A recent post on Cup of Jo talked about simple pleasures: small things that light you up, make you feel comfortable, bring you joy. Her list included kettle chips, getting into clean sheets after shaving your legs, and the grassy waves at Storm King.
The comment section on the post (which numbers over 500!) is beautiful and exceptional and so joy-inducing in and of itself that I’ve promised myself to return to read every single one, bit by bit, whenever I’m in need of a pick-me-up (or just a reminder that life is just brimming with the possibility of beauty at every turn, around every corner).
The list comes and goes, ebbing and receding as days pass, my likes and dislikes changing — less that I stop liking things and more that others come to the forefront. Last year the editors at Food52 asked me to make a list of things I loved for a similar series they did, and mine at the time included: watermelon kombucha, long runs with my sister, Maison Louis Marie candles, and savory scones.
Here are some things on my list lately:
Very soft, very faded t-shirts (especially my hunter green long-sleeved Martha’s Vineyard one)
The smell of Mrs. Meyer’s peony hand soap
Frozen granola (guys, try this, trust me!)
Pulling on warm sweatpants after jumping in the ocean at dusk
Reading this book every day at lunch (but only at lunchtimes, so I savor it and look forward to it)
The contrast of warm + cold salads (crisp lettuces mixed with warm spaghetti squash tossed with Caesar or green goddess dressing)
A spritz of this perfume
The first sip of the velvety foam on an oat milk cappuccino at Joe
Crispy edges of bendy oatmeal cookies
You, too, can enjoy that last one. (Actually you can enjoy all of them! Except not my Martha’s Vineyard sweatshirt…sorry, but I refuse to share that one.)
These cookies are so fantastic—they’re bendy and chewy but the edges get rather caramelized and crisp. The trick is to really cream the butter and sugar together, and then to bang the pan a few times during baking, so that the cookies get thin enough to achieve a not-cakey texture. When you do it properly, they’re practically like a layer of oats and chocolate chips barely bound together with dough.
I always sprinkle flaky sea salt on top before baking and this is a step I wouldn’t skip.
Also, you can certainly make a double or triple batch, shape them into balls, and freeze them if you like. Unlike more substantial cookies however, you don’t need to let the dough rest—you can of course, if you want to make them ahead and let the dough chill in the fridge, but it doesn’t markedly change the flavor or texture the way it does with many chocolate chip cookie recipes.
Feel free to use raisins or other dried fruit if you like, but then these would be oatmeal raisin cookies not oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and…well…that would be a different simple pleasure all together! I kid, but personally I think oatmeal raisin cookies are better when they are thicker and chewier and heartier, so I’d suggest sticking with chocolate chips here.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
Makes 3 dozen cookies
1 3/4 cups (90 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces (226 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (213 grams) brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
flaky sea salt, for finishing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until very pale and fluffy—about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla. Mix until very well-incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Add the oats and mix until evenly distributed, then fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the dough into 2 inch balls onto the baking sheets. I like to use a small ice cream scoop for this to keep them uniform.
Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and bake for about 12 minutes. After about 4 minutes, open the oven and grab hold of the pan and bang/rap it firmly against the oven rack (or you can take it out of the oven quickly and do this on the stovetop). This will collapse the warm dough slightly—repeat this after another 4 minutes or so. This will help flatten the cookies and make them more caramelized on the edges and bendier. They’re ready when the edges are golden brown but the center still looks slightly underdone. Remove from the oven and let cool.