Not Only Have I had multiple starts at this, I never in fact expected to start this. So here it is, and with the first requested recipe. I read too many freaking food blogs, and I just have to put forward and try. If you want a little more info on my just look to the side and I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for at this time.
Now for the meat of this start, although there isn't really any meat involved.
The truth about this recipe is that I hated making it to start with, as it came from epicurious.com and was quite evil and incomplete. It was really a risk because I needed something to serve that had something to do with the scots. See, these are just basically chocolate oatmeal shortbread cookies. However, they use Steel-cut scottish oats. The first time I made these it turned out perfect, and formed just fine. I was forced to do a presentation with someone I didn't really trust to work with so I figured I could blind people with food. It conveniently worked. The second time they took 30 minutes longer to finish, and turned out cakey and bitter (surprising as they have no eggs in them). I couldn't for the life of me figure out what I did wrong.
So I set the stupid evil recipe on the shelf and hopefully would never have to look back.
Unfortunately though, it just bothered me I had screwed it up so bad. So I adjusted the recipe, and I tried to add moisture to what has to be the world's most freaking crumbly dough without actually breaking down it's delicate chemistry.I added one teaspoon of milk, that's all. They spread like the fat lady who sings at the end of everything over a child's chair. They tasted good still, but it just...something was wrong. Truth is they flew off the plate regardless, so I figured it was worth trying out.
I mean...it just looks to good to resist using these good ingredients. I use a good quality dark chocolate chip or just hack at a bar of high cocoa chocolate. Speaking of which, when I was in Vancouver I just used Frye's Cocoa, which I think is a good all purpose cocoa for baking. Now in Rubber City we have lots of Amish near us, and a large dutch population So I just stick to a good quality Dutch-Processed Cocoa.
"Dutch process chocolate is chocolate that has been treated with an alkalizing agent to modify its color and give it a more mild flavor. It forms the basis for much of modern chocolate candy. It is used in ice cream, beverages, and baking. The development of the Dutch process by Dutch chocolate maker Coenraad Johannes van Houten, along with his development of the method of removing fat from cacao beans by hydraulic press around 1828, formed the basis for cocoa powder and simplified chocolate culture"
DO NOT USE HERSHEY'S...EVER.
Sorry, the red mist got in the way.
Now, It wasn't until I was at my sister's house though that I really figured how to get the cookies to form. I started with the oats (which came out like pellets) and soaked them in cold water for about an hour or so. Other than that I found if I compacted them (see diagram below) that I could get the tight balls I wanted. It's really quite fun, and could easily make these with other people.
It worked! They looked pretty and were great (see above) and were like I remembered. They are also a quick recipe to make once you get a hang of it, but you only need one cookie or so as they aren't light on calories. These are the cookies for chocolate lovers and whenever I can I use a dark chocolate bar and chop it instead of the chips. If you give these a spin give me a comment. This is my first recipe ever posted, anywhere. I will say thought that I have slightly adjusted these every time, each time just a little bit more oats (I like them oaty =D) and make sure you watch them like a hawk as they will quickly burn.
Chocolate Oaties1 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract (or Vanilla Bean Paste) 1/2 tsp. Almond Emulsion (optional; can use Almond Extract instead) 1/4 cup Steel Cut Oats ( soaked in cold water for about 45 minutes then drained) 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1/3 cup Chopped Raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a Jelly Roll Pan with parchment paper. Whisk Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, and Cocoa in a medium size bowl and set to the side. Now take your room temperature butter and cut it into small pieces and using a nonstick spatula abuse the heck out of the butter until has a slightly creamer consistency, add the sugar, vanilla, and almond emulsion (optional) and continue the abuse until it's relatively fluffy. (You could use a mixer, but why miss out on the fun?) Add flour mixture and beat until it starts to darken, this dough is very dark. Mix in oats with that spatula until evenly distributed (dough will be crumbly but if you squeeze a small piece of it it should hold together like good snow). Add chocolate chips (and raisins if you have them) and mix the best you can. Using lightly floured palms, shape 1 generous tablespoon dough into ball. Then flatten slightly and knead into a small patty. The dought should stick together, but it may crumble a little even after you put it on the pan, that is okay! through the crumbs back into the bowl to get in on the rest of the action. Place on the jelly roll sheet; repeate with remaining dough, spacing rounds about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until center is slightly firm and top is cracked, about 14 minutes. Cool on sheet.
The Inside Tip: Old-fashioned oats have been cut, steamed, and flattened with large rollers. Steel-cut oats are not as highly processed and look like tiny pellets. They produce a more al dente result. they look a bit like bird seed in the store and are also known as coarse-cut oats, pinhead oats, Scotch oats, and Irish oats. Many people feel that the Steel-cut oats provide better flavour than rolled oats due to the lack of preprocessing. Usually due to the fact that they are not preprocessed then dried, Steel-cut oats are often packaged in a vacuum tight container (like a coffee can) to seal in freshness, but sometimes in bulk stores.
If you absolutely cannot find them anywhere, you can use regular old-fashioned (not instant oats) just skimp out on the soaking and adjust to your tastes. It will not be the same cookie, but I never said it wasn't just as intriguingly rich in flavor.
Makes 12-16 Cookies (and goes great with coffee).