“Okay. We haven’t known each other for that long a time. And there are three things that you should know about me. One, my friends are the most important thing in my life. Two, I never lie. And three, I make the best oatmeal-raisin cookies in the world.”
Friends aficionados will recognize that quote as 3 things about Phoebe Buffay. But it could also be 3 things about me… as long as you change #1 to family and #3 to “I make the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the world”. I do use Phoebe’s basic recipe after all. The recipe comes from a cookbook in my collection that I have loved since high school. I received Cooking with Friends as a Christmas gift from my mom and I read it cover to cover on Christmas day… and I laughed, and I laughed! It’s filled with awesome quotes from the show and recipes for foods that have been mentioned in Friends episodes over the years. I still pull it out occasionally even though I have this particular recipe memorized. And I still quote Friends episodes or reference them in conversation more than you’d think, considering the show has been off the air for more than 9 years.
Now, if I were a fair person, I would not make these cookies as often as I do… “because it just would not be fair to all of the other cookies!” But alas, I am not fair in all things. Either that, or all is fair in love and baked goods. Yes… Lets go with that last theory! It would be utterly embarrassing if I admitted just how often we do make these in my home. My husband requests them frequently, and he even knows what temperature he needs to preheat the oven to if he wants to get a head start on the process. As you might have guessed from the opening quote, the original recipe contains raisins instead of chocolate chips. They are excellent both ways, but chocolate is the clear winner in my home.
Because my chocolate chip version is so popular with my family, I almost always serve these when I have parties. They are a great make-ahead option if you freeze the balls of dough and bake them the day before your event. And I’m sure your guests would also love to take a few home as a favor. In the summer, my favorite way to serve these gems is in the form of an ice cream sandwich. This method of sandwiching creamy vanilla goodness between 2 cookies is sure to please at bbq’s, dinner parties, ice cream socials, or Wednesday night dessert.
Fabulous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
yield: 30-34 cookies… depending on how much dough you eat.
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1.5 sticks)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla extract; beat until well combined.
- In a small bowl combine oats, flour, soda, baking powder and salt. (I feel a responsibility to list this step because it is probably the right thing to do. In all honesty, I skip the extra bowl and just dump it all on top of the sugar and butter mixture. This could make a difference in some recipes, but I don’t believe it affects this one.)
- Mix into butter mixture until just combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips
- Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets, leaving a 2″ gap between each mound. I like to use a medium cookie scoop like this one, and I always line my baking sheets with parchment paper
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. It’s important to err on the side of caution with baking time here if you like the centers to be chewy. I like to take them out around 11-12 minutes. They still look under baked in the middle at this point, but they firm up and taste so good this way.
- Cool on sheet for at least a minute or two before transferring to a rack.
Note: I often make this dough ahead of time and freeze it so that I can bake the cookies right before my event. Shape the dough as described (no need to leave 2″ between them on the cookie sheet). Freeze for an hour or two on the cookie sheet, and then place the frozen dough balls into a freezer bag for storage. When you’re ready, take the dough from the freezer and put it straight into the oven (following the same temperature, directions, and bake time described above).
adapted slightly from Cooking with Friends by Amy Lyles Wilson and Jack Bishop
Ice Cream Sandwich Method:
1.5 quarts of ice cream
18 cookies, about 3″ in diameter each
- Choose a flavor of ice cream that coordinates with your cookie flavor. One without big chunks of mix-ins will work best… I used french vanilla.
- Soften your ice cream by leaving it out on the counter or microwave it in quick bursts. Keep a close eye on it either way. There is a fine line between softened and soupy!
- Line a 9″ square pan with plastic wrap leaving a generous amount hanging over each side.
- Scoop the softened ice cream into the prepared pan and level it out as much as possible.
- Fold the excess plastic wrap over the ice cream to cover it. Gently press down to aid in leveling out the surface.
- Put your pan into the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight. You want the ice cream to be nice and firm.
- Take the pan out of the freezer, uncover the ice cream, and use a circle/biscuit cutter (similar in size to your baked cookies) to cut out a circle of ice cream. I used a 2.5″ biscuit cutter, which should yield 9 circles of ice cream.
- Place the ice cream circle onto the bottom (flat part) of a cookie and place another cookie on top of the ice cream. Repeat!
- Wrap each individual sandwich in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer. If you plan to store them more than a day or two, you may want to place the wrapped sandwiches into a freezer bag to keep them fresh for longer.