Sometimes cookies cause indecisiveness. For a baker, it’s which one do I make? Should I use raisins or chocolate chips, make drop cookies or rolled…? For consumers, it’s which one do I choose? How can I make a decision between a delicious oatmeal raisin cookie or an equally yummy chocolate chip? Cookie parties and cookie trays are not meant to cause anxiety, but the truth is that folks love a good cookie and, at the same time, hate to say no to a good cookie. In order to ease your mind, gentle reader, and decision-making process, I am sharing this recipe for Kitchen Sink Cookies. They have almost every classic cookie represented, and represented well.
So, what’s in a Kitchen Sink cookie? Peanut butter, oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies are all accounted for, in a perfectly balanced way. The peanut butter cookie is the hardest to pick out, since the texture of a good pb cookie is quite distinct, but you get the gooey chocolate of a classic chocolate chip cookie and the gently spiced chewiness of a well-made oatmeal cookie. Each bite is satisfying: maybe you get a bite with raisin and are reminded of drinking cocoa with your great-grandmother, as I was, or get a crisp edge that tastes just like the peanut butter cookies your mom makes for your dad. Kitchen Sink cookies satisfy a whole range of cravings.
The recipe is originally Dorie Greenspan’s, from Baking: From My Home to Yours. (My changes are minor: I add dried fruit, most often raisins, because I like the texture, and I use slightly less cinnamon and chocolate.) If you don’t own this cookbook, consider adding it to your home library because it is marvelous. The recipes are at once approachable and special, the writing is clear and concise and the cakes, cookies and other goodies within are awe-inspiring. Included is everything from celebration cakes to muffins to cookies like these. It is a great asset to my own library; I haven’t made anything I didn’t like from Baking.
What else would you add to your Kitchen Sink Cookies?
Kitchen Sink Cookies (adapted from Dorie Greenspan; makes 30 cookies)
- 1 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 c. peanut butter*
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 c. raisins or dried cherries, or a mix of both
In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon & nutmeg. Gently whisk together.
Using your stand or hand mixer, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Add the egg and mix until well-incorporated, then mix in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and raisins or cherries. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a plate and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
When the dough is thoroughly chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees; cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper, or grease them lightly. Drop the cookies by teaspoonful (a melon ball-sized scoop works well and ensures uniform baking times) onto your pans and bake each pan for 13-15 mins. until golden brown. Rotate the tray after 7 mins. to ensure even baking. Cool before serving; nothing kills a cookie craving like a molten chocolate burn to your tongue. These cookies can be frozen for up to three months with good results, in a large Ziploc bag or tightly-sealed container.
*Dorie uses crunchy and I use creamy. You choose either or a mix of both, so long as you’re using a kind that doesn’t need to have the oil stirred into the nut butter every time, as some of the natural brands do. I call the no-need-to-stir kinds “homogenized”.