Monday, August 27, 2012

crispy salted white chocolate oatmeal cookies


There are two types of people in this world: people who love white chocolate, and people who have never tried these cookies. I know that lots of people think they hate white chocolate, and while I've never been the victim of this particular affliction, I understand where they're coming from. Much of the white chocolate on the market is overly sweet and nearly flavorless. In other words, cheap chocolate has given the whole genre a bad name. And while I may insist on Hersey bars in my s'mores and m&ms on a cocktail party coffee table, when it comes to chocolate of the white variety, quality matters.

Enter these cookies. Packed with whole oats, rich white chocolate, and a generous sprinkling of sea salt, they are complex, sophisticated, and about as far from sickeningly sweet and tasteless as you can get. I've made them a number of times over the years, and my favorite type of chocolate to use is the Green & Black organic white chocolate bar. I used chips this time because I happened to have a bag of higher-than-average quality Guittard on hand, but I really recommend chopping bar chocolate if at all possible. Not only do you get high quality chocolate, but the shards also melt into the cookie in a way that just doesn't happen with chocolate chips. (Whatever you do, you must not use the cheap chocolate chips from the grocery store. I know I'm being a candy snob, but you'll never convert the white-chocolate hating masses that way. Trust me on this one.)

This recipe produces a crispy, crunchy cookie that's the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Bake up a batch and watch the white chocolate haters eat their words. 

Crispy Salted White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2  1/2 cups old fashioned oats
6 oz of the best quality white chocolate you can get your hands on, chopped
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (I used Maldon)

Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and table salt. Beat the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and add the egg and vanilla. Beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, and gradually add the flour mixture until incorporated. Stir in the oats and the white chocolate. 

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll about two tablespoons of dough at a time between your palms and into a ball. Arrange the dough balls on the cookie sheets, spaced an even distance apart. Gently press each dough ball to flatten. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with a couple of flakes of sea salt, and bake for about 15 minutes, rotating the pans between the top and bottom racks halfway through. When finished baking, the cookies should be golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool. 

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