The Beloved was feeling cookie-ish on Sunday, so I told him I’d Come Up With Something on Monday for him to munch on throughout the week. Because I am an Awesome wife. Also, I enjoy cookies. I love it when my self-interest dovetails with my being a Devoted Spouse.
Y’all know I don’t really like to go out and buy a couple of ingredients to make a particular recipe. I’d much rather root around in the cabinets and See what there is to See. And this is what I found.
Rather than testing and testing a base recipe, I needed one that already worked. Preferably one containing a bunch of the ingredients I had on hand. I found it in this recipe for Maple Nut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies by the Culinary Alchemist. Incidentally, he also has a blog called “Corningware411, A retrospective on Corning’s space-age material, Pyro-Ceramic cookware.” How completely awesome is that for a niche blog?! He’s Also a mentor on Bakespace.com. I didn’t know all these things about him until I started writing this post, and now all of us know.
Anyway, I took CA’s keen recipe and smashed it, bashed it and added items to it until it was almost unrecognizable. And full of chocolate, cashews and pretzel pieces. The poor dear was positively Straining it was so full of Items. So I made the cookies Huge.
“But Jen, why ever did you call them Mighty Rhinos?” you may ask. A facebook fan came up with the name after I asked for suggestions. Other suggestions considered and set aside after the Awesomeness of the Mighty Rhino included:
- Kit and Caboodles
- Wake Up and Smell ‘Em Cookies
- Garbage Cookies
- Hodge Podge Cookies
They are pretty delicious. Mix in whatever you want: M&Ms, chocolate or peanut butter chips, nuts, raisins, etc.
- 4.5 oz all purpose flour
- .75 oz best quality cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
- 1 cup rolled or steel cut oats, whirred to dust in a food processor or blender
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 8 oz unsalted butter, slightly softened
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, very gently rounded
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup Grade B maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- large handful coarsely chopped cashews
- large handful broken salted pretzels
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into mix-in sized pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange racks towards the bottom and middle of the oven.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, oats, baking powder, baking soda and espresso powder. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter, brown sugar, sugar and sea salt until smooth–no light and fluffy here, folks.
- Cream in the vanilla and maple syrup and mix until smooth.
- Add the egg and mix until smooth.
- On low speed, mix in the reserved flour mixture.
- With clean hands, mix in your mix-ins. You can use a spatula if you prefer, but the dough is heavy and sticky.
- Optional Step: Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. This allows the dough to “ripen” and the flavors to marry. It’s not necessary, but it does make the cookies taste great.
- Portion onto Silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Flatten each cookie slightly, and bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the pans on the racks. Bake for another 7-8 minutes until well-spread and firm on the edges.
- Take the cookies out of the oven and let firm up on the sheets for 2-3 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, place in zip-top freezer bags, suck out the air, and freeze for up to a month.