Karen DeMasco, the pastry chef at Locanda Verde, is a genius big-deal award-winning New York pastry queen—but she’s also a Midwestern girl at heart, and a Clevelander just like me. That means she loves really old-school American desserts—and nobody, but nobody, makes a better cookie than Karen. This is her version of the classic after-school recipe—only much, much better.
MAKES 30 COOKIES
FOR THE TOASTED OATS
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup rolled oats
FOR THE COOKIES
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose fl our
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 ounces (2 cups) chocolate chips
TO MAKE THE TOASTED OATS
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
Pour the oats into the melted butter and cook, stirring
frequently, for about 3 minutes, so that they absorb the
butter and toast up. When they’re ready, they’ll smell
toasty—a little bit like popcorn—when you lean in close.
Set the oats aside, off the heat.
TO MAKE THE COOKIES
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set
Combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and peanut butter in the bowl of a tabletop mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix everything together on medium-low speed (#2 on a KitchenAid) for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is well combined and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl every 30 seconds or so as things mix, so that everything ends up in the bowl.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add about half of the flour mixture to the peanut butter
mixture, and mix on low speed (#1 on a KitchenAid) for about 10 seconds, until the dry stuff is mixed into the wet stuff. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour mixture, and mix everything together until you’ve got a thick doughlike mixture.
Add the toasted oats and chocolate chips, and mix on low speed for another 20 seconds or so, until the dough really comes together. It should be pretty dry. Use a tablespoon to scoop up rounds of cookie dough, and pop each round onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Use the bottom of a measuring cup to flatten the cookies a little, so they measure 11/2 to 2 inches across. (This dough doesn’t relax much, so if you don’t flatten them out, you’ll end up with ball-shaped cookies.)
Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes. Then rotate the baking sheets so that everything will bake evenly, and bake for another 8 minutes or so, until they’re a little bit golden around the edges but still soft. (They’ll harden more as they cool.) You can serve these cookies as soon as they’ve cooled down, or you can store them in an airtight container for 2 or 3 days.