The three most popular home-baked cookies in the US are chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, and peanut butter cookies.
On a trip to Boston and back many years ago, we stumbled across this vegan bakery that sold a cookie they named the Three Graces made of these three cookie doughs.
Since there was no such bakery locally, when we got home, we attempted to duplicate that recipe. Of course, we're not vegans, either, so we used real butter and real lard and real eggs.
I think the cookie we achieved is at least as good as theirs. Because the baker was a woman, and my daughter and I are women, we renamed the non-vegan version "Three Sisters".
Our recipe makes a LOT of cookies (more than 12 dozen, actually), so we only make it when we need lots of cookies. It takes at least 2 days to make them because you make the dough one day, chill it (the chilling is essential) and bake them the next day.
Done right, each bite of this cookie is slightly different - some bites are more chocolate chippy, some are more peanutty, and some are oatier. They're blended, yet still separate, so you get mixes of flavor in between the more pure cookie.
Chocolate Chip Dough
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (use a combination of cake and bread flour, sifted together)Oatmeal Dough
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (or half lard, half butter)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips (I use Giarardelli)
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softenedPeanut Butter Dough
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins (I use craisins instead because I like raisins raw, but not baked)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup lard (or you could use shortening, if using shortening, use Crisco)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix each dough separately, in any order.
For the Chocolate Chip Dough:
Sift the flours with the salt and baking soda. Set aside. Cream the butter with the sugars. Once well creamed, add the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until well incorporated. Add the chips and nuts. Cover and chill for at least 24 hours and 72 hours is better. Do not skip the chilling of this dough.
For the Oatmeal Dough:
Cream the butter and sugars well, then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients together (except the c/raisins), then add to the creamed sugar mix. Stir in the c/raisins. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Or use immediately.
For the Peanut Butter Dough:
Cream the sugars with the peanut butter, lard, and butter. When well creamed, add the egg. Whisk the dry ingredients together and stir into the creamed mix. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Do not skip the chilling of this dough.
To make the cookies:
Get a GIANT bowl, no bigger than that. Honest, MUCH bigger. Put all three doughs into the giant bowl (See, now go get a BIGGER bowl). Using your hands, fold all three doughs together, leaving them separate but mingled. Cover and chill for 3 - 6 hours.
Prepare your baking sheets. I line mine with parchment paper.
Set the oven to 375ºF.
Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop (or a tablespoon, I don't own any cookie scoops), scoop up the dough and place it on the parchment paper lined sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart because they will spread a bit. If you use 4 sheets, they will have time to cool between baking, which makes for a better cookie. This dough will make about 150 cookies - I hope you have a GIANT cookie jar! Return the dough to the refrigerator to keep the dough chilled. Bake each sheet of cookies about 8 - 10 minutes. Remove the cookies immediately to a cooling rack or waxed paper so the sheet can cool off for the next round.
This makes about 150 cookies. Most of them make it through the cooling process and into the cookie jar. Most.
If you don't like our recipes, you could use your own favorite chocolate chip, peanut butter, or oatmeal cookie recipes - add in more or less or different nuts, use dried apples instead of raisins or dried cranberries, or add dried blueberries. It's really your choice how you customize this cookie for you and your friends - because you'll want to share these cookies. You could even switch out the peanut butter cookies for Nutella cookie dough instead.