Thursday, September 11, 2008
MRS. FIELDS COOKIES
This recipe, known variously as the Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe (note: I have never eaten an actual, official, storebought Mrs. Fields cookie), the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe, and the $250 Cookie Recipe, is the subject of much urban legend, which is not really exciting enough to go into here. The point is that these are some damn good cookies, good enough to merit a grandiose backstory. In fact, although I am certainly a fan of the good ol’ plain Nestle Toll House recipe (and will eventually have to try the NewYork Times recipe everyone’s been blogging feverishly about--it's this year's no-knead bread!), these are hands down my go-to chocolate-chip cookies because of two important features: (1) They have oatmeal in them, which I love, but it is ground to a powder and so takes on more of a background role than in your usual oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookie; and (2) They have both semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Not being a fan of dark chocolate as a child, I loved it when my mother made Mrs. Fields Cookies. Now I enjoy dark chocolate, but milk chocolate still holds a special place in my heart, and I think the combination of chocolates in these cookies is interesting. Overall, the cookies are not as soft and chewy as I usually prefer (owing to the oatmeal, the dough is so thick you have to mix it by hand), but sturdy, robust, and most importantly, not too sweet—I think it’s thanks to the oatmeal again, which adds a savoriness. I had one of these followed by a normal homemade chocolate-chip cookie given to me by a friend, and the normal cookie (while quite good) seemed so sickly sweet in comparison, my mouth puckered.
Whereas I could eat Mrs. Fields Cookies all day, which is good because when I made these a couple of weekends ago, I clean forgot that the original recipe (as passed down to me by my mother and found all over the Internet as well) makes an insane amount of cookies—about double your average cookie recipe, at least 8 dozen, which meant that the dough barely fit into my largest mixing bowl. Thanks to this little oversight, our cookie supply (stored in the freezer) will last for weeks or even months, but after being unexpectedly chained to the oven for hours baking tray after tray of them, I prudently halved the recipe in my book so I wouldn’t be taken unawares again. Not that too many cookies can ever really be a bad thing...
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2½ cups oatmeal
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
6 ounces dark chocolate chips
4 ounces milk chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.
3. Process oatmeal in a blender until powdered. In a separate bowl, mix powdered oatmeal with flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
4. Mix dry ingredients with creamed ones. Dough will be quite thick; you will have to mix with your hands unless you have a very powerful mixer.
5. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.
6. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Yields: about 4 dozen
Time: 1 hour