Makes: about 60 cookies
Takes: about 20 minutes
This is based on a recipe from my mom, who called these cookies “Alexandrites.” Most folks online seem to call them “lace cookies.” Either way, they are delicious. I’ve tweaked these to suit my preferences, of course – while my recipe may be marked “alpha” hers has decades of cookies behind it.
These cookies are incredibly sensitive to two things:
- How large of a scoop you use to make them.
- Airflow/temperature in your oven.
The teaspoon of batter will seem like not enough. Trust me, it is enough.
Try to position the sheet pan(s) so that air can circulate on all sides. This may mean using smaller pans than you otherwise would! It’s better to use two pans, one over another with a few inches between, than to cram them both onto one level and block airflow. If you mess up the airflow, you’ll get cookies burning on one side while they’re underdone on the other.
- 4oz stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 180g golden brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
The dry stuff (can collect in medium bowl):
- 116g rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons AP flour
- 1/2 teaspoon (heaped) kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350F. I use a convection bake mode which gets more even results. You don’t necessarily have to. If you’re planning to try to bake two sheets of cookies at a time, place one rack at the bottom and one above the middle to get spacing between them.
Drop butter and sugar into bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream until consistent and fluffy – about three minutes on a medium speed. (Your mixer might prefer that you cube the butter first.)
Scrape down the bowl. Add the egg (no need to beat first) and vanilla extract to the bowl and beat until well combined.
Scrape down the bowl. Add the dry stuff. Beat at low speed until just combined – we’re not trying to produce gluten here.
Put parchment paper on two half sheet pans. (Or smaller, if you can’t get airflow around a half sheet pan in your oven!)
Place cookies on parchment as 1 teaspoon blobs, spaced about 7cm / 2.75 inches apart. One teaspoon won’t look like enough – it very much is. This batter spreads aggressively in the oven, and if you use more, the cookies won’t get done all the way through.
Once the oven is hot, put the sheet pan(s) in, ensuring even gaps for airflow on all sides of the pan(s).
Bake for 8 minutes, but keep an eye on them after 7 minutes.
- The cookies will puff up as they spread. They’ll still be a light tan at this point.
- As they start coming to temperature the bubbles will pop and the cookies will start collapsing, usually starting at the edge. Your goal is to get as much of the cookie collapsed as possible without burning.
- Pull the cookies when the edges are a dark brown, slightly darker than “dark brown” sugar. The centers will still be lighter – that’s ok.
- When in doubt, give them another 30-60 seconds – the caramelized flavor of the darker cookies is delightful, and underdone cookies can be unpleasantly chewy.
Pull the pans of cookies and transfer the cookies off the hot pans, sliding the parchment onto a cooling rack (I use the grate over my range).
Try not to eat them for about 3 minutes as they cool.
- Switched from melting the butter to creaming it, which is less work and generates fewer dirty dishes.
- Increased vanilla because, vanilla.
- Switched from white granulated to golden brown sugar, which gets a more reliable caramel-ly taste and seems to spread a bit more predictably.
- Verified that greasing the paper isn’t necessary with parchment, removed that step.