Sometimes I need a cookie
Despite the fact that I talk about food, and sometimes post rather elaborate dinner menus, I try to keep my calorie intake to between 1200 and 1400. Since reaching this vague midpoint in life, I have to work harder than I care to in order to maintain a healthy weight. So there isn’t a lot of room in my day for sugar, meats, fats or alcohol.
I try to bake with as much whole grain as I can; I reduce the sugars to a minimum (though sometimes I go too far – the sweetness is needed to allow the other flavors to come through.) I use a minimum amount of butter, but cookies need some fat and some sugar – it’s part of the reason I crave them. I no longer enjoy bakery or packaged cookies. The refined ingredients taste lifeless to me, and I don’t enjoy the sugar rush and crash.
An oatmeal chocolate chip recipe in Peggy Cullen’s Got Milk: The Cookie Cookbook inspires this recipe. Peggy is a friend of mine from NYC days, but even if I didn’t know her I would turn to her books for foolproof cookie recipes and inspiration. When I need a cookie, I turn to a comfort cookie, this one is just that: a chunky, slightly buttery, slight sweet, classic oatmeal cookie.
Makes 4 dozen 2” cookies
8 T salted butter softened (you can use unsalted butter, just remember to add a little salt! About ½ t)
½ c packed light brown sugar
4 T honey or maple syrup
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 c old fashioned rolled oats
1 c whole-wheat flour (I recommend King Arthur white whole wheat)
½ t baking soda
¼ cinnamon (or try nutmeg and/ or cardamom)
¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
¾ c dried cranberries
Heat oven to 350
In a medium bowl beat the butter, sugar, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla until combined. Add one egg, beat to combine. Scraped down the bowl using a rubber spatula, and beat for a few more seconds. Add rolled oats. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon. Add dry to wet ingredients mixing on low until just combined. Add nuts and cranberries and stir.
I use two teaspoons to scoop and push the dough. A well-mounded teaspoon of dough yields 4 doz cookies.
Place on ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 “ apart. – I like to use silpat-lined trays but parchment is fine.
You can flatten each mound or give it a rounder shape using slightly damp fingers.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until beginning to turn golden. Let sit for a couple minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
Eat them right out of the oven for a soft bite. In a few hours they will be crunchy. These are not very sweet; they satisfy the craving for a little dessert. Great for dipping into tea or served with a sweeter dessert wine.