If your kitchen mantra (or for life in general, really) is "What would Ina do?", you've no doubt already made several relaxed—yet—elegant repasts from the lady Garten's brand new book, Make It Ahead. One of our fave stress-saving recipes from the Barefoot Contessa's latest? These crowd-pleasing cookies, perfect for holiday entertaining and just-because baking fits alike. Take it away, Ina!
Ina says: "Oatmeal cookies or chocolate chunk cookies—which would my friends like best? How about both together? Some dried cranberries for tartness and a sprinkle of sea salt make these my all-time favorite cookies. If you prefer cookies thin and crisp, bake them straight from the mixing bowl. If you prefer them chewy in the middle and crisp outside, chill the balls of dough."
To make it ahead: Scoop balls of dough, place in sealed containers, and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost and bake before serving. Baked cookies can be stored in plastic bags and reheated for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1¼ cups old-fashioned oats, such as Quaker
¾ pound bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, chopped in chunks
¾ cup dried cranberries
Fleur de sel
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 3 sheet pans with parch- ment paper. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. On low speed, add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl again.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Mix in the oats. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Don’t overbeat it!
With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate and cranberries until the dough is well mixed. With a 1¾-inch ice cream scoop (or two spoons), scoop round balls of dough onto the prepared sheetpans. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Reprinted from Make It Ahead Copyright (c) 2014 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.