The other week I was invited to a friend’s dinner party. I hate to show up empty handed and as you can imagine, I often like to contribute a homemade dessert. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to bake an elaborate cake or tart and needed to come up with a quick dessert with ingredients I had on hand. I immediately thought of cookies: the dough takes about 10-15 minutes to make and baking time per batch is only 10 minutes (which is idle time, aka time to do hair and makeup!). While nothing is wrong with plain, old chocolate chip cookies, I wanted to make something more exciting. Luckily I had leftover marshmallows (from the Momofuku Cornflake, Chocolate Chip, Marshmallow cookies), chocolate chips, pecans and oats and hence oatmeal rock road cookies were born! (Fun fact: Apparently Rocky Road ice cream got its name after the Wall Street crash of 1929 by William Dreyer and Joseph Edy “to give folks something to smile about in the midst of the Great Depression.”).
This recipe is a blend of Joanne Chang’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies (disclaimer: I hate raisins in all baked goods except her carrot cake) and the Momofuku Milk Bar cornflake, chocolate chips and marshmallow cookies. The result is a soft, gooey cookie with hints of caramel (from the marshmallow as it bakes). The chococolate chips and toasted pecans add a great flavor and texture contrast.
Of note, the dough can be made several days ahead of time for an even speedier dessert (or two months if you freeze it). When I do this, I like to scoop the dough into 1 Tbs portions before refrigerating as opposed to just refrigerating the dough as is. It makes it a lot easier to bake when the time comes (refrigerated dough can be tough to portion out!).
Oatmeal Rocky Road Cookies
(adapted from Joanne Chang’s Flour cookbook)
1 cup (sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (200 g) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup (245 g) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cup (175 g) old –fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
1 1/4 cup marshmallows
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt, making sure there are no lumps of baking soda. Stir in the oats. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly combined. On low speed, or by hand, gradually add the flour and oat mixture to the creamed butter, mixing until completely incorporated. Add the marshmallows, chocolate chips and pecans and mix until just incorporated.
At this point you can portion the dough out into 1 Tbs balls and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. If time does not permit, this refrigeration step can be skipped (but does make for a better cookie).
Place the dough balls on the parchment lined baking sheet, an inch apart. Bake for about 10 min or until just starting to become golden brown. DO NOT overbake! Remove from oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container for up to three days. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, or frozen for up to two months.