My friend Gary made a special request for a cookie he could snack on in the run up to the New York City Marathon this Sunday. (Ha! Get it...run up?) He asked for something packed with nuts. And topped with chocolate and sea salt.
I don't know if chocolate and sea salt are on the official marathon training meal plan, but Gary asked for it, so I gave it a try. Unfortunately, though, I messed something up when I was melting my chocolate and got myself a lumpy, grainy mess. (Dang! I should have taken a picture for an Oops! post.) But no need to worry. Knowing what a chocolate fiend Gary is, I had already sneaked some in to the recipe before the topping debacle. Everything in moderation, right?
These are the most nut-filled cookies I've made. To maximize the nut flavor, I did a few things:
1) I browned some butter and used it in the creamables. Brown butter is earthy and nutty and makes for a great flavor foundation for the cookie. (Add some sage, and it makes a tasty sauce for pumpkin-filled ravioli. But I digress.)
2) I added peanut butter to the creamables. Originally, I wanted to use almond butter or walnut butter, but I couldn't find any at my grocery store. Good old PB to the rescue!
3) I ground down some walnuts into a fine powder and used it to replace some of the flour and oatmeal in the recipe. In essence, it's walnut flour.
4) I added loads of chunky walnuts and hazelnuts. A nut cookie just isn't a nut cookie if you don't have that signature crunch.
To balance the nuttiness with touch of sweetness and spice, I added some mini chocolate chips and raisins and hint of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Tasty and packed with energy. (And sturdy enough to ship overnight to Manhattan.) Have a great run, Gary and all you marathoners!
Makes 4 dozen cookies. (To see this recipe in process, check out Picturing Marathon Cookies.)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 stick butter
1/2 stick butter, browned
2 teaspoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 cup walnut flour
1 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
1 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 stick butter over medium heat until brown and foamy. Set aside to cool until Step 3.
- Preheat oven to 350º.
In your Kitchen Aid or a large mixing bowl, cream together the creamables.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold together until evenly distributed.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the combined creamables and wet ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
- Shape dough into balls--about 2 tablespoons each.
- Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart on Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
- Bake at 350º for 8-10, or until golden brown. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.