Chunky Peanut Butter Chocolate Chipsters

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So I suppose you’ve noticed that I love cookies…home-baked cookies. (I think I might have more cookie recipes posted on this blog than any other category…lol!) And I mean, most any kind of cookies…chocolate chip, shortbread, peanut butter, oatmeal…all of ’em. I think it started with my Gramma Lulu who used to make so many different cookies (oh, and pies, too…pumpkin, mincemeat, apple, “Dream Pie”) during the holidays. I loved her peanut butter cookies with the Hershey’s Kisses in the middle, her chocolate crackle cookies, sugar cookies, but most of all…Snickerdoodles!

Four Generations! Gramma Lulu, my mom, me and my daughter Ally (at Ally's bat mitzvah in 2003)

Four generations! Gramma Lulu, my mom, me and my daughter Ally (at Ally’s bat mitzvah) in 2002. Gramma passed away the following year, at age 93. And believe me, she baked right up until the end!

I’ve mentioned my friend Dale (yes, of Chip and Dale), aka the Cookie Queen, a lot on this blog. She’s a wonderful cook and an amazing baker. She’s always got an assortment of cookies going on at her house. And she gave me my favorite cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, which has a plethora of wonderful cookie recipes. I’ve never made a recipe from that book that I haven’t loved and usually it becomes my new favorite…Margarita cookies, Chocoblock cookies, World Peace cookies…and now this one. Chunky Peanut Butter Chocolate Chipsters. They’re like all three of the best cookies baked into one (for when you can’t decide whether you want peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies or chocolate chip cookies.). I think Gramma Lulu would like these.

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Just a note – I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg with peanut butter, but you know what? It works. I adapted the recipe just slightly, as I didn’t have fresh nutmeg (uh…who does?), so I reduced the amount to 1/8 teaspoon of the ground kind.

Chunky Peanut Butter Chocolate Chipsters

INGREDIENTS

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 1/2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks (I used chocolate chips)

DIRECTIONS

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Mix in the chips.

If you have the time, cover and chill the dough for about 2 hours or for up to one day. (Chilling the dough will give you more evenly shaped cookies.) Note: I only chilled the dough for about half an hour, so didn’t bother with the rolling into balls and flattening…they turned out perfect. If the dough is not chilled, drop rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets.

If the dough is chilled, scoop up rounded tablespoons, roll the balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the sheets. Press the chilled balls gently with the heel of your hand until they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be golden and just firm around the edges. Lift the cookies onto cooling racks with a wide metal spatula – they’ll firm as they cool.

Make sure you wait for the baking sheets to cool completely before making the next batch. And I used parchment paper, which I turned over to use the unused side for the second batch.

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Oatmeal Pomegranate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Remember I told you about the beautiful pomegranates my coworker Melissa has been bringing to work?  I’ve been using the seeds (they are actually called arils) in salads and cocktails, but I wanted to find a delicious way to feature them in a dessert or baked good.  I Googled and came across a few different variations of this oatmeal cookie.  I love oatmeal cookies.  I thought the seeds might be a little tart, but they’re not at all and they soften up a bit with baking.  And the white chocolate adds just a little extra sweetness.

Tony says they are his new favorite cookie.  And I brought a couple to my sister-in-law, who is not usually a fan of sweets (I know, crazy, huh?!), but she is fond of an oatmeal cookie (oh, and my Carrot Cake and my Double Chocolate Brownies).  She said they are her favorite cookie ever.  Good enough reviews?  I have to make another batch tomorrow.

 Oatmeal Pomegranate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup white chocolate chunks (or chips)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (you can find seeds/arils at Trader Joe’s and at some supermarkets OR seed a whole pomegranate yourself…scroll down to end of recipe for directions)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.

Stir in the oats and white chocolate chunks. Gently stir in the pomegranate seeds. Make dough balls-about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

If using a whole pomegranate – over a bowl (to catch any juices), cut the pomegranate into four pieces.  Then cover the pieces, in the bowl, with cold water and start pulling the seeds out with your hands.  The seeds will fall to the bottom and the “other stuff” will rise to the top.  Now remove the “other stuff” and drain the water.