COOKIES, that is, folks.Get you mind out of the gutter, people.
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the MS cranberry oatmeal cookie baked to recipe specifications: large, soft and slightly chewy
I receive those newsletters from MSLO with the "Cookie of the Day" recipes. The other day when I saw a recipe for Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies, I immediately thought of the crispy chewy oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies I make all the time and I love so much. I rushed my butter out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. I noticed the recipe called for the dough to also "rest" for at least 2 hours or preferably, overnight. Drat. The earliest I could eat the cookie would be around 10pm, I thought. Better let it rest overnight...because then the flavours meld so much better.
Soft or hard? Well, for me, it depends on the type of cookie. We're not even counting specialty cookies such as macarons and madeleines (which are really little cakes). These specialty cookies of course, I love as they are. I'm talking about good ol' after-school cookies. Cookies you have with milk and cookies you reach for when you're feeling blue. In general, I like crispy/chewy over soft and cakey cookies. The one huge exception is chocolate chip/chunk cookies. I like my chocolate chip cookies to be large and slightly underbaked and with huge chunks of chocolate--no nuts! I don't want anything distracting me from my enjoyment of the chocolate chunks!
With this recipe, I made a double batch as usual and upon taking the first sheet of cookies from the oven, I realized that these oatmeal cookies were not crispy and chewy at all. These cookies were large and soft...but beautiful in their own way. The cookies had a hint of cinnamon and unbeknownst to my little one, I made a healthy adaptation by adding a huge scoop (1/3 cup) of finely ground flaxseed into the cookie dough. hee hee. None the wiser. My daughter loved them and her preference is for soft cakey cookies anyway. You could not even detect any flaxseed flavour.Feeling kind of bummed that I didn't get the satisfying crunch I was yearning for, I thought about the cookies for a minute and realized that all I had to do was use the same technique I usually use to make my oatmeal cookies crispy. I gathered up half the dough and made logs. Then I wrapped the logs in parchment and rolled them tightly to ensure the dough was round and compacted. I twisted the ends of the parchment and stuck the log in the freezer. After the log was frozen, I took my serrated bread knife and cut thin disks from the log. I lowered the temperature of the oven to 325 degrees F and baked them longer...for 20-25 minutes. The cookies were a deep golden brown (but not burnt)!
slicing the cold cookie dough logs creates crunchy oatmeal cranberry cookies with a cool mosaic effect (whew! that was an alliterative mouthful!)
Upon looking at the cookies, I smiled smugly to myself and realized that this technique yielded the type of oatmeal cookie I liked: crispy, and slightly chewy. They weren't rock hard, but light and crunchy. The toasted oats took on a more nutty aroma and the cranberries were bursts of chewy tartness.
baking cookies at a lower temperature for a longer time allows the sugars to caramelize. big yum-factor!
So now, I only need one recipe for oatmeal cookies and I can get 2 totally different tasting cookies. What a deal! You needn't compromise! Everyone gets what they want! Now how great is that?