Published May 1, 2005.
What could be better than an oatmeal cookie crammed with dozens of ingredients? How about an oatmeal cookie with just the right ingredients.
Oatmeal cookies can be great vehicles for additional flavors - but it’s easy to get carried away and overload the dough with a crazy jumble of ingredients resulting in a poorly-textured cookie monster.
Our ultimate oatmeal cookie would have just the right amount of added ingredients and an ideal texture -- crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle.
We wanted to add four flavor components - sweet, tangy, nutty, and chocolaty - to the underlying oat flavor. Bittersweet chocolate, dried sour cherries (or cranberries), and toasted pecans gave the right balance of flavors. We also analyzed the cookie dough ingredients and discovered that cookies made with brown sugar were moister and chewier than cookies made with granulated sugar. Further, a combination of baking powder and baking soda, (we doubled the usual amount), produced cookies that were light and crisp on the outside, but chewy, dense, and soft in the center. Finally, we focused on appearance to decide when to remove the cookies from the oven -- they should be set but still look wet between the fissures; if they look matte rather than shiny, they’ve been overbaked.list of recipes