tarmac cookies aka oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies

I am not a terribly good flyer. I can’t sleep on any flight (no matter the length, no matter the time of day). I never know where to put my elbows. And I have this unrelenting fear that every time I board a plane, I am boarding a germ incubator (I have a section of my carry-on dedicated to Purell and various hand wipes).


A few years back, I used to NOT worry about the food on the plane. True, it was always awful, but at least it was always there. Over the years (as is oft-told) the airlines began cutting back on meal services and then snack services. As of this writing, Delta will still throw you a mini bag of pretzels and a Biscoff (phew), American will give you absolutely nothing (most airlines will still allow you to buy a stale sandwich from them if you dare). Again, this is not the end of the world for a 6-hour flight. It can seem like the end of the world; however, if the plane runs out of all food options (even “to purchase” options) while it is still on the tarmac. It is outright annoying when you can’t even order a packet of salt and you still have 21 planes queued up ahead of yours plus another 6 hours in the air. This happened to me two years ago, and all I could think of was 1) I am totally screwed if we have an Alive like situation befall us (thankfully my flight was going to Los Angeles…not near the Andes) and 2) Would the girl next to me be creeped out if I asked for a bite of her apple (my rational self took hold…yes, she would be creeped out…don’t embarrass yourself).


I learned my lesson. I have finally (mostly) started to fill my carry-on with an assortment of life-sustaining (“what if I am stuck in the Andes?”) snacks. Tomorrow, I will be travelling to Colorado with a half-pound of homemade granola and a small box of cookies. Normally, I would bake up a batch of the classic Baked chocolate chunks, but I decided to go out on a limb and test drive a cookie I came across on Epicurious solely because of the massive amount of chocolate to dough ratio. It’s damn intense.


The cookie itself is a meal: over a pound of chocolate, oats, and peanut butter. Though relatively easy to make, it was a tiny bit tedious to grate a portion of the chocolate (that is why the cookie dough appears darker than normal) and process a portion of the oats – this is not a one bowl job, but it is worth it.

One kind of cool item of note: I baked these cookies with a local organic miller, Daisy Flour, and according to the package “Milling flour on our historic equipment makes daisy Organic Flour much fluffier than modern commercial flours. You will need to add extra Daisly Flour to your recipes to achieve the results you expect from our premium product.” So there you go…fluffy flour rules.


FLYING COOKIES adapted from Jose’s Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gourmet Mag)


1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
12 ounces dark chocolate cut into chunks
8 ounces dark chocolate, grated


Pulse 1 cup of oats in a food processor (I stopped when the mixture was half coarse and half fine and it was a beautiful thing). Pour the ground oats, remaining ½ cup of whole oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and whisk together.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes on medium speed). Add vanilla and peanut butter and beat again until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, add the flour all at once and beat JUST until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks and grated chocolate (you can do this off the mixer if you like).

Chill the dough for at least 4 hours. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop dough balls – a heaping tablespoon – onto prepared baking sheet (the cookies will spread so space about 1.5 inches apart) and bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes (rotate the pan half way through the baking time). Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. Bring the entire batch with you on any long flight. Share with your seatmates.