Posted by: ham8cheese | November 22, 2009

chocolate-oatmeal-walnut cookies

This evening I baked some cookies out of the Mission-based Tartine cookbook, a gift from a close college friend who stayed with us a few months back.  This is the third time I’ve made this recipe, and I’ve learned a few tricks that make them turn out just perfect, at least in my oven (of the Bosch Evolution variety – a great residential range for people who actually cook).  The basic recipe (by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson) is available here.  These are a great, thin cookie with an excellent combination of oaty-ness and chocolatey-ness.

Here are my tweaks:

  • I only use 280 grams (about 1.25 cups) of sugar, rather than the 350 g (1.75 cups) called for in the original recipe.  I find that most dessert recipes call for way too much sugar, and this one is no exception.
  • Although the recipe says to press out each scoop of dough into a flat 3-inch circle, I press mine into roughly 1.5″ to 2″ circles to get the cookies to a decent not-too-large size.  (Done this way, I end up with about 45 cookies, rather than the 24 listed in the original recipe.) When I made this recipe the first time and followed the directions for 3-inch circles, I ended up with these monstrously large (5″ to 6″) cookies that intimidated everyone at the baby shower I had brought them to.
  • This last one isn’t exactly a tweak, but just a bit of emphasis – the recipe says to bake until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned but the centers are still pale.  This takes a lot of will power to do, as the cookies will look sort of disturbingly pale in the center and your instincts (if they’re like mine) may tell you to keep baking them.  But you really do need to take the cookies out when the centers are still pale – otherwise you’ll end up with cookies that are a bit too hard (I learned this the hard way, although my co-workers politely pretended that they were not concerned about destroying their dental work as they crunched (loudly) through the 2nd batch I made several months ago).  Even so, although the recipe says 10 to 12 minutes, I find that in my oven the right timing is more like 14 to 15 minutes, sometimes more.

I’ve never actually braved the line at Tartine the bakery, probably due to sheer laziness.  (Notwithstanding the similarly obscene lines, I’ve somehow managed to make my way to Mitchell’s and Bi-Rite, so perhaps I just need to suck it up and show up at Tartine one day as well.)  So I have nothing to compare my homemade version to, but Mr. Pigtales, a true chowhound, just ate three in a row, so I’m going to count that as an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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