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Off the Shelf: Food-Processor Cookies

This is a serviceable cookie dough that takes well to adaptation. I'm not sold on the food processor method, however. Is it so much easier to drag out the food processor and then fuss around with scraping out the heavy, sticky cookie dough? Not to my mind, it isn't.

Donna Hay has the cook dump all of the ingredients for the cookies into the food processor (except for the add-ins, eg chocolate chips, raisins, etc.) and process them until smooth. Then you've got to get the dough out of the machine and into a bowl, where you add oats and other chunky stuff. The dough is quite sticky, and scraping it off the blade assembly isn't the easiest task in the world. I truly don't see any advantage to making cookie dough this way. I tried the cookies a second time, making them the old-fashioned way: cream the butter and sugar, add the egg, vanilla, and milk, then stir in the dry ingredients, and finish with the chunky bits. Equipment dirtied with this method? One big bowl and a set of beaters. Equipment dirtied with the food processor method? The work bowl, blade, and lid of the food processor, plus the big bowl which you need to transfer the dough into after processing. Unless you like to get lots of kitchen equipment dirty, mix these cookies in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer.

Hay's recipe calls for oats, raisins, and chocolate chips. I've offered some other suggestions below. Just be sure that the total volume of your add-ins does not exceed 2 1/2 cups.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: about 2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
Other mix-in ideas: walnuts, pecans, or almonds; dried apricots, dates, or cherries; flaked coconut; sunflower seeds; white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Bowl method: In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Mix with handheld electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, egg, and milk and mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add flour and baking powder and combine. Stir in oats, raisins, and chocolate chips (or other add-ins). Drop dough in 2-Tbsp heaps onto cookie sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden (you will need to make two batches, or use two cookie sheets, rotating their position in the oven halfway through baking). Cool on a rack.

Food processor method: Place butter, sugar, vanilla, egg, milk, flour, and baking powder in the work bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Remove dough to a large bowl and stir in the oats, raisins, and chocolate chips (or other add-ins). Drop by 2-Tbsp heaps onto the cookie sheet and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

 

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©2005 Colleen Flippo. All rights reserved. Contact the author.