Thursday, May 13, 2010

Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies

One of my favorite reasons to bake is when I’m baking something for someone else. There’s nothing like the feeling of sharing with others a delicious treat that you’ve made with your own two hands. I like to think about the person who will be receiving it, and how it will hopefully bring them joy. Which is what I was hoping these cookies would bring when I made them for my friend Caitlin. She had mentioned to me that she was a white chocolate nut, and so I hemmed and hawed over various white chocolate recipes, finally deciding on these cookies. I was hoping that there would be enough white chocolate flavor in them, because I did not want to disappoint.

Let me tell you a little bit about Caitlin real quick, because she was my very first best friend. We were neighbors growing up, which was a pretty big deal because our houses were out in the country with no one else nearby. Caitlin and I were born two months apart, and I like to think about how we became best friends from the time we were infants. I guess we didn't have much choice in the matter considering our location.
Caitlin and I
Considering our outfits, I'm assuming sometime during the late 80's or early 90's

But I was so lucky to have someone to share such an amazing childhood with. Whether it was exploring in the creek together, creating our own special languages, playing hide-and-go seek in the tall grass of the field next to our house, or goofing around at a slumber party, Caitlin and I were always having a good time. It may sound silly, but I look back on those years as being a truly magical time; and I feel blessed that I got to spend it with a really good buddy.

During my junior year of high school my family moved across town; Caitlin and I were at separate schools, and we lost touch for a while. But through the powers of the internet we’ve reconnected over the years and it has been a really cool experience, because my dear friend from childhood has grown up to become a really amazing person.

She is super smart and funny and accomplished and just downright cool. I am jealous of her coolness. And I couldn’t be any prouder, because Caitlin and her boyfriend Jonathon are both graduating from Law school next week. Considering the workload they have had for the past few years, I don’t know how they did it without their brains imploding, and so congratulations are in order for their survival. Congrats you guys!
So back to the cookies, which I don't think disappointed. The flavor combination is a great mix of salty and sweet, with a bite here and there of sea salt being the perfect counterbalance to the sweetness and richness of the white chocolate. These cookies are meant to be a bit on the crispy side; I took them out of the oven while they were still soft, and they crisped up just perfectly as they cooled. Hopefully the white chocolate fan thought they were just as good as I did.
When baking for a white chocolate nut, try to use a high-quality white chocolate. Check the ingredients and avoid any white chocolates that are made using vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter because they will be significantly lacking in flavor. White chocolate bars tend to have better flavor than chips, because the chips usually contain less cocoa butter so that they won't melt. For these cookies I used a white chocolate baking bar, and chopped it up into chunks.
Alright, it's cookie time! Give the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt a quick whisk together.Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer,
And mix until everything's all light and fluffy and creamed together. A little something like this:
Add in the egg and vanilla and give it another good spin.
Add in the flour and oats mixture slowly until the dough just comes together. Then add in the chopped white chocolate, and mix until incorporated.I used a large cookie scoop for these, but you could make them any size you'd like. I need to get real for a moment and confess that I only own a large cookie scoop because frankly, that's the only size cookie I make. Small cookies don't tend to exist in my repertoire.
Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand, and then sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on the tops.Bake for approximately 13-16 minutes until they just look set. I have a tendency to bake my cookies on the underdone side of things, because I prefer a soft cookie to a crisp one. If you take these cookies out while still soft, they will have a little bit of give to them. If you want a super crisp cookie, leave them in the oven until they are golden brown.

Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounces good-quality white chocolate bar, chopped

flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Whisk flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a medium bowl.

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Add white chocolate and mix until well incorporated.

Scoop large balls of dough onto cookie sheet, placing them about 2 inches apart. Lightly press down balls of dough with hands.

Sprinkle a flake or two of sea salt on each cookie

Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.


  1. this is the best documented testament to our awesome childhood and friendship ever! I have no words. . .I love this post and am bookmarking it so I can read it every morning :) It's a big pile of everything I love: Partrick Rd. adventures, the best neighbor ever, white chocolate chips, white chocolate chips in cookies, etc.

    And truly, truly, TRULY, those are the best cookies Jonathan and I have ever had. We are going to make them for when our families come up this Sunday for graduation. And probably once a week for the rest of our lives. The Ghiradelli bar is a must.

    Thanks Sage for this post. Love you always.

  2. Hey Sage,
    Great blog. Brings back some wonderful memories of the two of you running around together in the Partrick Rd. creek, in the swimming pool and on the sports court, and then somehow graduating from UCLA together!

    You both have grown into amazing women. KK save one of those cookies for me!

  3. great story allison! i love making stuff for others too - especially cookies because then you get to try them without anyone really noticing. cakes are a little different - i never like giving cake away that has a piece missing! ha ha


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