Chocolate and Steel Cut Oatmeal Cookies


Earlier this month, it was Denton week in Paris. My first boyfriend – ever –  was here with his oh-so-adorable and gorgeous wife, to run the Paris Marathon (the thought of which makes my knees hurt). Then my best friend in the world, Melanie, showed up with a couple of girlfriends, and we all went out, drank too much champagne, ate way too much foie this and that, and while it became a week of not-so-much work, it was definitely one of the most fun that I’ve had in a long time.

Laughing with people that have known you since fifth grade is some of the best stuff around. Better than the Eiffel tower, better than all of Paris. But even better somehow when it’s happening here, in Paris – with the Eiffel tower, or Sacre Coeur, or (fill in impressive landmark) as a backdrop. You’d think that there would be a disconnect giggling about Mrs. Boyd (the tallest woman in the world, our fifth grade teacher), or Spinning Wheels or any number of other goofy elementary school moments between ordering another glass of wine in French, but we could have been sitting in Sonic, each one of us with our tater tots with cheese, and it would be the same thing. We’d be the same, we’d still be laughing just as hard, and at the very same things.

I’m so grateful for my hometown friends.

Which is where this recipe came from. Andrea Beane, the smartest girl in our class (and perhaps in all of Denton) – who also used to twirl FIRE at half-time during the high school football games, now lives in Austin, and is an amazing teacher and an avid gardener. She emailed me last year and sent me this recipe and told me that I had to give it a try. I didn’t have steel cut oats at the the time and I made a note to bring some back to Paris on this last trip (of course I’ve since found them at the newly redone Casino in the British foods section), because even though Andrea kindly offered to ship some to me, I didn’t want her to get the sticker shock that she’d suffer at the post office when she tried to do so.

I made these cookies, with Denton week still very much with me, even though everyone had just left. And I loved them. These cookies are not unlike Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace cookies — these are very sablé-like, and also have chocolate chips added to an already very chocolately dough — but with an unexpected crunch from the steel cut oats.

Note that these cookies don’t make a huge batch, so you may want to double this. I’m going to do just that next time.

A big thanks to Andrea, Kris, Melanie, and the rest of the Denton peeps that keep me connected to my roots. I love that, and I love all of y’all for being in my life. Here’s to the purple and gold.

Chocolate and Steel-Cut Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit

Makes 2 dozen cookies

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons steel-cut oats
¾ cup semi or bittersweet chocolate (chunks or chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Put parchment paper on two cookie sheets.

2. Sift the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.

3. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture all at once; mix just until the dough is clumpy, and don’t overdo. Mix in the oats and the chocolate chips.

4. Scoop about 1/2 tablespoon of dough into a ball (I used the #70 size scoop, but non-OCD types may simply use the spoon of his or her choice), and place on the parchment-lined cookie sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Wet your palm and press each ball of dough down until it’s about 1/2-inch thick. Bake for about 14 minutes or until the tops crack. Cool on the cookie sheets completely before eating. These are better cool and even better the next day (or so it seemed with the one or two that I didn’t eat immediately and didn’t mysteriously disappear overnight, as many baked goods around here seem to do).