These cookies have as many names as variations — the breakfast cookie (The most common name, and so named because one or two with a glass of milk makes a pretty darn good breakfast.), fruitcake cookie, kitchen sink cookie and the most apt, the NTSC or Never Twice the Same Cookie. They began life back in the ’90s as the DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie a fantastically yummy morsel which you get for free when you stay at one of the DoubleTree Inns.
However I live with the Queen of Chocolate Chip Cookies, Glinda North and even if I was not inclined to tweak recipes, I wouldn’t dream of offering any competition… No wait, I couldn’t offer any no matter how hard I tried. Not even the DoubleTree can outdo Glinda’s chocolate chip cookies. The woman has The Touch.
Originally I tried turning this into a simple chocolate chip-oatmeal recipe, but it got a bit out of hand and what you see below is the basic recipe I now use. I’ll explain what that means as I go along. Please read it through at least once before you start because you need to know why I’m telling you to do things the way I do. That’s how you’ll learn to make your own variations.
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (see notes)
3 cups all-purpose flour (see notes)
3/4 cup rolled oats
5 teaspoons vanilla extract (aka, a LOT, about which, more in a minute)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (Do NOT leave this out.)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground spices (see notes)
8 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
8 oz bag chopped nuts/seeds (see notes)
1/2 bag Baker’s coconut
16 oz dried fruit. (see notes)
Cream butter in large bowl. Add both sugars and beat on medium for 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon juice and vanilla; mix well.
In a separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture and stir well to blend.
Add chips, fruit and nuts; stir to combine.
Drop by 1 T scoop on baking parchment-lined pans. They will spread. (See notes)
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. (see notes)
Cool on parchment paper. (See notes)
Makes a bunch.
Brown sugar: I use Moscovado, which is very dark and molasses-y. If you don’t like that kind of deep brown flavor, by all means use light brown but I think you’ll really miss something if you do.
Flour: All purpose is fine. I used high fiber flour with the most recent batch and it’s good, but a bit drier than I like. If you want to make this high fiber, tweak the liquid a bit.
Vanilla: One thing I’ve learned not only from baking but from reading what people say about baking is that doubling the vanilla is always a good idea. Vanilla enhances all the other flavors. It gives your cookies a round mellowness. Do not be afraid of vanilla, and buy the very best you can afford. It’s worth it.
Spices: I go where my soul takes me when dealing with spices. Today it was a pumpkin pie blend. Tomorrow it could be garam masala. Don’t be afraid to try less obvious flavors. I’m not talking tarragon or dill — though basil and chocolate are a killer combo, and I wouldn’t hesitate to add fresh basil to this recipe if I had some. (Never dried, not for something like this.) The point is, enjoy yourself.
Nuts/Seeds: Today it was walnuts, hazelnuts, chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. This is where a lot of the nutritional punch comes from. Just don’t over-do because they’ll dry out your dough.
Dried fruit: Go nuts. Seriously, any dried fruit you fancy, go on and use it. One caveat: Unless it’s very fresh, rehydrate it before adding to the dough. You can use water; I’d use brandy or something, but eh, that’s just me.
Size of scoop/cookie: Yes, you can make them smaller. Don’t bake them as long. You can make them bigger, too. Bake longer. It’s not rocket science, kids.
Parchment and cooling: These will crumble if you try to take them off the paper before they’re cool. Just slide the whole sheet of paper onto your cooling rack and put a fresh sheet on the cookie pan.
I’m still baking them in batches of 1 dozen. I think I’ll be getting about 4 dozen out of this batch.