It's Christmas Eve.
J had to work today (he's one of three people keeping a college library open) so this year Christmas is pretty low key. We both have big families and in the past, the holidays have involved epic road trips, huge family gatherings, cruise ships, soup kitchens, the everglades, and all kinds of extended family.
As self professed food enthusiasts, we have decided to forgo gifts in favor of an epic vegetarian holiday feast. There will be faux-meat roasts, brussels sprouts, and more. There will be epic, wine bottle sized Belgian beers and fancy desert things.
In honor of this special food time, I'd like to share with you my go-to cookie recipe. I have been developing this recipe for a few years and I think I have it down. Occasionally I will substitute and make changes and I encourage you to do the same if you like!
I love oatmeal cookies most of all cookies. I love ginger cookies 2nd. A close runner up is chocolate chip cookies, but all the white flour and sugar and milk chocolate chips give me a headache after the first few delicious bites.
I developed this oatmeal ginger chocolate chip cookie as a way to combine all of my favorite cookie types. This is far from a healthy cookie, but it omits some of the headache-inducing stuff in favor of their less refined cousins. They are not overly sweet, but plenty chocolatey and buttery. Also, oats are good for you and apparently, so are chocolate and ginger! Even though they use whole wheat flour, these are super light and tender cookies.
You'll have to trust me that they're good, since I don't have any awesome photos for proof. I hope you like them!
Ginger Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 2 Dozen-ish
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
- 2/3rds cup brown or turbinado sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 small knob fresh ginger (you can use 1 tsp powdered, but it's not as awesome)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (I like the Trader Joe's 'white whole wheat' for these cookies)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or a broken up chocolate bar
- 1/2 cup or a big handful of candied ginger (Optional. I like the non-sugar-coated Aussie kind. Chop up big chunks into smaller ones)
Preheat the oven to 350°
Cream together the butter and sugar. This is a crucial step for scientific reasons, though I'm not really sure why. Do this by letting the butter soften, slicing it into pieces, then mushing it into the sugar until you get a frosting-like consistency. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Grate a small knob of fresh ginger in and mix a bit.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, & baking soda with a fork so it's nice and fluffed.
Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, blending it together. Mix it just until it forms a cookie dough consistency but don't overdo it! This keeps the cookies nice and light. As you're mixing, add in chocolate chips/chunks and ginger.
Make golf ball sized lumps and flatten them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat (awesome investment!). You'll need a second sheet. You can bake both sheets at once or one at a time.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are slightly browner than the rest of the cookie.
These cookies are easy to master. You can vary these cookies with different add ins & spices.
My favorite variations replace the cinnamon, ginger and chocolate with:
- Pumpkin spice, pumpkin seeds and reeses pieces
- Cardamom, pistachios, and currants
- A splash of bourbon, walnuts, and a dark chocolate drizzle on top
- A pinch of nutmeg, allspice, broken up banana chips, and peanut butter chips (ok, just thought of this one but it could be awesome!)
Try your own and let me know if you come up with anything good!