Guess who’s back? This kid. And I’m back with one of my favorite recipes of all time. After an unethical amount of studying for my licensing exam yesterday (seriously…9 years of school is apparently not enough torture for psychologists), I needed a break today. A real break. Cue a long run and cookies – the best oatmeal cookies ever, to be specific.
Any time I want to make oatmeal cookies of any kind, I start with Deb Perelman’s base recipe and switch up the add-ins. I’ve been using this recipe for years, and anyone who has ever had these oatmeal cookies has either immediately hugged me or asked for the recipe. There is just something so classic and comforting about a good old-fashioned oatmeal cookie. No raisins allowed.
These cookies have more rolled oats than flour (triple what is in that picture) and a gorgeous touch of cinnamon. I make the half teaspoon a heaping one, and it makes me ecstatic (you can add less if you’re not as oddly entranced by cinnamon as I am). There is nothing better than cinnamon. This is the kind of recipe where you probably have everything you need right in your fridge and pantry–simple ingredients like butter, an egg, brown sugar, rolled oats, flour, and vanilla.
The cookie dough takes a quick 10 minutes to pull together, and after a brief hangout session in the fridge, the flavors meld together and bake up into glorious cookies that are delicately crispy right around the edges and thick and soft and chewy on the inside. They taste incredible a few minutes after they come out of the oven–so good, in fact, that I had four for lunch. Whatever, I’m a grown-up and can do what I want. Besides, look at the glorious melty chocolate and oatmeal goo that is these cookies, with that caramelized chocolate on the bottom. You are welcome.
- All-Purpose Flour: Provides the structure for the cookies. For a gluten-free alternative, you can use a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats: These oats give the cookies their chewy texture. Avoid using quick-cooking or steel-cut oats, as they will affect the texture and cooking time.
- Cinnamon: Adds warmth and spice. Adjust according to your preference, but a heaping half teaspoon elevates the flavor.
- Baking Soda: Helps the cookies rise slightly, giving them their perfect texture.
- Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and moisture. Ensure it’s at room temperature for easier creaming with the sugar.
- Brown Sugar: Contributes to the cookies’ chewiness and adds a caramel-like flavor. Light or dark brown sugar works, but dark will give a deeper molasses flavor.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds depth and fragrance. Pure vanilla extract is recommended for the best flavor.
- Chocolate Chunks: Offer gooey, melty pockets of chocolate. Feel free to substitute with your favorite chocolate chips or even a chopped-up chocolate bar for varied texture.
- Nutty Delight: Add a half cup of chopped walnuts or pecans for an added crunch and nutty flavor.
- Fruit Infusion: Replace chocolate chunks with dried cranberries or raisins for a fruity twist.
- Double Chocolate: Mix in a quarter cup of cocoa powder with the flour for double chocolate oatmeal cookies. You may want to add an extra tablespoon or two of butter to compensate for the added dry ingredients.
- Spice It Up: For a fall variation, add a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves along with the cinnamon.
To make the Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies perfectly, consider these key tips:
- Measure Carefully: Use a scale for precise measurements, especially for flour and oats, to avoid dense cookies.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure your butter and egg are at room temperature to achieve a smooth, evenly mixed dough.
- Chill the Dough: Don’t skip chilling the dough; it helps in flavor development and controls the spread of the cookies, ensuring a chewy texture.
- Underbake Slightly: Remove the cookies from the oven when the edges are set but the centers still look slightly underdone. They will continue to cook on the baking sheet, resulting in a soft, chewy center.
- Cool Completely: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet to settle into the perfect texture before transferring them to a wire rack.
- Can I make these cookies vegan?
- Yes, use vegan butter and a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water, let sit for 15 minutes) in place of the butter and egg.
- How do I store these cookies, and how long will they last?
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or freeze them for up to 3 months.
- Why do I need to chill the dough?
- Chilling the dough allows the flavors to meld together and prevents the cookies from spreading too much while baking.
- Can I use quick oats in a pinch?
- While old-fashioned oats are recommended for their texture, quick oats can be used in a pinch. Be aware that the texture of the cookies may be slightly different.
- My cookies didn’t spread much, what happened?
- Cookies that don’t spread as expected might be due to the dough being over-chilled or using too much flour. Ensure you measure your flour using the spoon and level method to avoid this issue.
These Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies are more than just a treat; they’re a warm hug in cookie form. With their perfect balance of chewy texture, rich chocolate chunks, and a hint of cinnamon, they promise to be a hit in any setting. Remember, the secret to perfection lies in the details: precise measurements, proper ingredient temperature, and patience with chilling and baking. Happy baking, and enjoy the delightful journey to making the best oatmeal cookies you’ll ever taste!
chewy oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats not quick-cooking or steel cut
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- heaping 1/2 cup chocolate chunks or dried fruit, or other chocolate chips, or nuts
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand/electric mixer, cream together the butter, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
- With the mixer on the stir setting, slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
- Put the bowl of cookie dough in the fridge for15 minutes or so. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Once the dough has chilled a bit, scoop about two tablespoons of dough per cookie and space them evenly on your baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just golden brown. The tops will look underdone; let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet to finish baking.