Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie (in spirit, on Friday) — Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

I read many of the Tuesdays with Dorie blogs about these cookies (scroll down and look on the left for the TWD blogroll), and since we're having company over tonight to play cards, and since I'd been planning to bake something kind of treat for my husband to take to work, I thought these Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters sounded likely. The first attraction was volume: the TWDers were reporting that this recipe made something like seven dozen cookies, and I needed a lot.

Secondly, I really hate baking cookies. REALLY. They take so many ingredients, and they dirty so many dishes and they're a pain to roll into little balls: I just flat-out won't make any cookie that requires rolling out and using a cutter on. Hate!

But I do like the idea of cookies with peanut butter and oatmeal in them, because they do have a saving grace: protein and fiber. If I want to get a nasty cookie with no nutritional value whatsoever, I'll just go to the store and buy a package of Oreos with their fake chocolate and their shortening-and-powdered sugar creamy filling and throw those yummy little things straight down my throat. But if I'm going to go to the trouble of messing about in the kitchen for FAR longer than I want to, then I want it to be for something.

So I made these cookies yesterday afternoon, putting them together while the girls were exercising at the YMCA, sticking the dough in the fridge to chill, and then baking (most of) them when my husband and I got home from our dinner at Bob Evans. They went together very easily, I found to my surprise, nothing like wretched Toll House cookies, which are the very bane of my existence. I used two mixing bowls, large and small, a spatula, my hand-mixer, the measuring spoons and two measuring cups, two cookie sheets and two corresponding sheets of parchment paper and that was it. I am one of those people who believes very strongly that the kitchen should be cleaned up as one works along, so it was lovely to be able to stash those few items right in the dishwasher as I finished with them. Yay! A clean kitchen!

I did take the liberty of making a substitution, which seemed a very pert thing to do, considering my lack of expertise with baking sheet and oven: I traded the bittersweet chocolate chips for milk chocolate because I wanted a really richly sweet result.

Because of the milk chocolate chips, I rolled the dough into tiny balls to produce the kind of cookie that a woman or a girl would make two or three dainty bites of, but a man or a boy would eat in a single chomp. We all sampled one as they cooled and pronounced them awesomely good.

Kayte was so right about Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. Although I haven't blogged about all of them, I have made about six different recipes from this book so far. And even though I really hate baking, I've found them to be easy and pretty much foolproof.

And if I can't manage to screw them up, that really says a lot for the cookbook. I am seriously thinking about making this cookbook one of the things I give as a wedding or shower gift.


sara said...

Hey Shelley! Good efforts on your cookies! I'm not much of a baker either, but I'm enjoying my way through the recipes we've made so far. Have you heard from kayte? I'm concerned about her, she's been so quiet and I've emailed hello's but she semms terribly busy... Just wanted to make sure all was well and see if I could help, or not help and be quiet, or whatever! ^_-

Kayte said...

The guys absolutely loved these cookies...mine didn't look like Dorie's but I used all the same ingredients in the right I am thinking I should have chilled my dough like you did. Next time, I will chill it. They were a hit nonetheless as the guys like ANY kind of cookie with ANY kind of chocolate and the flat and crispy part didn't seem to put a dent in their feelings about them being great.

Happy you like the book...I really like it. I think it would be an excellent gift...the recipes are all very easy and she gives suggestions for subs and playing around.