My theory is, when you find something good, you should hold onto it. That's why I still have a 1970s coffee peculator, I wear comfortable sweatpants until they lose their elastic, it took me a month to get through a box of Pierre Marcolini chocolates, and I'm pretty peeved about the most recent Firefox update.
Two weeks ago, I made some White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies. They were adapted from a recipe published by Alice Medrich in her book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies. There are a few steps which make this recipe different from most other oatmeal cookie recipes: pre-soaking the oats in water, melting the butter, and letting the dough rest overnight. The first and last steps make perfect sense—the more moisture the oats absorb, the more moist the cookies will be. In addition, by resting overnight, the oats absorb the other flavors, ensuring uniform taste. Best of all, they bake up chewy. I love bend-as-you-bite oatmeal cookies that have lightly crisp edges and a definite chew in the middle. In short, I will be holding onto this recipe.
But why not go further, I thought. Why not use this base to explore the vast possibilities of oatmeal cookiedom? There were flavor combinations I had always wanted to try, and having found a new favorite dough seemed like as good a motivator as any.
Thus I proceeded to make nine batches of oatmeal cookies, all using the same base recipe as you'll find here. Click through the slideshow to see all nine variations and instructions for how to make them.