Lizzard Loves homemade cookies.
I mean, who doesn't?!? Is there anything better than a plate of fresh baked, homemade cookies? I would argue there is not. Cookies are my favorite sweet treat, I like them in (almost) every form: chubby, chewy, crunchy, soft, plain & chock full of extras.
Store bought cookies for SURE have their place; they can be abundantly delicious. This brand is my top notch favorite for store bought. A good bakery cookie is hard to beat; if you live in the Chicagoland area; this bakery is worth a pilgrimage as is this one (get the Florentines & smiley face cookies at the first, the bulk cookies by the pound at the second). This post isn’t about store bought cookies though. Store bought cookies don’t take thought, time, or effort. They also don’t make your house smell like heaven.
Homemade cookies matter because they communicate so much goodness in their perfect little smash up of flour, butter & sugar. Homemade cookies tell people you care about them. Homemade cookies tell people they are worth your time. Homemade cookies convey a sense of comfort few other foods do.
“But Liz”, you say, “I don’t have the time to make a batch of cookies every time someone needs a pick me up, congratulations, birthday treat” and I would agree with you. You are busy, you have a job, a family, obligations at church, perhaps you go to school, you volunteer, you blog, you create art, you watch shows, go on dates, plan playdates, make lunches, have adventures. All these things are wonderful & meaningful uses for your time!
My challenge to you is; find a chunk of time, early in the morning, late at night, whenever. It doesn’t matter. Prepare a double or triple batch of cookie dough and FREEZE it! I’ve included links to some of my favorite recipes below. Once you’ve made the dough, stretch a long piece of plastic wrap out on your counter (leave it attached to the box – don’t tear it off yet – its sooooo hard to handle a loose piece of plastic wrap. That stuff sticks to everything) & thwap a big hunk of dough onto it. Fold the plastic wrap over the mound of dough & use it to flatten it and shape it into a rough disk shape. Tear the plastic wrap from the box & wrap the dough tightly. Now wrap it again. Repeat 4 times for a double batch, or 6 times for a triple batch of dough. These disks do not need to be uniform; they do not need to be perfect. They do need to be double wrapped tightly in plastic. Using a permanent marker, write out the baking instructions for the cookies on the outside of a zip top freezer bag (oven temperature & baking time at least) so when you come back to the dough you don’t need to go searching for the cookie recipe to remember what to do with it. To prevent your future cookies from tasting like your freezer, slide the entire bag into another freezer bag.
If you find yourself with extra time on your dough making day (extra time for the first time since you got the job, had the baby, started your business), feel free to shape the dough into balls and freeze on a cookie sheet. After a few hours they are frozen enough to dump into a zip top bag (that you still should label with baking instructions……..do yourself that favor!). It is just a question of, do you have those extra minutes on dough making day or on baking day. 110% up to you.
Now the fun part; it is your friend’s birthday & you want to make her a treat. You don’t have time to drag out all the ingredients & tools necessary to make a batch of cookies. You might just have the time to pull one of your dough disks out of the freezer, let it sit on the counter for 20-40 minutes (until it is soft enough to form into balls) and bake. I use a mini ice cream scoop for the most uniform size/shape cookies. If you line your cookie sheets with parchment paper, you will only need to wash the ice cream scoop – no sink full of dishes, no countertop covered in flour, no muss, no fuss. I’ll give you extra points if you let your dough defrost overnight in the fridge so it feels like less waiting.
So dear friends. Get that mixer out & dust it off. Make an epic batch of cookie dough every now & again to be prepared to bring homemade awesomeness wherever you go. You won’t be sorry. I promise. Oh, also, this method provides you with the steady supply of frozen cookie dough you’ve always wanted. Maybe that’s just me. But just in case it’s not; you’re welcome.
This recipe has, over the course of the past 5ish years, become my absolute, hands down favorite. I have, in that time, tweaked it, adjusted it & in my humble opinion, perfected it! I hope you make and enjoy these as much as I do!
Salted Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Real Simple
Makes approximately 50 cookies (enough to stock your freezer for future use!)
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2 cups bread flour (or all purpose if you don’t have bread)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons flaky sea salt (Maldon works well, sub in Kosher if you don’t have anything flaky)
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
½ cup coconut oil (warmed to a very soft state, liquid is fine but let it cool to room temp so you don’t melt your butter!)
½ cup turbinado sugar* (raw sugar)
½ cup coconut sugar*
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 2 large air bake baking sheets with parchment paper
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Set aside.
3. Beat the butter, coconut oil & all 3 sugars with an electric mixer (or stand mixer with the paddle attachment) on medium high for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
4. Beat in eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.
5. Reduce your mixer speed to low and gradually add your flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Don’t overmix or you risk your cookies being tough, not chewy.
6. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
7. Using a mini ice cream scoop, drop rounded mounds of dough onto the lined baking sheets, spacing them approximately 2 inches apart. I fit 16 cookies per sheet on my baking sheets. This dough does not spread too much.
8. Sprinkle the dough balls with the remaining 2 teaspoons of flaky salt.
9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before sliding the cookies (on the parchment) onto cooling racks.
*If you don’t have these types of sugar in your pantry, you can substitute granulated white sugar. I like the taste/texture the raw sugar/coconut sugar combination gives the cookies. I’ve made them many times with granulated sugar & they are quite delicious as well!