Published January 1, 1997.
Why did it take six months to develop the right recipe for a chewy, thick, buttery oatmeal cookie? Well, it all started and ended with the back of the Quaker Oats box. . . .
When we considered doing a story on oatmeal cookies, the first place we went was the back of the Quaker Oats box, and the cookies the Quaker recipe produced were very good. Nonetheless, we wanted something more--more chewy, more moist, and more substantial.
We were after a big, moist, chewy oatmeal cookie with lots of real oat flavor.
After literally months of testing, our final recipe was in fact still very close to the Quaker Oats recipe that had gotten us started, but we had discovered four simple changes that made a significant difference in the end result. First, we substituted baking powder for baking soda. The baking powder gave the dough more lift, which in turn made the cookies less dense and a bit chewier. Second, we eliminated the cinnamon recommended not only in the Quaker Oats recipe but in lots of other recipes. By taking away the cinnamon, we revealed more oat flavor. Third, we made our cookies really big, doubling the amount of dough most recipes recommend dropping onto the cookie sheet. We had learned that small cookies tend to be dry; by increasing size, we got more moisture and more chewiness. Fourth, we increased the sugar in our cookies, and this made a huge difference in terms of texture and moistness.list of recipes