Tag Archives: oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

 One of the best things about being a baker is watching people enjoy what you’ve made. When you’ve put a few hours (or more!) into making something delicious, it’s always a treat when your friends really love it. I am really lucky–for the last 18 months, I’ve had the opportunity to make cookies for 30+ of my closest acquaintances every Wednesday night. My cookie commitment is one of the highlights of my week. I love bringing in whatever I’ve been working on lately and seeing how it goes over with the crowd. If all the cookies disappear within the first half hour, I know I’ve got something blog-worthy. These Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies have done that three times. Three.

I first made these cookies about a year ago. It was one of those rare days when I was down to a single stick of butter. I sat in front of my refrigerator dreading going to Trader Joe’s at rush hour (read: every single hour they’re open) just for butter. I mean, if I’m going to brave that kind of craziness, I better need at least five different things, and the free sample better be taquitos. I dug around the back of my fridge for something–anything–that might work, and lo and behold, I found a half-brick of cream cheese. I mixed it into some dough, baked some cookies, and headed out the door.

I set these cookies on a platter next to the coffee pot and waited for the crowds. I wasn’t expecting much, if any, fanfare–they were just oatmeal cookies, after all. But life is funny, and less than thirty minutes later the cookies were gone and my friends were raving about the super chewy texture! 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies have been one of the few recipes I’ve repeated with that group, and they disappear in a flash every single time. Last night, they were gone in fifteen minutes flat! 

So, why does cream cheese make these cookies so special? Well, it’s all in the chemistry. In standard oatmeal cookie recipes, eight ounces of butter are softened and beaten into the wet ingredients. The high fat content in the butter allows for the resulting cookies to bake up super tender. There’s plenty of chew from the oats, but the cookie base stays pretty soft.

If, however, you use four ounces of softened butter and four ounces of softened cream cheese, the resulting cookies will be extra chewy. This is because cream cheese has a butterfat content of 35% and a water content of 55%. Butter, on the other hand, has a butterfat content of 84% and a water content of 15%. The fat (butterfat, in this case) is what keeps our cookies from drying out and becoming rocks. It keeps everything moist after the water evaporates and makes the resulting cookies super soft, chewy and delicious. It also keeps them from spreading very much in the oven.

Where standard oatmeal cookie dough has 84% butterfat, this oatmeal cream cheese cookie dough has about 60% butterfat. This means that a) the resulting cookies will be slightly chewier than they are soft, and b) they will have fewer calories, so you can eat more with less guilt 😊 
Whew! That’s a lot of science for a Thursday. Too much.

The point is this: these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies aren’t your average oatmeal cookies. While you may not be able to really taste the cream cheese, you will notice the extra chewiness…and trust me, you’ll love it. 

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies
makes about 4 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4oz full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat softened butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in dark brown and granulated sugars, followed by eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture in two installments, scraping the bowl as necessary. Beat in oats in two installments, followed by chocolate chips.

Drop dough onto prepared pans by the tablespoon, keeping them about 2 inches apart (the cookies won’t spread much). Bake 9-11 minutes, until no longer raw-looking. Let cool on the pans for five minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Repeat baking process until all dough has been used.

Cookies will keep covered at room temperature for up to a week.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

 It seems like everyone hates Mondays, but I think Wednesdays are the real problem. On Monday and Tuesday, I just had a weekend, and on Thursday and Friday, I’m anticipating another. But on Wednesday, I’m just stuck in the middle. It’s torture. The idea that there are two more days until I can sleep in again is almost too much to bear 😭

Anybody else feel the same way?
 Perhaps, this Wednesday, you could use a cookie. A really big, puffy cookie full of peanut butter and chocolate, and super chewy from oats and brown sugar. Yes. That might make Wednesday worth surviving.

These Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies are super easy–perfect for a little weeknight baking session. All the ingredients are things you probably already have. The cookies turn out big and puffy, even though there’s no chill. And it doesn’t make a huge batch: only about fifteen cookies. That’s just enough to get you and your family through til Friday 😊 

We start by creaming together softened butter and peanut butter. I recommend using creamy peanut butter. Where most oatmeal cookies spread from the butter melting in the oven, the peanut butter in this recipe keeps these cookies puffing up instead of out. This is because peanut butter doesn’t have a fat content as high as butter’s. But don’t use just any peanut butter. The natural variety is simply too thin and runny to make these cookies anything but flat, and possibly lacy. With the thicker peanut butter, these cookies puff right up. I use Jif in my baking, but use whatever you like, as long as it’s thick.

Once the butter and peanut butter are fluffy, cream in the sugars. These cookies require one part granulated sugar, and two parts dark brown sugar. This will give the cookies a bit of molasses flavor and, with the addition of an egg, will keep everything moist and chewy. A little vanilla rounds out the flavor.

Next come the dry ingredients, a simple combination of flour, baking soda, and salt. Then, the oats! These will make everything nice and chewy, which contrasts sooo well with all the puffiness from the peanut butter! And then there are the chocolate chips, which of course, are perfect with peanut butter. They may have a little bit of a hard time incorporating into the dough, but just press them in. They’ll stay. 

 The dough is scooped in two tablespoon increments, rolled, and baked for about ten minutes. They puff up to be huge. The outsides get golden and crispy, and the insides stay a little underbaked and ultra-peanut buttery. The oats make for a ton of chew and texture. And of course, there’s a ton of melty chocolate!

My favorite way to enjoy these Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies is with a cup of coffee or tea, or crumbled over vanilla ice cream. No matter how you enjoy them, they’re sure to remedy any case of the mid-week blues! 

 Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
makes about 15 medium-large cookies

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and peanut butter until smooth, about one minute. Add sugars, and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, followed by vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt, followed by oats. Fold in chocolate chips.

Scoop dough in two tablespoon increments. Roll into balls and set on prepared pan at least two inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until puffy and no longer raw looking. Let cool on pan for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Cookies will keep covered at room temperature for up to one week.