The London marathon is in a month's time (yikes!) and I'm still somewhat shy of my fundraising goal of £1,500. Like many people who apply for the marathon through the ballot, I didn't get a spot so I decided to pursue my dream while raising money for a worthwhile cause. In my case, as an animal lover, I'm raising money for Care for the Wild International, an animal conservation charity.
Unlike some of the charities that are fielding hundreds of runners at the event, CWI has just 7 of us. While it means that every pound we raise will mean more to them, it also means that the pressure not to let them down is even stronger.
To supplement my fundraising efforts thus far, I am planning to ask my colleagues if they will help sponsor my marathon. As a thank you (or a bribe), I baked up a batch of these decadent white chocolate chunk cookies and will bring them into the office tomorrow. I'm hoping this will do the trick. Judging by the lovely smell wafting through my kitchen at the moment, I have high hopes.
White Chocolate Chunk-Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from The Essential Baker
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
10 oz white chocolate, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup toasted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds and preheat the oven to 375F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick liners.
Over a large piece of waxed or parchment paper or a bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir or toss to blend together thoroughly.
Place the butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer or in a large bowl. Use the flat beater attachment or a hand-held mixer to beat the butter on medium speed until it's fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the butter and cream together completely. Stop occasionally and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Using a fork, lightly beat the egg and vanilla together in a small bowl. Add to the butter mixture and blend thoroughly. The egg will sit on top of the butter mixture, so be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to help mix evenly. The mixture may look curdled as the eggs are added, but as you stop and scrape down the bowl, the mixture will smooth out.
Add the dry ingredients in 4 stages, blending completely after each addition. Stop occasionally and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure even mixing.
Add the white chocolate chunks, macadamia nuts, and dried cranberries and stir to distribute evenly.
Use a large spoon or a small ice cream scoop to scoop out mounds about 2 inches in diameter. Place the mounds on the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches of space between them so they have room to expand as they bake.
Bake the cookies for minutes. Switch the baking sheets and bake another 5 to 6 minutes, until the cookies are set and light golden.
Remove the baking sheets from the oven and cool the cookies completely on the baking sheets on racks. Carefully remove the cookies from the parchment paper or nonstick liners.
Makes 5 dozen cookies