This cookie recipe, which comes courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated, is riddled with oats and interwoven with a gorgeous buttery crunch. These ‘big as your face’ cookies are the epitome of sweet treats meets salty snacks. Eaters (like myself) can rejoice as we do not have to do our closet eating with our sweet-salty snacks in secret any longer (chocolate dipped potato chips and salty French fries dunked into vanilla ice cream… don’t knock till you’ve tried them! Sounds a bit ‘interesting’ I know, but after one bite, you’ll think otherwise!).
To understand these cookies’ Awesome Tasting-Power would be like asking me to describe the perfect date; they are sweet, with a bit of (salty) spontaneity thrown in to keep things popping. Although they are not ruggedly handsome, it is their modest appearance and humble demeanour that charms many people. However, this does not mean that they lack confidence in themselves– quite the contrary. Rather, it is their regular Joe and approachable nature that makes them so desirable to all types of folks. They aim to please, and succeed they do.
What also makes these successful is the high amount of butter to sugar ratio, as well as the use of large rolled oats (Quaker brand is best) which help make these cookies spread out as thin as lace. Generous dough balls are portioned out and flattened slightly on a cookie sheet to promote their spread in the oven. Just before their visit to the hot box, they are sprinkled ever so lightly with fleur de sel. This fancy, pricey, but well worth- the- splurge salt, is the secret weapon to making these oat packed cookies ‘Show and Tell’ worthy.
Simple ingredients that everyone has kicking around in their pantries are all that is needed to whip up a batch. To add to the bandwagon of praises, they’re also a snap to put together. Often, I will make a double batch and freeze the unbaked portions so that when friends come knocking at my door for sweets (note: this is OFTEN), I shall be ready with my army of cookie dough soldiers.
In 13-16 minutes, you will have picture perfect, made-to-order cookies just like that fancy smanchy restaurant does downtown.
Conservative eaters will be converted to the land of Salty-Sweet when you put these on their plate.
I don’t know how else to convince you that you need to make these now other than how much these sing with levels of flavour. We know that using salt IN the dough itself balances out the sugars used, but salt sprinkled ON TOP livens up this humble cookie with a lip smacking, salty kick. I don’t know about you, but I’m quite the salt, sugar, and fat fiend– so this couldn’t come closer to making this my go- to treat. These marvellous cookies hit all the right notes and legitimizes my argument that salt can be a star in desserts.
So now, go forth and make these sandy, circular wonders with their toasty crisp edges and lush butter taste.
My suggestions and/or modification are in italics. The recipe came from Smitten Kitchen.
Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt (would use 1/2 tsp next time because I found these cookies quite sweet)
14 tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used almond extract instead… I liked the nutty accent it provided)
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (upped mine to 3 cups because after one test batch, I found it could do with some more oat-love)
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt (like Maldon or fleur de sel) (for sprinkling on top)
Note: sometimes I like to sneak in a triangular nugget of white chocolate Toblerone. The dough balls will still spread perfectly but they will end up with mini chocolate mole hills in the centre; crack them open to reveal an oozy, melty centre. The soft sweet chocolate contrasts with the crisp, salty cookie perfectly. (You don’t have to use Toblerone but make sure it is a good quality white chocolate. I prefer white as I think the dark stuff would be a tad too taste- invasive to the cookie; you want something that will compliment not compete).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a medium bowl.
Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated.
Divide dough into 24 equal portions, about 2 tablespoons each. Roll between palms into balls, then place on lined baking sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using fingertips, gently press down each ball to about 3/4-inch thickness. (if using the Toblerone, take a piece and cover with 3 tbsp dough around the chocolate, covering it completely, then roll into a ball as best as you can. Use more dough if needed. You don’t need to press these ones down.. you can’t if you tried anyway. They will still spread just as well as the ones without).
Sprinkle a flake or two of sea salt on each cookie.
Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.
Note: If you freeze any leftover dough to bake later (they’ll keep well for about 2-3 months), make sure it is at room temperature before you bake them. Otherwise they will not spread out nearly as much as they should.