Some people spend their whole lives searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie: tasting and testing and tasting again. It’s a noble quest — but friends, I am done. Yes, I have found my one true cookie.

In fact, if you’ve run into me in the last few months — at the dentist’s office, the UPS store, or the bodega on the corner, it’s highly likely that however improbable, at some point our conversation has turned to this cookie. Because I am just that obsessed. I have the zeal of an evangelist.

The recipe I’ve now made over and over again — so simple, so good! — is actually an adaptation of an adaptation, with a lineage that seems to have begun at Cook’s Illustrated and then mutated around the food blogosphere. I first spotted it at Smitten Kitchen, though Deb’s incarnation called for white chocolate, which wasn’t really my thing. Eventually, I ended up reducing the amount of oatmeal just slightly, so the cookies flattened to a lacy crisp; added a whole vanilla bean and a splash of maple syrup; and subbed oversized dark chocolate chunks for small chips. I’m also probably a wee bit heavy handed with the final sprinkling of salt…but honestly, I think the contrast of salt with sweet is one of the little differences that really make these boys stand out from the rabble. But don’t take my word for it: I’m just a woman in love. Make them yourself, and see if you can resist their charms.

1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter (Yes, I know that’s a lot. Whatever.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 whole vanilla bean
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
8 oz chocolate chunks (I usually use the Baker’s brand)
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

1. Heat oven to 350º. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir a couple times with a fork to incorporate. In another large bowl, combine butter and sugar and, using a hand mixer on medium, beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the egg, scraped seeds from the vanilla bean, and maple syrup. Stir to combine, about 1 minute. Then, working little by little, add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix gently until incorporated and then stir in the oats and the chocolate chunks.

2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Spoon out the cookie dough in heaping (approx 2 tablespoon) spoonfuls, and using your hands, roll into a ball. Place 6 to a cookie sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. Then, using your fingertips, flatten each ball and sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until crispy and deeply golden at the edges. Transfer to a rack to cool, and repeat with remaining dough.


4 Responses to “3-28-10”

  1. just made them. love them. thank you!

  2. Yum. By my third batch I had it pretty well worked out from the original SK recipe — 1/4 cup less sugar, 2 tablespoons less butter, more salt. They’re so good! The maple sugar sounds lovely, though, and may inspire me to revisit them again.

  3. Really amazing…love the salty sweet combo!

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