Whenever I go to a bakery/store/restaurant and they have cookies in a glass case, invariably several kinds, I always lean towards the oatmeal ones. I don’t know why. I think it’s because I’m not the hugest chocolate fan (gasps!) and oatmeal usually comes with raisins, and they’re usually really chewy and nice. So when I saw this recipe it piqued my interest. I made oatmeal cookies from the How To Cook Everything cookbook last year, and dammit, they were terrible. It called for 2 (2!!!) teaspoons of baking soda, and the stupid things were so fluffy and weird that I think I threw them out after a few days of Wait Maybe They Just Need Another Day To Congeal……..No. Maybe Just One More Day? Nope. Damn you, Mark Bittman!
But let’s be clear about these cookies…I wanted to try them because they had potato chips in them. Also, I got some dried cherries from Trader Joe’s and I was all jazzed about them. They make raisins look so homely.
I got this recipe from Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (I know, I already posted a La Brea recipe…fret not, I will be branching out shortly). I cut 2 tbsp of the butter because sometimes I do that and convince myself they are much healthier and taste the same. I guess I just looked at 2 sticks of butter in a total of 20ish cookies and decided that was too much butter per cookie. To be honest, I never plan on making these with the correct amount of butter, so I guess I’ll never know if it made a difference or not.
Also, she is NOT KIDDING when she says the batter will be tough to mix when it comes time to add the nuts, fruit, and chips. I had to choke up on the spoon to get anywhere, which resulted in batter all over my arm. I did bother to do her whole “switch the trays from top to bottom and turn them around and touch your nose and rub your stomach and pat your head” routine. I don’t know if it works but it keeps you occupied.
All in all, the cookies are nice and chewy. The potato chips are interesting, but the cherries steal the show. They are oatmeal cookies. They are unspectacular, but I will always choose them in the glass case.
OH, but if you are here for decadence….stay tuned. We’ll talk 3 1/2 sticks of butter in the next recipe. Do you need a visual?
I told you so.
Key Largo Oatmeal Cookies
4 oz salted potato chips
6 oz (1 1/2 cups) walnuts
2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 packed cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups old-fashioned (not instant) oatmeal
5 oz (1 cup) raisins
5 oz (1 cup) dried pitted sour cherries
Adjust 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat to 350˚. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or aluminum foil, shiny side up, and set aside.
Place the potato chips in a plastic or paper bag and squeeze the bag a few times to break the pieces just a bit; they should be coarse, not fine. They should measure 2 packed cups. Set aside.
Break the walnuts into large pieces, set aside
Sift together the flour and baking soda; set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until soft. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat until mixed. Add the eggs and beat to mix. Then add the sifted dry ingredients and beat on low speed only until incorporated. Add the oatmeal and beat to mix. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
Transfer the dough to a larger bowl. With a heavy wooden spatula stir in the raisins, cherries, and nuts. Finally stir in the potato chips. The chips should still be visible. This takes a strong arms and some heavy stirring.
Each cookie should be made of 1/4 cup of dough.
Place a large piece of aluminum foil next to the sink and place the mounds any which way on the foil. Then wet your hands under cold water, shake them off but do not dry them, and with your damp hands roll a mound of dough into a ball, flatten it to about a 3/4 inch thickness, and place it on a lined sheet. Continue to shape the cookies and place them 2 inches apart.
Bake 2 sheets at a time for 18 to 20 minutes, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back twice during baking.
Let them cool briefly, then with a wide spatula transfer them to racks to cool.