Oatmeal cherry date nut cookies

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I don’t bake often, but when I do, I leave it to the internet to find my recipes. I’m sure I have cookie recipes in cookbooks, but why look in multiple paper indices, when I can enter a few key words in Google? Usually those are based on the ingredients I happen to have around.

In this case: “cookies oatmeal cherries dates nuts” then “five star reviews” then “healthy” (insert laughing emoji)

I don’t pretend desserts are healthy. Desserts are treats, and treats aren’t supposed to be a break from the healthy.

Nonetheless, I landed on a blog from Heather Carter of MySweetMission.net, who assures us that this is a healthy cookie. It’s almost as if she were apologizing for offering a cookie recipe. She took pains to point out that she and her husband normally eat healthy, and she assumed her readers did, too—especially because it was just after the New Year, and everyone had probably sworn off cookies for all of 2017. But she again stressed that this was a very healthy cookie, but maybe you could make them and just nibble the parts that fall off? And then take the rest to work and studiously avoid them all day long, while your co-workers eat them and become unhealthy, chubby, and get flecks of oats on their faces?

Actually, Heather, they’re quite good. I added some dried cherries and I otherwise offer helpful “mansplaining” tips in italics.

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt (no! this is way too much! I used 1/3.)

2 eggs, large

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup flour, unbleached or all-purpose

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups rolled oats or oatmeal

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1 (8 ounce) package medjool date pieces

(You can find date pieces at your local co-op, sometimes rolled in flour. Unfortunately, they are usually the inferior deglet noor dates. If you want to take the time to chop yummy but messy medjools, go right ahead. BTW I used half dates and half dried cherries.)

1. Preheat an oven to 360 degrees F.

2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter, sugars and salt. Add the eggs & vanilla extract. The mixture should be pale yellow and very fluffy.

3. Add the flour, along with the baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon on low or stir speed. Then add the rolled oats or oatmeal and mix on low, just until blended.

4. Next add the date pieces and chopped walnuts, mixing on low just until blended.

5. Use a 2 ounce cookie scooper (ice cream scoop worked well) and place the dough on ungreased nonstick baking sheets (I used parchment paper) about 2” apart. Press the dough about half way down.

6. Bake in a preheated 360 degrees F oven for 11-13 minutes, or until the tops start to crackle and the cookies are a light golden color. (Check at 11 minutes! I like them doughy and chewy.)

7. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Makes about 28 cookies. Store in an airtight container, or they freeze well for up to 6 months.

While they are freezing, eat lots of kale and get plenty of exercise. Treat yourself only at your own risk.

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Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht & Roumel, PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and wrote a food/restaurant column for “Current” magazine in Ann Arbor. Follow him at @nickroumel.
 

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