Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

My boyfriend seems to be enjoying my cooking spree and on Saturday he asked me if I’d consider cooking/baking a recipe of his choosing each week if he bought me the ingredients.  I agreed and so there is going to be one recipe more than usual this week.  His pick, after looking through a couple of my magazines, were the peanut butter oatmeal cookies from Taste of Home‘s Most Requested Recipes issue.  I think they turned out pretty good, and the recipe allowed me to experiment with a question my mom had asked, which was whether or not I could find her a cookie recipe that wouldn’t spread and turn the finished product flat (one of the biggest differences between homemade and store-bought cookies seems to be aesthetics, as most store-bought or bakery bought cookies have a thick, perfect shape that many homemade cookies lack).

I don’t know if it’s this recipe, or the method used to put the cookies on the baking sheet, but these cookies did turn out very nicely shaped, if a little small.

Here is the recipe and here is how I got them to turn out (close to) perfectly shaped:

In the recipe, as in many recipes I’ve seen, it says to “drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets; flatten slightly.”  I’ve always ignored this advice.  I just mold cookie dough in my hands and drop it on or use a spoonful.  So this time, in the interest of baking science, I decided to do exactly as the directions asked, and drop the cookies onto the baking sheet after scooping the dough up in a tablespoon.  I got many perfectly dome shaped little clumps.

Then, I smushed each dome down into a flat cookie shape with a fork.  I didn’t press hard, and I waited until after they’d baked in the oven for 8 minutes to do so, but what I ended up with, was many tiny but nicely shaped cookies.

I would like to try them on a slightly larger scale to see if it still works, but I’m thinking it would, although I also think that the successful shape is in part due to the recipe, because of the oatmeal holding everything together and keeping the dough a bit dry.

As you might be able to tell, there were some additions to the recipe — I added a couple spoonfuls of Nutella (because Nutella makes everything better, duh) and my boyfriend bought some chocolate chips and chocolate chunks to add to the mix.  The chocolate chips and chunks were a little bit difficult to mix in and keep inside the dough, which is why some of the cookies look almost like they were smeared with chocolate.  The end result was pretty tasty, but as with all things peanut buttery, I found myself needing a glass of something nearby to wash it all down with.

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