coconut-pecan-date oatmeal cookies

Okay, I need to figure out how to come up with better names for these baked goods besides just listing off all the ingredients… the names get pretty long! But I feel like it would be quite sad to leave out any part of the cookie, because they are all fantastic and work together to make the cookie so great.

I have tried many oatmeal cookie recipes, each time ending in disappointment with the results. No matter how hard I tried, I seemed to only get dry and tough oatmeal pucks. They certainly did not meet the high standard of baked goods I have for sharing with others… but at the same time, I didn’t like them enough to keep for myself. Darn oatmeal cookies…

Except, for some reason, in the past few days, I had a HUGE craving for an extra moist, chewy, almost candy-like oatmeal cookie. I loved chocolate chip cookies made with melted butter, and wondered why I hadn’t found a recipe before that made oatmeal cookies with melted butter, since that’s usually what produced the extra chewy moist chocolate chip cookies I love.

But alas, Alice Medrich had already thought of it. In addition to using melted butter, she has you chill the dough overnight, saying the oats will absorb the moisture. This seemed like the perfect way to prevent dry oatmeal cookies! She is so clever, that woman! And lucky for me, shares the baking knowledge. I decided to use the coconut oil I had purchased without really knowing what I wanted to do with it, but felt like it would be a great change to the cinnamon-nutmeg flavorings for oatmeal cookies. Then, for good measure, I tossed in pecans, dates, and more coconut. Yum!

These were definitely EXACTLY what I was looking for… crispy and caramelized on the outside, but amazingly moist, and almost candy-like on the inside. It was everything Medrich described it to be. Not too sweet, and the coconut oil gives it a great flavor and aroma. (Best of all, no creaming…or even melting! Just measure the oil and pour it into a bowl)

My confidence in making oatmeal cookies has been restored. I hope you make these… I will certainly be turning to them over and over again!

Edit:  So, upon eating one of these cookies during breakfast… I realized that the caramelized character of these cookies gives it a taste similar to Samoas.  So, for a chocolatey experience, I would heartily recommend trying these without the dates and pecans, making them slightly smaller, and either dipping the bottom in semi-sweet chocolate or drizzling on top.

Coconut-Pecan-Date Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Alice Medrich’s “Cookies and Brownies”
Makes about 40 large cookies

“Melted butter is one key to the flavor and texture of these great cookies. Overnight chilling allows the oats to absorb the dough’s moisture. The cookies are baked directly on the pan, not on parchment paper; and at a low temperature, to produce great toasted oat flavor, caramelized crunchy brown edges, and flavorful chewy centers. Perfection!”

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats (although I used quick-cooking and they came out great still)
1 teaspoon baking soda
16 tbsp melted butter (or 1 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar, lump free
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup toasted coconut (I used sweetened shredded)

1) Combine the flour, oats, and baking soda in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or a fork. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl, stir together the coconut oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the flour mixture just until all of the dry ingredients are moistened. Let the mixture and the pan cool. Add the mix-ins. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
3) Remove the dough from the refrigerator to soften. Preheat the oven to 325º F. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
4) Scoop about 2 level tablespoons of dough and place them 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. If you want smaller cookies, use 1 tablespoon of dough. Bake for about 15 to 17 minutes for large cookies, 13-15 for smaller ones, or until the cookies are a deep golden brown. Rotate baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
Remove from the oven and let cookies firm up on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Use a metal pancake turner to transfer them to rack to cool completely before storing or stacking. May be stored in a tightly sealed container for several days.

Published in: on June 6, 2008 at 1:49 am  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Although coconut and oatmeal aren’t my favourite ingredients these look great and I think that the peacans and dates would give enough flavour to make me forget the other too!!

  2. Hi Emily,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I will definitely have to try it. I like that it’s an overnight recipe and I also like how you incorporated the coconut oil. I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy some.

  3. Those cookies look perfect. I love the coconut oil option! I use coconut oil for popcorn and curries all the time but have never tried it instead of margarine in cookies (we’re dairy-free).

  4. I just happened upon this website and I am so glad that I did. I was looking for a way to make oatmeal cookies more moist and Voila! There you are! I look forward to trying this recipe and having some for breakfast, what a great idea!


    All the Best,

  5. Do you have any idea how to adjust this recipe to use agave as the sweetener instead of the white and brown sugar?? I am struggling to understand how exactly to do so to get the consistency you got in these. I’m not sure it can be done but I’ve also been substituting coconut oil for butter and I see that it does work so I will persevere to find the answer by trial and error.
    In the meantime, any thoughts on adjustments for the sweetener?

    • hi lori! sorry, i personally haven’t experimented yet with using agave sweeteners… but if you check this recipe on cookie madness, she uses 3 tbsp agave + 1 tbsp honey for 2 tbsp of oil, and didn’t use any normal sugars at all so maybe you can try replacing half using that proportion of sugar to oil, and then work from there. sorry i can’t give you a better answer, but good luck! and let me know if it works well b/c i have also wanted to try using agave more in baking 🙂

  6. making these for a second time. this is the best cookie to come along ever.

  7. Thank you for your reply. I’m not sure what recipe you are talking about or what you mean by replacing half using that proportion of sugar to oil but I’m so tired right now the words could be just bouncing off the outside of my head. I posted my question and immediately found an intriguing recipe that also used honey (I substituted agave)as a sweetener. I can’t find it at the moment but I noticed that the recipe didn’t call for an egg. I was delighted, as I’d like to ditch the egg too but while the batter was delectable ( I had a hard time not eating it all out of the bowl and almost had none to make any cookies with!)the finished product disintegrated into a dry pile of flour dust when I went to pick it up. Terrible. I almost tried to contact the person to see if there was a typo and it really did call for an egg. (I thought that was what kept cookies together)
    Anyway, no luck yet and I’m getting tired of wasting all my wonderful, organic ingredients experimenting.
    Not to mention torturing myself in the middle of summer with the oven on and no A/C. So I’m putting the mixer down for a while. If I have any luck later, I will share my discoveries with you straight away.
    Be well.

  8. i love this recipe!! but i make the dough without the pecans, dates and toasted coconut and my cookies still turn out great!!

  9. I was looking for an oatmeal cookie recipe I could make for my grandson who can’t have milk or soy protein. These are so wonderful and were a hit with ALL my grandchildren! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe. God bless you.

  10. Thanks for sharing. Looks delicious. I was most interested in your oatmeal cookie recipe as I am a producer of freshly milled hand-blended organic oats which includes extra bran, and I also make a decadent oatmeal cookie that I market. But I have found that using all butter has its drawback, i.e., the cookie is crispy for the first day, and then the crispiness disappears and it just becomes a soft cookie. So I was searching for information using coconut oil instead of regular shortening which I know does create a crispy cookie. And so my question to you is, does this cookie stay crispy after the first day? Thank you very much for any feedback.

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