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There aren’t too many things that beat a great cookie. And My Best Oatmeal Cookies are a truly great cookie! Chock full of flavorful dried fruits and nuts and seasoned with just the right amount of sugar and spice. Lumpy and bumpy – just the way an oatmeal cookie should be.
My Best Oatmeal Cookies are simple to make, but do use fresh dried fruit for maximum flavor and chew. And please, please, always toast your nuts before adding them to the mixture. For years I would just add nuts straight from the fridge or freezer without toasting them first. What a difference a little bit of toasting makes. Since your oven is already heating up for the baking, just toss your nuts on a baking tray and toast for about 12 minutes or until fragrant while you are prepping the cookies. The nuts go in last so the timing is perfect.
While you could just go with cinnamon and nutmeg in this recipe, I strongly urge you to make up a batch of Sweet Hawaij. I’ve begun using it in most recipes that call for cinnamon. Included below is a recipe for Sweet Hawaij from the cookbook Shuk by Einat Admony and Janna Gur. This Yemeni spice blend is magical. I often use it to replace anywhere you might use cinnamon, pumpkin or baharat spices. It will take coffee and roasted vegetables to the next level. Try it in pumpkin pie. I guarantee you will be converted. I make up my own but it is also available online and at spice stores.
Oatmeal cookies happen to be a favorite of my husband’s. The last recipe I tried was for a pumpkin bread that didn’t work the way I had hoped. So I really wanted to make something he and I would love. While I am a huge chocolate lover, everything does not need chocolate to be great. A tendency I have noticed is that people put chocolate chips in EVERYTHING. Please just leave these cookies as is and enjoy them with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee or tea.
You can enjoy My Best Oatmeal Cookies, still slightly warm from the oven or they will keep for days in an airtight tin with a slice of bread in it.
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies
1.5 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons of sweet hawaij
1/4 teaspoon of kosher or fine sea salt
1 large egg, well beaten
1/2 cup melted butter or vegan butter
1/2 cup melted solid vegetable fat (I like Crisco)
1.75 cups “Old Fashioned” Rolled Oats
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon dark molasses
1/4 cup dairy or non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 cup moist raisins
1/2 cup moist medjool dates, coarsely diced
1/2 cup moist dried sour cherries
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with Silpat or parchment. Set aside.
Sift the dry ingredients (first 4 ingredients listed) into a large bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix through until everything is distributed evenly.
Using a 1.5 Tablespoon cookie scoop (or a spoon) place dough on the prepared baking sheet. The cookies do not spread a great deal but I still keep them about 2 inches apart. I do not flatten the scoops. This keeps the centers chewy and the edges crisp-ish.
Bake, turning half-way (unless you are lucky enough to have a convection oven) for about 16 to 18 minutes. Ovens vary but the cookies should have flattened out somewhat and are brown around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool for about 3 minutes (more is fine) on the baking sheet before removing them to a cooling rack.
Yield: About 1/2 cup
1 Tablespoon ground cloves
2 Tablespoons freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons ground ginger
1 Tablespoon ground cardamom
This will last in a cool, dark place kept in a small glass air-tight jar for up to a year. Mine gets used up waaaaaay before that!