Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chocolate Chip - Oatmeal Cookies

When Ryan and I got married almost three years ago, we stayed at the DoubleTree Hotel the night before and the night of our wedding.  (Gaaaaa!  It's been almost three years!)  At the DoubleTree, when you arrive, they give you these really yummy chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies.  They're big and chewy and delicious and big.  Did I mention they're big?  I'd take a dozen home if I could but my waistline miiiiight not appreciate that too much.  I've been trying and trying to find a cookie that is almost as good as they ones I got at the hotel.  I know it won't be EXACTLY like it.  I'm pretty certain that it has a pound of butter in each cookie, it's so moist.  I have finally found a cookie that comes pretty darn close and I wanted to share it with all of you.  You should feel so special! :-)  Every time I ate one of these cookies, it took me back to my special day with my husband, who traveled 1200 miles to be with me all those years ago.  Yeah, I'm pretty darn lucky :-)

Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies
courtesy of Nestle All Time Favorite Cookie and Baking Recipes

1 3/4 c. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/4 c. Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 c. (2 sticks) Butter, salted, softened
1/2 c. Sugar
2 Eggs, large
2 Tbsp. Milk (I used skim but use whatever you have on hand)
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 c. Quick Cooking Oats (feel free to use old fashioned if you've got it)
2 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (12 oz. bag)

Preheat the oven to 375.
In one bowl, combine the flour and baking soda and set aside.
Using a mixer, beat both of the sugars and butter together until creamy.
Next, add in the eggs, milk, and vanilla to the sugar-butter mixture and mix well.
Gradually add in the flour mixture until everything is well combined.
Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.  (This is going to make a thick batter so it might be tough to incorporate everything but keep trying because it will come together.)
Drop by the tablespoonfuls (or using that wonderous cookie scoop I tell everyone to get) onto your baking sheet.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12 to 13 minutes for crispy cookies.  (Chewy is the way to go for me.)
Let cool for one minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Key Lime Bread

I think I may have mentioned here a couple of times that my husband likes key lime stuff.  Like a lot.  And I could've possibly mentioned that I love King Arthur Flour things... maybe.  My best friend knows that I love KAF stuff so she's given me a subscription to the KAF Baking Sheet (a bi-monthly newsletter full of yummy recipes) for the last few years as a Christmas gift.  (Aren't best friends... the best??)  So when my Spring 2013 Baking Sheet arrived and I saw the recipe for Key Lime Bread, I jumped at the chance to make it.  This was very different from some of the other quick breads that I've made because it packed such a lime punch but it wasn't overpowering.  Most quick breads are very sweet but this is not.  It's a very refreshing change and a perfect bread to eat on a spring day, sipping some sweet tea :)

Typically, I like to always use recipes that don't call for special ingredients because I want these recipes available to everyone, hoping (hopefully) at-hand items.  This recipe, however, does require one special ingredient that is well worth the effort of purchasing - Key Lime Powder.  It is a great way to add lime flavor without having to worry about adding additional liquids.  You can use it in scones (KAF has a great recipe for Mojito scones), cookies, glazes for cakes/quick breads.  It's worth the price - and if you sign up for the KAF emails, you can receive special offers, some of which are for free/really cheap shipping!  (With all the KAF spotlighting I do, I really should be on ten percent... hehe)

Key Lime Bread
courtesy of The Baking Sheet, Spring 2013

6 Tbsp. Butter, salted (if using unsalted, add 1 tsp. salt), melted
2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
3/4 c. Sugar
1/4 c. Lime Juice Powder
2 Eggs, large
Zest of 1 Lime
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 c. All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 c. Milk (I used skim, but whatever you have on hand will be fine)
2 Tbsp. Lime Juice
1/2 c. Walnuts, chopped fine

Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan using a cooking spray with flour (like Pillsbury).
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream the butter, oil, sugar, and lime juice powder together.
Mix in the eggs.
Add in your zest and vanilla extract.
Make sure everything is all mixed together happily.
In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt (if using).
To your butter-sugar mixture, alternate adding the flour mixture and milk (beginning and ending with the flour).
Stir in the lime juice and walnuts.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a tester can be inserted and come out clean.
Let cool slightly and remove from pan to finish cooling on a rack.
Glaze if desired (recipe follows).

2 Tbsp. Lime Juice
1 Tbsp. Lime Juice Powder
1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
Zest of 1 Lime

Combine together and brush over the warm bread.

Eat and enjoy!!