Back in the Kitchen

Now that it’s just me and Justin at home (my niece flew back home yesterday), I’m starting to get back into my normal groove. I went grocery shopping today; my cart was full of vegetables and beans, pastas and pitas. I’ve planned some yummy menus for this week, so stay tuned for new recipes.

But first, a little something for my sweet tooth. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a bag of mixed dried fruit bits, thinking that I would snack on them during the day. I didn’t. They haven’t gone to waste, however. They are now folded into these scrumptious oatmeal cookies.

I like oatmeal cookies, but the usual oatmeal-raisin combo gets old. I used to make a recipe that included Craisins and dates and pecans, but I’ve misplaced it, so I had to go searching for a new one. I found one on the Cooking Light website that I changed up quite a bit, and ended up with these sweet, crispy-chewy, perfectly spiced cookies. This is my new official oatmeal cookie recipe.

Notes: I used half dark and half light brown sugar as an experiment, but using all light or dark would be fine. I also used part rolled oats to give the cookies a denser texture, but all quick-cooking would work well. I froze half the dough, using a small scoop to pre-portion the dough into freezer bags.

Oatmeal, Fruit and Nut Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used freshly grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit bits (such as Sun-Maid)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine first 6 ingredients (flour through ginger) in a small bowl, and set aside. Combine brown sugars, granulated sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla, egg whites, and egg in a large bowl; beat mixture at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Stir in oats and dried fruit bits, and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in flour mixture.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 9 minutes or just until lightly browned (reverse cookie sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through cooking time to ensure even browning). Remove cookies from pans, and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light.

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