Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Smitten Kitchen's crisp salty oatmeal white chocolate cookie redux


Summer school is taking a toll on me. 6 hours of classes daily, followed by at least 3 hours of homework. Why did I think it was a good idea at the time? I have not had much time to cook but my husband did request for these cookies. Usually, I bake something on the weekends for his breakfast for the week for example, cottage cheese muffins or biscotti. Cookies seem a little luxurious, but these have oatmeal in them. In my book, anything with oatmeal passes as breakfast food, no?

Now, Deb from Smitten Kitchen is a baking connoisseur. Have you seen her website? I only visit when I have a napkin in hand to wipe drool. The rule about never going to a grocery store hungry? Well, it applies to her pictures and recipes too. I hope one day to be adventurous enough to try to bake her tiered cakes, but for now, as a novice baker, I am contented with trying the simple cookies. I have baked her crisp salty oatmeal white chocolate cookie several times and always to good review.

But yesterday, when I was about to bake, I discovered I was out of all purpose flour. So I used whole wheat pastry flour as a substitute. Since a healthier ingredient was in, I decided to reduce the sugar because I had always thought that the white chocolate was sufficiently sweet. I took off 2 tablespoons of butter as well since there was less sugar (does that follow? I'm not sure). The cookie, surprisingly, tasted just as good with the whole wheat pastry flour and I am toying with the idea of reducing the sugar even more. But I am not sure if the reduction of butter (and probably combined with the reduction of sugar) was a good idea. Instead of the cookie being hollow thus producing the right amount of crisp, it flattened just like any other cookie. So I put the third batch of cookie dough that was waiting to go into the oven, in the fridge. This prevented the cookie dough from spreading completely flat (see the comparison in the last photo). I think putting it the fridge helped achieve almost the same texture as the original cookie. In future, I might a little bit more baking soda. But all said, what works for me is the sweet and salty in a cookie.


Crisp salty oatmeal white chocolate cookie
(adapted from smitten kitchen)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate bar, chopped
½ teapoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon or fleur de sel) (I didn't have any so I used regular sea salt)

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a bowl. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well-combined. Add and mix flour mixture gradually. Gradually add oats and white chocolate and mix until well incorporated.

Form dough into 2-inch balls. Keep in the fridge for 45 minutes (You can skip this step if you are in a hurry - cookies will spread more when baking). Pre-heat oven to 350F. Place cookie on baking sheetst about 3 inches apart. Use your fingers to lightly press down each ball to about 1-inch thickness.

4. Sprinkle a flake or two of sea salt on each cookie. If you are using sea salt, a few grains is fine.

5. Bake until cookies, rotating baking sheet halfway, for 12 to 16 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 24 cookies.


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