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Baking Week: Chewy-Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies

With Thanksgiving coming, I've decided to focus on baking, especially desserts of one sort or another. I've been in search of the best chewy-crunchy oatmeal cookie for years. I recently ran across a recipe from America's Test Kitchen (ATK), which generally has some of the best recipes available, albeit neither inexpensive nor quick. Their oatmeal cookie recipe is a winner. Nonetheless, I have to admit that I modified it a bit. In particular, I skipped the step that ATK says is essential--browning the butter. I don't have the time or inclination. Instead, I nuked the butter in the microwave to melt it. Then I added a secret ingredient. It worked really well, and no one complained. All I heard was a lot of crunching. In fact, the cookies turned out nicely chewy in the center and crunchy on the edges, which is what I wanted. Be aware, though, that the batter won't seem quite right after you mix it up. It's quite crumbly, and you'll need to squish it together to make it hold it's shape. Don't worry. The cookies will bake up well, and you'll have a nice dessert to add to the Thanksgiving table--or eat before. Munch, munch, munch.

Chewy-Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies

Chewy-Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies -- Makes about 24

2 1/2 cups of oats (Old Fashioned)

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup of white whole wheat flour

3/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

4 tablespoons of butter, melted

1/2 cup of canola oil

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of caramel flavoring or extract

1/2 cup of raisins

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat large cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray or line them with parchment. Combine the oats, flours, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, brown sugar, and sugar and stir everything well. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and caramel extract and stir with a wooden spoon to combine everything. Keep stirring. The mixture will be thick and crumbly. Scoop up the dough in walnut-sized pieces (2-3 tablespoons) and squish it together with your hands to form disks about 2 inches in diameter. Place the cookies two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets (don't, don't crowd them!) and bake them for 10-12 minutes until barely set. Let them cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before removing them to cool completely.

Chewy-Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies

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