Old-School Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


Baked Occasions

Published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang

This image courtesy of Brian Kennedy

It is most likely mere coincidence that Teacher Appreciation Day (usually in the first week of May) very nearly intersects with National Chocolate Chip or Chocolate Cookie Day (usually in mid-May). However, conspiracy theorists (namely, Renato and I) believe teachers finagled the timing of these two holidays. We think teachers, at least on some subliminal level, really want these chocolate chip cookies for Teacher Appreciation Day. We think they will appreciate (er . . . deserve/need) the small addition of bourbon. Obviously, we feel that chocolate chips (mainly in the form of chocolate chip cookies) do not need a holiday, as we tend to celebrate them (i.e., eat a few) daily. This recipe is a riff on our favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. It has a whiff of old-school sensibility. It is the kind of cookie that made its way into our lunch boxes, if we were lucky. The kind of cookie that is full of rich, molasses-y flavor and overflowing with chocolate chips (yup, we added more chips than usual). The various-size oats provide a pleasing and memorable bite. Oh, and don't fear the tiny bit of shortening; it really helps the cookie keep a pleasant shape.

Makes40 to 48 Cookies

Cooking MethodBaking



Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe CourseDessert, Snack

Dietary ConsiderationPeanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian

EquipmentElectric Mixer

MealSnack, Tea

Taste and TextureChocolatey, Sweet

Type of DishCookie, Dessert


  • 3 cups (480 g) rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (105 g) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) vegetable shortening, cold
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks/170 g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups (330 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 12 ounces (340 g) semisweet chocolate chunks (about 2 cups)
  • Fleur de sel, for sprinkling


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, process 2 1/4 cups (360 g) of the oats until they are a mix of fine and coarsely ground pieces.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, bread flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir in the processed oats and the remaining 3/4 cup (120 g) whole oats.

  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the shortening and butter on medium speed until blended (do not worry about eliminating all the lumps at this point). Add both sugars, the bourbon, vanilla, and molasses, and beat again until the mixture is well combined, about 1 minute. Add the cream, egg, and egg yolk, beating until the mixture looks light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and slowly stream in the oat mixture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix until just combined (you might need to use your hands to fully incorporate). Using a wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate chunks. Refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours or overnight. (Making the cookie dough 2 days in advance lets the flavors develop fully, but it's not necessary.)

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  5. Using a small ice-cream scoop with a release mechanism (or a small spoon and your hands), form balls from heaping tablespoons of dough and place them about 11/2 inches (4 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with a little fleur de sel.

  6. Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown or just start to darken, 11 to 13 minutes.

  7. Set the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.


  1. If you happen to have a convection setting on your oven, use it for these cookies. No need to adjust the time or temperature, though--just keep a close eye on them as they pass the 8-minute mark. The convection setting will create a puffier, more evenly browned cookie, and it should be crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside. Also, please note that this dough needs to rest for at least 8 hours before baking.

  2. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


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