equal portions, each about 2 tablespoons. Roll between palms into balls, then place on lined baking sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using fingertips, gently press down each ball to about ¾-inch thickness.

4. Sprinkle a flake or two of sea salt on each cookie

5. Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.


burkie said...

mmm, you know i love those sea salt oatmeal cookies, and i like white chocolate, so i approve!

burkie said...

so good. these seemed more buttery to me than your regular salted oatmeal cookie, and that's never a bad thing. i love this salty oatmeal cookie thang :)