Prepare to meet your new best friend. He’ll be there for you on sad days, accompany you to the park when you wish, and even join you for a coffee date at a moment’s notice.
If you’re not an oatmeal cookie fan, don’t let that dissuade you. The quick-cooking oats in this recipe just thicken things up a bit; the cookies aren’t really oatmeally, I promise.
If you’ve checked out my DIY Granola or From-Scratch Oatmeal posts, you know I’m a fan of learning the gist of how food works rather than having to always rely on recipe. Changing my cooking practice to learning from recipe-ing has resulted in much better food around here and has made cooking SO much more fun.
Which means that when I post a recipe on this blog, I aim to make it undeniably worth your time.
These cookies? Worth. your. time. Hashtag I’m-the-real-cookie-monster. Hashtag nom-nom-nom-nom-nom. (You’ve seen this, right?)
When I first made these cookies for our Christmas Creatures photograph, I had to leave out the citrus zest called for in the recipe (shout out to Smitten Kitchen) because I didn’t have any oranges on hand. After making them once, however, I decided to cut out the Autumn-spices-and-orange bit altogether and make a few other adjustments, too.
First I’ll serve up my version of the recipe and then I’ll share some notes about playing around with the recipe to suit your taste.
I’m also including the weight measurements. More on why you should be using those another day :).
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
**I’ve been detailed about the steps in order to help you get the BEST cookies possible. If you’d prefer to not bother with all that, you can probably just do the old dump-stir-dump-stir-repeat bit and bake ’em up. But still at least practice #4, will you?
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar (150g)
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed (220g)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour (185g)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup quick-cooking oats (92g)
1.5 cups chopped pecans (175g)
9 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (260g)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a large cookie sheet with parchment 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 three minutes. (Here’s a tip: This mixture most likely does not have enough salt in it yet to produce your best cookie ever. Salt brings out the butteryness and other yum and if there isn’t enough salt these will not be as glorious as they should be. So this is what I do and what I recommend: taste the mixture at this point. It should taste nice and buttery and be just a smidge on the salty side. When everything else is added in it should be just right.
- Stir in eggs, one at a time.
- Sift together the flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. (I usually put the baking soda on top of the flour and stir with a fork.)
- Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half.
- Stir in the oats, pecans, and chocolate chips. (If you like your cookies FULL of add-ins, increase the chips to 12 ounces and the chopped pecans to 2 cups. And don’t forget to see the notes below.)
- Refrigerate the dough for 2 -36 hours. (You can omit this step, but it makes better cookies. Again, see notes below.)
- Put tablespoon-size rounds of dough on the cookie sheet and bake until golden, which will probably be 10-12 minutes. (You can also freeze the rounds of dough at this point for quick fresh-baked cookies another day.)
- Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack. Store at room temperature in a cookie jar or other airtight container.
Cookie Notes & Tips
The following adjustments will make a difference in the final cookie product. Change up your practices from time to time and see how you like it!
- Amount of add-ins – Once you have your cookie base, you can stuff it full of add-ins or scale back a little for more cookie-ness. In this recipe, I scaled back from the original because I was missing the “cookie-ness” of the cookie. But if you like more, add more!
- Refrigerating the dough – There are two reasons to refrigerate the dough. (1) Letting the butter get cold again will keep the cookies from spreading too quickly when put in the oven, resulting in a thicker cookie. (2) Given a little time, the dry ingredients will absorb more and more of the wet/damp ingredients. This mellowing, especially with 24-36 hours of it, provides a dramatically different taste and texture of cookie, and is one of the secrets of many bakeries. (For other SUPER info and tips, check out the NY Times classic article here.)
- Size of the cookie – My blood-sugar issues (and my hip-fat issues) have me making cookies on the small side, but larger ones are arguably better. Again, check out the NY Times article.
- Oven temperature – Just because you set the oven to 350 doesn’t mean your cookies are actually baking at 350. If you don’t have an oven thermometer and suspect the temperature is off a little bit, adjust it and observe the results.
- Your baking sheet – I’m entirely partial to the perforated tray and silpat option, but baking sheets come in many types, each making a difference in the final product. Again, play around and see what you like!
Enough cookie talking. Time for cookie EATING! Hashtag nomnomnomnom.