Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kitchen Sink Cookies

These are good.  I bake a lot of cookies; have been baking since little girlhood, when my mother was forced to lay down the law about not leaving my room prior to 6 am (because who wants their 6 year old loose in the pantry and working with the oven before sunrise?). Cookies, some breads, basic cakes and pastries like scones -- I forego the cookbook and just feel my way through.  Sometimes I come up with something sort of spectacular: This is one of those times.

A word of advice that ought to be a given from here on out, with any recipe posted here: Use good chocolate. Spring for the good stuff, people. It is always worth it. I like Scharfenberger's 70% bittersweet baking chunks.  And, bonus! They're sold in some regular supermarkets' baking aisles.

3 c. flour (spooned, then leveled, so as not to use too much)
1/2 c. rolled oats
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 c. vegetable shortening
2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg white
2+ tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. coarsely chopped dark chocolate
1/2 c. chopped (and toasted, if desired) nuts
1/2 c. dried fruit

Preheat oven to 325 (350 if using a lighter pan). Line two heavy sheet pans with parchment. Beat butter, shortening and sugars together until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, then egg white, one at a time, beating very well after each addition. Mix in vanilla, then flour, salt and baking powder. Lastly, fold in oats, chocolate, fruit and nuts.
Scoop with a generous ice cream scooper onto parchment. I mean big -- like 1/8 c. or so, rounded, leaving 1-2 inches between each cookie. (I fit 6 on each half-sheet pan.) Bake 10 minutes, rotate & switch pan position, bake 4-6 minutes more, until lightly golden brown. Cool on the pans for 2 or 3 minutes, then transfer to a rack. Store in airtight container. Makes 36+ cookies.

They taste even better the next day, if you manage to save any.

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