Defense Cookies

It's traditional for PhD candidates to bring some kind of snack for their committee members to enjoy while they grill the candidate in a process called the defense of their dissertation. My husband got to enjoy this very thing in May and, rather than attempt to make anything himself, he left the traditional food offering task to the professional. I spent a fair bit of time pouring over ideas and these Double Chocolate Pecan Oatmeal Cookies (or defense cookies, as we called them) were born:

Packed with everything their name implies and more, every little cookie is bursting with amazing flavors and a crunchy outer texture wrapped around a moist, chewy center. I made them a little on the small side so it's easy to justify two or three with a cup of coffee. I wanted them to be delicious, but not messy. After all, the good doctors were going to be focusing their time and attention on my husband's multi-year research project and his overall grasp of the subject. Since there would only be a handful of people in the room, I opted to send a reasonably sized container of cookies and not worry about fancy containers.

And they ate them all. They didn't even leave any for my husband! Then again, I don't think he was thinking about eating cookies at the time. (Yes, I kept more of them at home for our family to enjoy, too.) I won't complain though: the committee members all signed his paperwork and he's done with his PhD! I'm so very proud of him and incredibly happy to know that our family will have more time together now. It's been a lot of work for him and a lot of extra juggling for me and we're looking forward to a summer filled with more family-focus and even just pure leisure time.

And hey, maybe we'll have to make these again as a family. The committee members aren't the only ones with a sweet tooth!

Double Chocolate Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 c. butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Add the room temperature butter to a mixing bowl; add both sugars and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until blended.

Mix the whole egg with the egg yolk and add to butter mixture in the bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Add the salt, baking soda, and cinnamon; mix for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and rolled oats and mix until well combined. Add the white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and pecans. Mix until well combined.

Scoop small balls (1-2 teaspoons) of dough onto a silicone baking mat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  • Yields: About 6 dozen cookies
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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