Sometimes what’s needed is a cookie that is beautiful in its simplicity. A perfectly buttery sugar cookie, perhaps. A simple chocolate cookie made with deep dark dutch-processed cocoa. Peanut butter, with nothing else stirred in there.
These are so not that sort of cookie. They’re for the times when you need a fabulously junked-up cookie with all kinds of stuff baked in. They may also become my official New Year’s cookie, because they’re very, very good — and even better if you can manage not to overcook them. The recipe comes from Cook’s, which is written by the most anal-retentive food writers in the business. If you want to know what works in a recipe and what doesn’t and why, then this is your magazine. (It’s even better if someone who loves you sends you a gift subscription. Thanks Mom.)
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. table salt
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried sour cherries, chopped coarse
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks about the size of chocolate chips (about ¬æ cup)
12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar, preferably dark
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla extract
Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, baking powder baking soda, and sat in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, stir together oats, pecans, cherries, and chocolate.
In standing mixer, fitted with flat beater, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until no sugar lumps remain, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl; with mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture, mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oat/nut mixture; mix until just incorporated. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
Divide dough evenly into 16 portions, each about ¬º cup, then roll between palms into balls about 2 inches in diameter; stagger 8 balls on each baking sheet, spacing them about 2 ¬Ω inches apart. Using hands, gently press each dough ball to 1 inch thickness. Bake both baking sheets 12 minutes, rotate them front to back and top to bottom, then continue to bake until cookies are medium brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will seem underdone and will appear raw, wet, and shiny in cracks), 8 to 10 minutes longer. Do not overbake.
Cool cookies on baking sheet on wire rack 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.