My first visit to Bouchon Bakery was on a trip to Napa Valley with Bret. Bret’s Aunt Sheila always had fresh bread sitting out in her kitchen, so we stopped in to pick up another loaf for her while we were out exploring Yountville. Bouchon Bakery sits right next to Bouchon Bistro and is not far from the famous (and expensive!) French Laundry. After seeing all of the treats at the bakery, Bret and I decided to return a second time on our vacation, and I tried one of the Butter Nutter cookies (a take-off on Nutter Butters). I thought about and raved about that cookie often until my friend Brittany and I were able to return to Napa on a spring break trip and I was finally able to taste that cookie again! Who knew a cookie could be that good?
You can imagine my excitement when I spotted the cover of Thomas Keller’s new Bouchon Bakery cookbook. I was even more excited to unwrap it on Christmas morning! I haven’t tried my hand at my favorite Butter Nutters yet (they seem to be pretty involved and time-consuming), but I did bake the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, exchanging the raisins for chocolate chips. These cookies did not disappoint, and I had several taste-testers at our Super Bowl party who agreed! The cookies are crisp around the edges but soft and chewy in the center. They are full of warm cinnamon and vanilla flavors with an added touch of sweetness from the chocolate chips.
These cookies are BIG (and would you believe I made them half the size the recipe originally called for?)! I recommend enjoying one as a treat with a warm cup of coffee or an ice-cold glass of milk for a little protein to calm your sugar rush (aaannnnddd there’s the dietitian in me…). Savor every bite!
A couple of notes about the recipe…don’t fret if you don’t have a scale (although they are wonderful to have if you’re going to do lots of baking). Use the cup/teaspoon measurements instead, and remember that 1 stick of butter equals 4 ounces. When you go to place the cookie dough on your sheet pans, you could estimate that an ice cream scoop full of cookie dough will be about the right size.
1 cup + 1 teaspoon (144 grams) All Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon (7.7 grams )Ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons (3.6 grams) Baking Soda
1 ¼ teaspoons (3.6 grams) Kosher Salt
½ cup + 3 ½ tablespoons lightly packed (140 grams) Light Brown Sugar
¼ cup + 1 ½ tablespoons (69 grams) Granulated Sugar
5.5 ounces (155 grams) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
¼ cup (62 grams) Eggs
1 ¼ teaspoon (7.7 grams) Vanilla Paste*
2 cups (155 grams) Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup (156 grams) Chocolate Chips**
1. Place flour in a medium bowl. Sift in the cinnamon and baking soda. Add the salt. Whisk together.
2. Whisk together the sugars in a small bowl, breaking up any lumps.
3. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn to medium-low speed and cream the butter until it is the consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted.
4. Add the sugars and mix for 3 to 4 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl.
5. Add the eggs and vanilla paste and mix on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds, until just combined. Scrape down the bowl again. The mixture may look broken, but that is fine (over whipping the eggs could cause the cookies to expand too much during baking and then deflate).
6. Add the combined dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each, until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that have settled there.
7. Add the oats and pulse on low about 10 times to combine. Pulse in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
8. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (convection or standard). Line two sheet pans with Silpats (silicone baking mats) or parchment paper.
9. Using an ice cream scoop, divide the dough into 12 equal portions, 72 grams each. Roll each portion into a ball between the palms of your hands. The cookies are large, so I only placed 5 or 6 cookies on each pan.
10. Bake the cookies until golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes in a convection oven, 18 to 20 minutes in a standard oven, reversing the positions of the pans halfway through baking. Set the pans on a cooling rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
* Vanilla extract may be substituted for vanilla paste.
** Chocolate chips could be substituted for raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or nuts.
Slightly adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel