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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Experimenting with Oats plus a Reveal Dessert

This guy I work with is obsessed with Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.   He has had some woes in trying to make his own but he has been content with the President's Choice tube pack.   He can cut off two slices, only make two and be happy.  Through our lengthy conversations about baking and cookies I have discovered he has no "real" oven.  He has a stove top and a counter top toaster oven.  It is a fancy one so he can cook a lot of things but I still think this hinders his quest for a perfect cookie.   He also has been baking cookies in a cake pan and making giant bars instead of round cookies. I also had to school him on the importance of bringing ingredients to room temperature and was (in my opinion) over baking them.

His quest to make a good cookie,  put me on a quest.   We got on a discussion about using rolled oats or quick oats. This made me wonder what I preferred and what would make the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.   Before testing the oats I figured I needed to go to a recipe I knew would be fairly fool proof.   I looked at my cookbooks and the big Bouchon Bakery book was standing out over all the others.   This recipe will be my starting point.

I took the recipe, made some minor tweaks and made three batches of oatmeal cookies.
  • one with all rolled oats
  • one with half rolled/half quick
  • one with all quick
Over the course of several days I brought these into work for the guys to taste test.  In general the Bouchon Bakery Oatmeal Cookie recipe is solid.  One of the best I have tried so far.  Every batch came out delicious. The one thing I love about this book is that is has weights along with cups for measurements. I always love to use my scale if I can to be more precise, something that has been rooted in me since pastry school.   By the end of our testing, he was dying for the recipe.  You think after 3 batches of cookies we all would have been sick of oatmeal cookies but NO.  I could have made 3 more batches and eaten them all.  After days of him asking for me to post the recipe or take a picture of it, I finally got him the recipe.  He then proceeded to ask me if I have seen the big baking book with the cookie sandwich and glass of milk on the cover.   I honestly started laughing.  "This is where the recipe is from!"   All this time he had the recipe sitting on his kitchen counter.  Of course it took him several batches for him to still make the cookie as well as I did, but last Tuesday he brought me in some cookies and I was seriously impressed.   

So what was our favorite?   The guys preferred the all rolled oats cookie while I actually preferred the mixed cookie.  The cookie with only quick oats were good but lacked enough texture and well a strong oat flavour. I liked the mixed because it seemed to give a good balance without being to hearty.  I will also say that the kosher salt in this recipe is key,  it makes such a difference in bringing out the flavour and adds a little hint of salty to the sweet.

I turned some of these cookies into a reveal dessert for some friends and family when we were announcing baby number #2 was a girl.   So easy, so cute and who doesn't love cookie sandwiches.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Adapted from Bouchon Bakery)

  • 144 grams (1 cup) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 120 grams light brown sugar
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 5.5 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks

Note : For my experiment I subbed 1 3/4 cups quick oats in the second batch and 3/4 cup rolled oats / 1 cup quick oats in the 3rd batch.

To make Gender Reveal Sandwiches
  • 1-2 cups your favorite buttercream
  • Pink or blue food dye
  • sprinkles

  1. In a small bowl combine, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk together.
  2. In a large bowl or mixer bowl beat butter until smooth and whipped. Add sugars and beat together until light, fluffy and well combined.
  3. Scrape down the bowl, (unless you have a beater blade with I highly recommend), add egg and vanilla mixing until just combined.
  4. Add flour mixture in two parts, mixing both on low until almost combined.
  5. Add oats and chocolate chunks and mix on low to just combine.
  6. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 325F. Using a medium scoop place a round on to a parchment/silpat lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes, until golden brown. This will get a soft chewy cookie, if you like a harder cookie, cook a few minutes more.
  9. Let cool on a pan a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store in an airtight container.
To Make Gender Reveal Sandwiches : 
  1. Separate out about a 1/4 of the buttercream and colour it to pink or blue.  
  2. Place the coloured and plain buttercream into to separate piping bags.  
  3. On the bottom center of one cookie, add the coloured buttercream, then circle it with the plain buttercream. 
  4. Place another cookie on top , then roll in sprinkles.  

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