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say it with me now, “om nom nom”

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I’m back! Didja miss me? Vacation was vacation, I won’t bore you with details, but I did meet Steffany from Dinner Love, and she’s a dear.

But hey check it out, while I was glutting myself daily on hotel breakfast Danish, there were 45 Tastebuddies trying out 11 different recipes in a valiant effort to determine which would qualify as THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES there are. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, welcome to Omnomicon! Here’s where you can read about our monthly Recipe Round-Robin contest.

And here, let me show you what the best looks like, beginning to end.

The making of chocolate chip cookies.

That up there is all the stuff that goes into these suckers. It’s hard to tell, but there are a couple secret ingredients in there.

The making of chocolate chip cookies.

The white stuff is ground oatmeal, and the brown crumbs are grated Hershey bars. Specifically Hershey bars. Except instead of grating, I thought I’d try getting the job done with my food processor.

The making of chocolate chip cookies.

And what do you know, it totally worked.

The making of chocolate chip cookies.

And then stir that into all the other stuff with some nuts and, naturally, chocolate chips.

The making of chocolate chip cookies.

The batter is extremely tempting, but be sure to save some for the cookies, they’re worth it.


So do you recognize these? They were Bubbe’s Fantastic Chocolate Chip Cookies, code named Recipe L, and many big thanks to Hallie for letting us give them a try! Here’s what she had to say about ’em:

Here is my bubbe’s fantastic recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re definitely not low-fat, but they’re the best I’ve ever made (and I’m a pastry chef!).

So these are both pastry-chef and Tastebuddy approved. I knew you’s guys had great taste. My guess is that the groundedness of the oatmeal gives these more texture without being so suggestive of oatmeal cookies. I also have a theory on how the Hershey bar plays into things: usually a chocolate chip cookie is a sugar cookie with bitter chocolate chips here and there, but little to tie these two elements together. Maybe the grated chocolate creates a gentler transition from cookie to chip? Even if my theory is right (and I’m open to the alternative, I know what I don’t know), my word choice is not even remotely technical, so Hallie, please feel free to jump in with your expertise.

Here’s the word I got via email results:

  • Our house votes for recipe L. It had lots of chocolate and grinding the oatmeal was a great idea because it made for flatter and less dry cookies. Recipe L was nice and chocolaty! After we made our decision we did our own taste test with friends and recipe L definitely won hands down.
  • Far and away, I and my 3 co-tasters chose Bubbe’s Fantastic recipe as the best of the two. The finely ground oatmeal added a nice substance to the cookies without giving it the graininess of an oatmeal cookie. They baked up nicely–no flat cookies here–and the ground Hershey’s chocolate gave the cookies a beautiful brown color and a little extra chocolate kick. I used hazelnuts since it said you could add your choice of nuts–not a huge fan of nuts in cookies, but they tasted great in this recipe.
  • The texture was very nice; the oatmeal provided more substance to the cookie and even though some of us had hesitations about whether oatmeal belonged in a traditional chocolate chip cookie, it was quite good.
  • So good. If you’re including technique suggestions, rolling these guys into balls really helped.
  • Who knew oatmeal could help so much?

And here’s the word on the web (leave a comment with a link if I missed your post!):

And here’s what they looked like in other people’s kitchens:

Ruth made Bubbe’s
Ruth tries Bubbe's.

And Jeff also made Bubbe’s
Jeff gives Bubbe's cookies a shot.

Then Domestic Ambitions made the Friendly Choco-Chippers . . .
Domestic Ambitions also tried the Friendly Choco-Chippers

. . . and also Sheila’s (nice collage-work, btw).
Domestic Ambitions makes Sheila's cookies.

Next up are the Kitten-Free (calls for exactly 0 kittens in the ingredient list, and the cleverness was simply adorable) as compared to the Family Secret recipe, the latter which did not seem to work out for Carly, who may have been too busy with Sunday’s NYTimes crossword to care.
Carly compares the Kitten-Free to the Family Secret chocolate chips cookies...

And lastly, there was the recipe that ended in “Mmm. Eat.” and Ruby’s Plan ahead cookies. I want to give Lisa mad props for this photo, it’s gorgeous.
Mmm Eat vs. Ruby's Plan-Aheaders (courtesy of Lisa)

And there you have it! Yet another Recipe Round-Robin, now with 200% more reader participation. Hooray! So I’m announcing a savoury recipe for July . . . any suggestions? I’m thinking summer-time BBQ dishes—pasta salad, seasoned hamburgers, probably not potato salad because there’s a huge tendency toward grossness and grossed-out taste-testers—but I bet comfort food will work regardless of the time of year. We’ll save fruitcake for December.

Thanks again to everyone for participating. Really, I mean it! I’m so psyched that this works out every month because people are saying they had fun and because I like reading about it, and giving stuff away is fun too.

And last but not least, here’s Hallie’s winning recipe.

Bubbe’s Fantastic Recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies
yields about 3 dozen cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal, ground to mealy texture
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz chocolate chips [2 cups]
4 oz grated hershey bar [this amounts to 18.5 rectangles from the Big Bar, but use your algebra to figure it out if you can manage . . . I food processored those suckers, and it seemed to do the trick. If grating by hand, however, one Tastebuddy recommends freezing the bar first so it doesn’t melt in your hand.]
~1 cup chopped nuts of choice (I usually use pecans or walnuts) [editor used pecans, and they were fabulous]

Cream the butter and sugars together.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
Mix the dry ingredients and add to egg mixture.
Stir in the chips, nuts, and hershey bar.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a lined cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes. [editor’s note: mine took about 10 minutes, and one Tastebuddy had reported 11-12 minutes. Final recommendation is check in at 6 minutes, and then every two minutes after that until you can see a little bit of browning happening on top].

nom nom nom!

nutrition summary (1 of 36 cookies yield): 220 calories, 12g fat, 1.5g fiber; ~5 weight watchers points