Thursday, December 6, 2012

Variation on a theme

For a couple of years I've been baking an oatmeal cookie that's well-loved but sneaky. (Big secret here. Don't tell anyone--they have cumin and cayenne in them.) But I've been pondering variations on the oatmeal cookie theme and developed this recipe that I baked for the first time today. I like them. I may tweak the recipe some, maybe get bold and add more pepper. I thought about adding chopped crystallized ginger, but didn't do it this time. I'd love feedback if you try it--let me know what you think. I'm also without a name for these little darlings. Maybe I'll just call them Fred.

Oatmeal Date Pine Nut Cookies

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup dates, chopped
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats
½ cup pine nuts
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl sift together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Add chopped dates and toss to cover dates in flour. In a large bowl beat butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add fresh ginger, egg, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and slowly beat until just combined well. Stir in rolled oats and pine nuts.

Drop tablespoon-size pieces of dough 2 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes, until light brown. Cool cookies on baking sheet for one minute and transfer to racks to cool completely. Makes 4 dozen.

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