Posts Tagged ‘oatmeal date cookies’

Right now, there’s a lot and a whole lot of nothing going on. It’s a very strange combination of things that’s difficult to explain or understand. There’s not really any place to go or any place to be. My only refuge the last year has been, of all things, grocery shopping. Going to the store has become my big adventure and because of this, I am ridiculously well stocked (and I was well stocked before all this began.)

I haven’t posted in the last month but it’s not because I haven’t been cooking. I’ve been cooking up a storm, just nothing really post worthy, mostly work stuff or published recipes. As 2020 morphed wordlessly into 2021, I took on a few challenges both for efficiency sake and to entertain myself. One challenge, cooked up by friends, was to cook 100 recipes in the year from cookbooks we currently own. No magazines, no online sources, just use the books we have. I have a lot of books, some I’ve never opened, so I liked the idea of this one. Given my rather large library, I joined Eat Your Booksan online database to create your own cookbook library and it’s been very helpful when I’m looking for a recipe with a particular ingredient.

My family ties neatly into this one as we’ve recently started cooking together via Zoom. My mom announced over the holidays she’d like to cook some Ottolenghi recipes, as she’s never really opened the books I’ve given her over the years. So twice a month, that’s what we do. To date we’ve made a beautiful roasted squash dish from Plenty More and some tasty gorgonzola & spinach stuffed potatoes from SimpleI like this because not only do I get to chat with my family, it helps me work through my books and counts against my 100 recipes. Two birds, one stone as they say. 

Next up are two more challenges that just make sense: use what I have and deplete my freezer stock. I’ve read a couple articles about folks challenging themselves to cook exclusively from their pantry, fridge and freezer for a specified period of time. Some do it for a month, others choose the forty days of Lent but the point stands: use what you have. I need to do this. My pantry is ridiculous with all kinds of leftovers from work projects – bottles of vinegar and soy sauce, tomato sauces and god knows what else. I recently typed up an inventory sheet just to know what I have and to quit buying duplicates like panko breadcrumbs. I have a lot of panko breadcrumbs right now. It’s easy to lose track of things. It happens.

Then there are my freezers, both a standard and a chest freezer. I have a tendency to make things, say a soup or a pot of beans, eat a bit and freeze the rest. That all adds up over time. It’s full of chicken breasts, frozen vegetables, fruit from summer farmers market purchases, Asian noodles, bags of garden cherry tomatoes, big pieces of pork from a butchery project. The goal is to remove things, not put them back in. Last weekend, I dug out some of that pork and made a slow cooked carne adovada, knocking off 2 bags of dried chilies from the pantry while I was at it (it was a three-fer: freezer stock, pantry stock and cookbook recipe. Boom!) Made a pot of beans from my Rancho Gordo bean club stockpile (pantry: check). It’s been keeping be busy and fed and doesn’t always lend itself to a blog post.

That said … I did make some really good cookies this week. An oatmeal cookie. All of you out there who say you don’t like oatmeal cookies are insane. They’re delicious. Is it the raisins? Well good, because I changed those to dates. I have A LOT of dates around here. I started with a recipe from one of my books that I like very much and adapted it for ingredients I had on hand. There’s some molasses for a wonderful chew and a deep flavor that is wonderful. I changed the spices a bit, used walnuts (because they’re such a good pairing with dates) and folded in chopped dates. They’re a little crispy on the outside and soft and chewy in the center. Delicious. Also checked off two of my challenge boxes, so there’s that.

STRESS THERAPTY BAKING FACTOR: YEP. COOKIE THERAPY. There’s a slight health halo to these cookie, if you squint a bit. Oatmeal. Dried fruit. Nuts. It’s almost like granola! If course the addition of three kinds of sugar so of derails that notion, but whatever. On the whole, a nice thing to have around. Cookie dough in the freezer is ALWAYS a good thing.

twelve years ago: Khachpuri (cheesy Georgian bread)

eleven years ago: Marmalade Yogurt Cake,  Fancy Valentine’s Day Cookies  

ten years ago: BBQ Chicken BaoMexican Hot Chocolate,  Chocolate Churros

nine years ago: Passionfruit PavlovaDouble Chocolate AlfajoresChocolate Dulce de Leche Swirl Ice Cream

eight years ago: Nutella TorteChocolate Pear Clafouti

seven years ago: Pimento Cheese Stuffed PretzelsMexican Chocolate CookiesBuckwheat Blini

six years ago: Flourless Chocolate Cookies

five years ago: Chocolate Hazelnut Cake,  Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

four years ago: Dark Chocolate Marshmallows

three years ago: Ethiopian Collard GreensHaitian Poulet CreoleWest African Puff Puffs

two years ago: Pull Apart Pigs In A Blanket RingPiggy Coconut Buns for Chinese New Year

last year: Dirty Chai Cookies

OATMEAL DATE COOKIES – adapted from Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book

Make 20 cookies 

OK, I know there’s all kinds of weird measurements in this one. 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons? Yeah. It just is that way and it works so I go with it.

¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar

6 Tablespoons sugar 

4 teaspoons unsulfured molasses 

2 ¼ teaspoons water

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg

2 cups rolled old fashioned oats 

½ cup chopped walnuts 

¾ cup pitted dates, roughly chopped 

  1. Sift the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, salt – into a bowl and set aside until needed.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, both sugars, molasses, water and vanilla on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl halfway through. 
  3. Add the egg and mix on low until well combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture on low and mix until just combined. Scrape.
  5. Add the oats on low and mix until just combined.
  6. Add the dates and nuts on low and mix until just combined. If your dates are particularly fresh and soft, fold those in by hand so they don’t get beat to death.
  7. Chill the dough, tightly wrapped, until firm, at least one hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen up to 3 months at this point if desired.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a few sheet pans with parchment paper.
  9. Roll the chilled dough into golfball sized rounds and place 1 ½” apart on the prepared sheet pans.
  10. Bake 10 minutes until golden on the edges and soft and pale in the center. Cool on the sheet pans then transfer to airtight container for longer storage.
  11. Do ahead: after chilling the dough, roll into balls and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Freeze until firm then transfer to a Ziploc freezer bag labeled with the baking time and temperature. Bake directly from the freezer, adding a minute or two to the baking time.

Read Full Post »