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.