Oatmeal cookies provide an ideal backdrop for almost any addition. But in pursuit of the ultimate oatmeal cookie, it’s easy to lapse into a kitchen-sink mentality, overloading the dough with a crazy jumble of ingredients. We wanted the perfect combination of oats, nuts, chocolate, and fruit in a superlatively chewy package. To achieve this, we used all brown sugar, leveling up to dark brown for deep molasses flavor and the chewiest texture. Making big cookies (a whopping ¼ cup of dough per cookie) and baking them just until set yet slightly underdone further ensured chewy cookies. And a combination of baking powder and baking soda produced a cookie that was light and crisp on the outside but chewy, dense, and soft in the center. For our carefully curated mix-ins we found that a combination of bittersweet chocolate chunks, toasted pecans, and tart dried sour cherries struck a perfect balance of flavors and textures. You can substitute walnuts or skinned hazelnuts for the pecans and dried cranberries for the cherries. Quick oats can be used in place of the old-fashioned oats, but they will yield a cookie with slightly less chew.
- Yield: 16 cookies
- 1¼ cups (6¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups (3¾ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1 cup (4 ounces) dried sour cherries, chopped coarse
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks about size of chocolate chips
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups packed (10½ ounces) dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in bowl. Stir oats, pecans, cherries, and chocolate together in second bowl.
- Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until no sugar lumps remain, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to medium-low, add egg and vanilla, and beat until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add oat mixture until just incorporated. Give dough final stir by hand to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Working with ¼ cup dough at a time, roll into balls and space them 2½ inches apart on prepared sheets. Using bottom of greased dry measuring cup, press each ball to 1-inch thickness.
- Bake cookies until medium brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), 20 to 22 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving.