chunky lola cookies.

I've been a really rotten blogger these days - but if you'll take my excuse of "It's just been nuts with the holidays and all the traveling and what not," then I think we can get back to being on speaking terms and smooth things over.

There hasn't been hardly any baking going on in my kitchen these days - my dough-rolling surface has been stacked with paperwork for our new house (I just like saying that, it still feels like pretend) and since the new year came strolling in it seems everyone is on a diet all of a sudden. So any time I set out a stick of two of butter to soften, the gripes and tears start pouring in. It seems backward - here I am, the bride-to-be in less than three months, and I'm the only one not dieting. Yes, my dress is currently too tight. But I will succumb to the seamstress before I give up cookies.

Now, you may be completely exhausted with cookies after Christmas has come and gone - something about the twinkle lights sets the baking buzz ablaze in folks who normally never set foot in the kitchen, but I avoided it this year. By the time I finished my final exams and ate a slice of birthday cake, it was Christmas already and the only thing I had to show for myself was a few balls of peanut butter heaven and a cookie tin with powdery sugar coating the bottom. I'm a disgrace to holiday baking.

So while rest of the world has had enough cookies, this girl has not. My entire household is now watching their pre-wedding waistlines, but this bride is scooping out the chocolate chips. What can I say? I'm a wild woman.

These cookies are akin to monster cookies - they are the all-in-one sort of treat that curbs the sweet tooth of one of four cookie camps - oats, chocolate chip, coconut, or pecans. If you can't find something you like in that jumbled mix of sweets, then God love ya - you're a bigger person than I am. They bake up to a handsome shade of golden brown with a crisp edge and gooey center, flecked through with crunchy nubs of pecans and the underlying tropical sugar of sweetened coconut. The title doesn't mean much, but I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't hum Copacabana while they were baking.

Chunky Lola Cookies
Adapted from Flour Bakery

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
11 ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugars on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, scrape down the bowl, and mix another 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture in three additions until just combined.

Chill the dough at least four hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough into generous balls (about 1/4 cup) and place on the baking sheets - take care to leave plenty of room in between as they will spread out, I fit 6 cookies per half sheet pan.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the edges are crisp and the centers are slightly underdone. Allow too cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 18 big cookies.

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