Boyfriends are fun to mess with. Especially mine. I have a simple trick that I like to play on him: I take some of our favorite dessert recipes, make some healthy substitutions (without him knowing of course), and innocently watch him to see if he notices any differences. Yes, he is the official guinea pig of MsMeanie's Test Kitchen.
I'll admit it though, some recipes don't fool him, and he can detect a hint of healthy, but these oatmeal cookies? They get him - every, single, time.
The first time I made these cookies, I followed the recipe exactly and they were amazing - rich and chewy and just sweet enough. A few weeks later I made them again, this time with a few healthy tweaks, and guess what? They were STILL amazing. Deliciously rich from the chocolate and pecans, with a balance of crispy on the outside and chewy in the center. My tastebuds loved me, my arteries thanked me, and my test kitchen guinea pig devoured them without suspecting a thing. Now, that to me is cookie perfection.
Chocolate Chip and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from Smitten Kitchen and David Lebovitz, makes about 36 cookies)
*4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
*4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
*3/4 cup white sugar
*1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*2 large eggs
*1/2 cup all purpose flour
*3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
*2 cups chopped pecans
*12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a large cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and applesauce in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla, and beat until well mixed, about three minutes. Stir in eggs, one at a time.
3. Sift together the flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Stir in half of the flour mixture to the butter. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half. Stir in the oats, pecans, orange zest, and chocolate chips.
3. Place a small piece of plastic wrap over the dough and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours (at least 1 hour). This step gives the cookies a great texture and really enhances the flavor. The longer the cookies are chilled, the chewier and more flavorful they will be.
4. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for a few minutes, then drop the dough, by the tablespoon, onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack.