Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I picked up the Martha Stewart Holiday cookie magazine a few years back. I love making cookies at Christmas and although I have a handful of standard favorite recipes, I'm always looking for new ones (this one now belongs to the "standard favorites").

They’re super easy and I almost always have all the ingredients kicking around. These loaded crispy Peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies are always a hit! Chocolate chips, whole peanuts and peanut butter, who doesn’t like peanut butter with chocolate?

The original recipe makes 6 dozen cookies, so I usually cut the recipe in half, and whatever doesn't get eaten, I put into ziplock bags and into the freezer. And no need to thaw, they taste great cold!

Original Recipe: From Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies 2005
(makes about 6 dozen)

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups salted whole peanuts
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Stir together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
2. Put sugars, butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
3. Reduce speed to low. Add oat mixture, and mix until just combined. Mix in peanuts and chocolate chips.
4. Using a 1 1/2" ice cream scoop, drop balls of dough 2" apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.

This time around:

I tried something a little different with them this time. In the past, I have used applesauce as a substitution for oil or butter in different recipes and they’ve worked out just fine. Not sure how it’s possible for one to compensate for the other (I’ll have to Google that later!), but it works…it cuts out the fat and tastes great. This recipe called for 1 cup of butter, so this time, I’ve used unsweetened applesauce instead of the butter. The cookies came out looking the same, but curiosity got to me and I had to taste one hot right out of the oven. It tasted as good as always. I let them cool on the baking rack for a little while, and tried another one. As the cookies had cooled, the difference between the applesauce substitution became evident to me. Although the cookie tasted exactly the same, it was soft, not crispy like they had been in the past. I had my taste tester check them out and he agreed, texture was off but they still tasted as good as ever. Still the same yummy cookie without the added fat but with the consistency of a granola bar (hmmm, gives me an idea for a new recipe! Stay tuned…). Perhaps next time I make these cookies, I’ll only use 1/2 cup of apple sauce and 1/2 cup of the butter, still cuts out the fat and hopefully bring the crispiness back to the cookie.

If you love peanut butter and chocolate, you'll LOVE these cookies!! Try the original recipe and experiment from there

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