Every so often a recipe comes along that changes your trajectory. It defines your friendships and solidifies your role as the “baker” in the group. When this Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe became part of my repertoire, many years ago, it became part of my identi….whoa whoa super dramatic. But, it’s not wrong, they have become a little sweet part of my identity. (haha!) I have baked these for birthday parties, holidays, weddings, work parties, classroom potlucks in college; you name a type of social gathering and I have probably brought this cookie to it. And, after ten years, I do not even need to consult with the salt and vanilla covered piece of paper the recipe is printed on.
If you chat with my friends, family, or colleagues about me, most likely this cookie will somehow come up. Psst do you want to know something wild? I cannot take any credit for the recipe! I found it in the winter of 2009 via Taste of Home’s website (original recipe linked here).
As I did with the cinnamon rolls recipe, and as I will do in the future with other recipes, below I have shared some of the tips and tricks I have come to use while making this recipe to get the cookies just right.
My tips and tricks for perfect Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Use room temperature butter (seriously). If you try to soften refrigerator-cold sticks of butter it in the microwave and it melts too much, you will end up with flat bumpy cookies.
- I like to use a “heaping” teaspoon of vanilla extract. Aka, let a little spill over the side.
- If it is particularly hot in my kitchen (i.e. like it was last week when I made these) and the dough seems a little too smooshy, I pop it in the fridge for about 15 minutes before scooping. Be sure not to forget that the dough is in the fridge, however, because the coolness can easily dry it out too much.
- When scooping the prepared dough, I use a tablespoon size cookie scoop for relatively uniform shape. This size scoop typically yields about 45 cookies.
- I have found success baking the cookies at 350 degrees fahrenheit for anywhere between 9 and 12 minutes (it has fluctuated over the years depending on which oven I use — the oven in our current apartment runs hot). I encourage you to experiment with the time: starting with 9 minutes, of course, and then increasing by 1 minute from there.
- As soon as the edges show a slight peek of golden brown, take them out of the oven to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack (or, if you’re like Joey, sneak a couple warm cookies from the sheet without your loved ones looking).
- I strongly recommend using parchment paper instead of scooping directly on to non-stick cookie sheets. I have found the bake to be more even and the parchment paper makes any cookie sheet non-stick without the addition of oils or butter. I will never bake cookies without parchment paper, ever again, in my life.
- I choose not to add nuts to this recipe, however, I am sure the cookie would be outrageously delicious with the addition.
- Other ways to spruce these up: slap some butter cream or ice cream between two cookies for a cookie sandwich experience