Friday, November 9, 2012

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

I once knew a boy who would prepare breakfast for me. As I roused from my lazy slumber, he carried a tray of food up the dark, winding staircase, bringing an odd mishmash to the bedside table: cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and a bowl of rolled oats swimming in a pool of cold milk. We sat cross-legged on the bed, still in pjs, and lapped up the food as bright rays of gold light slipped through the blinds.

I haven't met anyone else who eats oats cold and I didn't mind (why complain when someone makes you food?). Besides, I don’t care for warm oatmeal, there’s a funky starchy scent that lingers and the mushy, congealed bits of gnarly grains turns me off. My nose scrunches up every morning my mom makes it.

The only places I approve of oats in my food is: granola, granola bars, and oatmeal cookies. I had a hankering for cookies a few weeks ago. I ached for crispy edges, chewy middles and dark, sensuous chunks of chocolate. I wanted something like these chocolate chunk cookies or these whole wheat cookies; thick mounds of baked dough that deliver sure promise of satisfaction. After mixing the batter, I bid it good night and kept it in the fridge, letting the flavours to develop before baking them the following day. When the first batch was done, I sneaked a bite, the chocolate still hot and melting from the oven, making it very hard to share.

I packaged these beauties in tin foil, gifted them to a friend who later told me they did some serious damage to her purse, perfuming it with sweet butter commingled with chocolate and how she couldn't stop taking deep whiffs of her purse. 

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Epicurious

If you're impatient and need cookies pronto, you can begin rolling them into cookie rounds right away, skipping the step of putting them in the fridge. I used rolled-oats since I didn't have steel-cut oats, use whatever you have on hand.

¾ cup all-purpose
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons steel-cut or rolled oats 
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add flour mixture and beat until moist clumps form. Mix in oats with spatula until evenly distributed (dough will be very firm). Add chocolate chips and knead gently to blend. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and keep in fridge overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F, set wire rack on bottom third of oven. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using moistened palms, shape 1 generous tablespoon dough into golf ball-sized rounds. Place on prepared sheet; flatten to 2-inch round. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing rounds about 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies until center is slightly firm and top is cracked, about 14 minutes. Cool on sheet. 

Recipe here!

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