Baking Breakfast

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Chuck's Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies


THIS IS MY FIRST original recipe. I began making it in my early twenties. Since then, there is almost always a tin of these freshly made, delicious cookies in my house. Whenever my dear friend, Chuck, visited from San Francisco, he would “raid the cookie jar.” By the time we all got up for breakfast, what had been a full tin eight hours before was now empty. Then, I would bake more for his breakfast from the batter I kept in the refrigerator. Although it might not fit the parameters of  this book, I have included this recipe for two reasons. The first is that Chuck would not hesitate to categorize these cookies as breakfast food, and the second is that this has been such a crowd pleaser for so long that I would be remiss in not sharing it. 

Yield: 20 cookies. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 10-12 minutes. Batter keeps in refrigerator.

For the Cookies
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ pound (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup combined packed dark brown and white sugar (half of each)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup creamy, unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
¾ cup old fashioned (not quick) rolled oats
⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips (more or less to taste)
½ cup chopped nuts (pecans and walnuts)

Variations & Tips
Substitute other favorite nuts.
• These cookies will not stick to the pan, so there is no need to grease the cookie sheet. However, if you like to keep the sheet clean, line the bottom with parchment paper.
• If you do not want to bake the entire batch at once, keep the batter in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. To cook, remove the batter from the cooler about an hour prior to baking. (The colder the batter, the longer it takes to cook; cooking less time results in a softer, more desirable finished product.)
Cookies are light brown when they are done. Because the peanut butter keeps the cookie from browning prematurely, err on the side of under rather than overdone.  If they are too dark, they will be hard, rather than soft.
These cookies keep well for a few days in an airtight container.

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).  Prepare pan.

  2. Combine the flour, baking soda and sea salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

  3. Put the butter and sugars in a standing mixer bowl and cream on high for 15 seconds. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the vanilla and egg, and beat for a few seconds on medium until incorporated.

  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, followed by a high speed for 1-½  minutes.

  5. Scrape down the batter with a rubber spatula. 

  6. Add the rolled oats and peanut butter to the batter and continue to mix at a high speed for 30 seconds more. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and stir to combine.

  7. Scoop large, rounded tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheet, spacing them 1-inch apart. Bake until light brown, but not wet in the middle (which you can see on the top center of the cookie). Cool on the sheet atop a cooling rack for ten minutes. (The cookies will break if handled when hot.) Using a cooking spatula, remove the cookies and let them cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy warm or cooled.