Scientifically Sweet: Maple Pecan & Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Monday, March 4, 2013

Maple Pecan & Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

There is never a day not worthy of cookies.

Once you get the basic technique down, blue skies are the limit! In reality, what you have in your pantry is the limit! You can be baking them everyday and be eating them in a matter of minutes with little effort.

Let's go over one of the most important techniques.


Many cookie recipes begin with a very similar story: "Cream the butter and sugar together...". Creaming refers to the blending of fat (usually BUTTER) and sugar until it appears pale and fluffy. This can be done manually using a spatula or wooden spoon, or using an electric mixer, and it is generally the first stage in making cakes and cookies from scratch. Creaming serves to aerate the fat and create lots of tiny air bubbles that will expand during baking to create an even crumb and uniform texture in your finished good. This makes for tender cookies - this can mean tender and crisp or tender and soft. The end result can be a crumbly and dry cookie or a soft and chewy cookie.

A great example of tender and soft is our classic Chocolate Chip Cookie, and a perfect example of tender and crisp are Sugar Cookies.

A type of cookie that doesn't traditionally use this technique is biscotti. That's why biscotti are more crunchy rather than crumbly.

These lovelies pictured above and below are soft and chewy and filled with flavours that just adore each other - Maple, Pecan and Dark Chocolate should've stood up in my wedding. Not Deanna, Brittany and Nicole. What was I thinking!?

Maple syrup, being a liquid sugar, has water-binding abilities to help keep these cookies moist and chewy. You can actually see the chewiness in them. Look at the cookie on the top left. It's gooey with a capitol G! Use one of a really good quality because we're only using a tablespoon, so the flavour is subtle. If you use a really dodgy one, then you might not taste it at all. The salt in the recipe also helps to amplify the mapleyness.

Time doesn't need to be on your side to whip these up on any given day. Plus, these cookies actually get better with age - their flavours seem more pronounced the next day. That's pretty rare in the cookie world, so cherish this moment!

Maple Pecan & Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 20-22 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups rolled oats
1 cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. 

In a large bowl, cream butter and both sugars using a wide rubber spatula until somewhat light and fluffy. This will take about a minute or two. Stir in egg until well blended. Add maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until just barely combined. Add oats, chocolate chips and pecans and fold them in until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate dough in the bowl for 15 minutes.

Roll heaped tablespoons of dough into balls, space them out on prepared cookie sheets, flatten slightly and bake until golden brown around the edges but still slightly soft in the center, about 10 minutes.

Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool and store in an airtight container for as long as you can manage to keep them there.

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1 comment:

  1. I am eating them and they are really good ! The edges are crispy and the heart is tender. I put hazelnuts instead of pecans. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I think I'll try again with other things inside, I think the base is great.


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