For some reason, chocolate chip cookies have always been the one thing that I just can not get to turn out right. I mean, seriously, they’re one dessert staple that every mom, grandma, and novice home cook in America can whip out in seconds, and I just can not master them! Not fair! Mine would either come out burned on the edges and raw in the middle, or so completely rock hard that it was better to use them as mini frisbees instead of actually trying to eat them. I actually gave up on making cookies for a quite a while, and instead concentrated on mastering other dishes. Luckily for me, I never had as much of a problem with anything else!
Everything changed though, when I discovered this recipe. Someone posted it a year or so ago on a Livejournal food community, aptly named Food Porn, and they looked so great that I just had to try them.
These really are the perfect chocolate chip cookies. The batter is packed with chips, nuts and oatmeal — a lot more than any other cookie recipe I’ve made. And they’ve turned out perfectly every time I’ve made them, even when I used a different oven and different cookie sheets. They get crispy on the outside, but stay deliciously chewy in the middle, even after storing them for a few days. The oatmeal adds a nice texture, and probably has a little bit to do with keeping the middles chewy.
If you have a stand mixer, I would definitely use it for this recipe. The batter gets extremely thick after you add the chips, oatmeal and optional nuts. My handheld mixer couldn’t do it without sounding like it was about to blow up, and the one time I mixed it by hand, I thought my arm was going to fall off. If you do have to mix it by hand, use a big, sturdy wooden spoon, and just keep telling yourself that it’s not every day you get to work out and make cookies at the same time.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 6-7 dozen cookies, depending on size
1 c. vegetable shortening
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. hot water
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
2 packages chocolate chips
2 c. oatmeal
1) Cream the shortening and both sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and water, mixing until smooth.
2) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and oatmeal. Add to shortening and egg mixture.
3) Once combined, stir in the chocolate chips and optional nuts.
4) Spoon tablespoonfuls of batter onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving enough room for cookies to spread slightly. (I could fit 12 onto each cookie sheet.)
5) Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.