October 29, 2011

"Everything" Cookies

Every couple of months, A & I hit up Nuts to You, a wholesale chain with stores scattered around the city.  We stock up on various kinds of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and grains by the pound, some of which invariably disappear within a week or two.  With a well-stocked pantry, I got a mid-week urge to make cookies.  I initially wanted to make a rendition of our favorite "Hao's Chocolate Chip Cookies" but I ended up changing it a little too much.  Even though they're totally different, they turned out great!

1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs (I used flax eggs)
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup dried cherries

As the title suggests, these cookies seems to have everything in them.  "Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cherry Cookies" is sort of a mouthful.

 I melted the butter in a mug in the microwave, then mixed it with the sugar, salt, vanilla, and "eggs."

Flax eggs making another appearance.

In another bowl I stirred together the flour, soda, and spices.

I added in the oatmeal and coconut here as well- optional ingredients that could be replaced with a bit more flour.  The Trader Joe's oats are coarser than typical "quick" oats, which I was excited about- I like my cookies chewy.

Typically I mix the dry ingredients into the wet, but I wasn't thinking when I chose my bowls, so they went in the opposite way.  It made it a little harder to incorporate, which may have changed the texture of my dough.  After everything was mixed together, I added in the good stuff: pecans and cherries.  Chocolate chips, other dried fruits or nuts would also work just fine.

I refrigerated the dough for 20 minutes while my oven preheated to 350F.  Again, I was trying to mimic our original cookie recipe, but at this point the ratios were so off that I'm not sure the refrigeration made a difference.  I did keep the tradition of making enormous cookies- golf ball sized rounds of dough, eight at a time into the oven.

The bake time on these was excruciatingly long- about 18 minutes.  The dough didn't seem wet in the bowl but the cookies just looked so gooey I knew I couldn't take them out early.  They also spread out considerably, and as soon as I deemed them to be cooked through, they fell pretty flat.  So sad.

However, all was not lost.  Even though these were in no way the thick and crumbless cookies of my dreams, they were caramelized on the bottom, quite chewy, and full of good flavor.

A compared the texture to the cookies served at the chain bakery Au Bon Pain, thin but not crispy.  The edges had a bit of a crunch, and each mouthful contained a little bit of sweet dried cherry or piece of pecan, while the cardamom and nutmeg provided a spicy flavor throughout.  Very autumn-y!  Glad I could use up some of the stocked goodies too, now maybe I can ignore them and make them last a bit longer...

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