Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fig and Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Craving oatmeal cookies. Looking in the fridge, I see dried figs and walnuts begging to be eaten. Sure they could go in a kale salad dressed with a balsamic vinegar reduction (drool)... but this afternoon, they're going into oatmeal cookies! Nutty. Chewy. Subtle sweet crunch from the fig seeds. What a fun cookie!



Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 3 dozen
Bake Time: 10 minutes per batch

Ingredients:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla 
1/2 cup unsulfured and unsweetened dried figs, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and oats in a bowl.
  3. In electric mixer, add butter and cream in brown and white sugars for about 1 minute.
  4. Beat in egg. Mix vanilla. Mix in flour mixture. Stir in figs and walnuts.
  5. In walnut-sized mounds, place about a dozen cookies per parchment-lined sheet tray (about two inches apart, they will spread out a smidgen ..or you can be daring and fit 16 cookies on a sheet about one inch apart and hope they don't meld together into one large cookie). If you prefer flatter cookies, push down gently on the mounds and reduce baking time by a minute or two.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool on pan for 5 minutes (or however long it takes you to prepare the next tray to go into the oven) before transferring cookies to wire rack to completely cool. I like to go back and forth between two parchment-lined baking sheets to reuse the same sheets of parchment paper. Clean-up during down time so you don't have to do it all at the end.
  7. Store in airtight container once cooled. You probably won't need to worry about storage because they won't be hanging around for long!
Note: When I need brown sugar, I'm often faced with a brown sugar brick because I don't use brown sugar often enough to go through a bag before it gets rock hard (and perhaps living in the desert where the moisture is sucked out of everything doesn't help). I've heard of putting in a slice of bread or apple slices to make it soft for the next day but that takes time and I don't often plan a day ahead for what I'm going to bake the next day. So, here's the quick, immediate use method. Place brown sugar brick in a microwave-safe bowl. Fill another microwave-safe bowl with some water. Place both bowls in the microwave and nuke for 30 seconds at at time until brown sugar is soft. Make sure you keep checking so it doesn't overheat and melt!

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