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LAist Cookie Exchange: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I think it started about a year ago, when the students in one the classes I was teaching found out that I was going to cooking school. "Will you make us something?" they begged. I pictured myself whipping up something in the French tradition from my growing pile of recipes and modifying it to serve thirty or so college freshmen. "No," I replied sensibly. "But if you're good, I'll make you cookies!"

I love to make cookies--all different kinds. But there's something to be said about an old reliable recipe that is guaranteed to bring about raves and those telltale contented "mmmmms" from its eater. That's where the Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie comes in--also known as "hey, it has something for everyone!" or "the best cookie ever." I made a batch just a couple of weeks ago for my students, who adored them, and the leftovers were happily gobbled up by my roomies and my boyfriend. The following recipe is adapted from the amazing cookbook by Dorie Greenspan, called Baking: From My Home to Yours. The recipe looks complicated, but it's really quite basic, and so worth it. The smell of these cookies baking really puts that air of comfort and holiday into the house. The note I put in the margin of my cookbook reads "ROCKIN' GOOD COOKIES!" And if you're good...I'll make them for you.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (or allspice)
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup chunky peanut butter (not the all natural kind)
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
9 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped into chunks or bag of chocolate chips (I used 10 oz last time)

Position oven raks to divide the oven into thirds. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Mix together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.

Beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachement on medium until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating for a minute each, then add vanilla. Reduce speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Mix in the chips by hand.

If you have time, cover the dough and chill for 2 hours to one day, because the cool dough will produce more evenly shaped cookies.

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If the dough is not chilled, drop rounded tablespoons full 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. If the dough is chilled, scoop up the dough in tablespoons and roll it between your palms and set them on the sheets 2 inches apart, then press them down with your hand (I use a spoon I chill in the freezer) till they're about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake 13-15 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through--a pain in the butt but totally worth it. The cookies are done when they are golden and firm around the edges. Once you've lifted them onto cooling racks they will firm up.

Makes about 60 cookies. They'll keep if wrapped or stored airtight for about 4 days at room temp, or for two months frozen. I just unwrapped one that I'd stuck in the fridge about a week ago and it was still damn tasty.

Photo by Lindsay William-Ross for LAist