I can't even count how many times I've made this cookie recipe of Ina's, it's a favourite in our home as we're big fans of the salty and sweet combo they pack. This time, however, we decided to do things just a little bit different and add a spooky twist for Halloween-chocolate spiders! It's the same great cookies (minus the cranberries and salt on top) but one small additional step at the end to get them all dressed up for the haunting occasion!
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1¼ cups old-fashioned oats, such as Quaker
3/4 pound bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, chopped in chunks
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Fleur de sel
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. On low speed, add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl again.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix in the oats. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Be sure not to overbeat it. With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate (we often use chocolate chips if it's what we have on hand-which is what we did this time) and cranberries (we left the cranberries out) until the dough is well mixed. With a 1¾-inch ice cream scoop (or two spoons), scoop round balls of dough onto the prepared sheet pan. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel (though we love this touch, we opted to leave it out this time in order to let the spiders be centre stage). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To add chocolate spiders
Using a handful of chocolate chips place them upside down one by one into the hot cookies right out of the oven (put as many as you would like in each cookie keeping in mind you need space to add the legs). They will soften and melt slightly-this is ok. Melt about a 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl in 30 second intervals until able to stir into a smooth mixture. Scoop the melted chocolate into a small piping bag or Ziploc bag right away and snip off the end (only snip at the far end of the tip so that there is a tiny opening). Pipe on 8 legs for each chocolate chip spider and let cool for 1-2 hours until the spiders have hardened.