It has been a good deal of time since I've baked anything.
Even longer since I've baked anything with butter.
After a 4-week dietary detox of eating mostly fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, buttery cookies taste even better than I remember them.
I could have used a butter alternative in these cookies: coconut oil, for example, would have probably worked well. But the sticks of butter in my fridge have been ignored for so long that I decided to put one to use. I am glad I did.
This recipe is inspired by my mother. The last time I was in the Northwest, I brought her dried plums from the tree in our backyard. I was talking with her on the phone last week, and she mentioned that baked them into oatmeal cookies. What a fantastic idea. I knew as soon as the words were out of her mouth that I would need to follow suit. Here's what I did:
Fruit & Nut Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. uncooked old fashioned oats
1/2 c. tart dried fruit, chopped (I used dried plums; dried cherries would also work well)
1/2 c. nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar and honey. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. Add oats, dried fruit, and nuts and stir to distribute.
Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Move to wire rack to cool.
The tart plums together with the sweet honey and brown sugar and the savory crunch of toasted walnuts makes for some delightfully delicious oatmeal cookies.