Monday, March 21, 2016

Coconut-Nut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Monday is a better day than any to get organized. It starts with coffee and some cookies... and then definitely some will power.

It's that time again for me. I'm moving, again! That's about the fourth move in 6 years and it really doesn't get any less exhausting. You'd think that moving a lot would make you better at de-cluttering. Like, "Is this empty spice tin useful for anything? It looks like it would be good to hold more stuff in?" NO! It's garbage. Stop collecting small containers because they hold things. I think that counts as hoarding.

What I have realized is that my life fits into 23 boxes of stuff marked "Kitchen". It looks like I live in a kitchen. Nothing much for the living area, and the bedroom is pretty scarce... I proudly own plenty of cooking and baking tools and a ton of servingware. I might not be able to provide you with a plush hotel-style sleep if you stay the night, but I can certainly bake you a badass cake and cook you a brunch you won't forget. There might even be homemade chocolates on your mediocre pillow.

I have one rule about moving into a new place: I must bake almost immediately. It makes it feel like home and lets me know that I can trust the kitchen.

Cookies are a must for housewarming because they are snackable and shareable and if they contain a hint of spice, then they infuse the space with incredible aroma.

I like to make these oatmeal cookies loaded with toasted coconut and chocolate chips.

I need to start stocking my pantry anyway, so this is a great start. Plus chocolate makes moving seem easier. Chocolate plus gin makes moving seem too easy - and that's probably because if I'm drinking gin, I'm probably just holding the door.

The best thing is that you don't need a mixer to make oatmeal cookies come together. You don't need to dig through every box to find any special tools. If you can find a bowl and a spatula or even just a wooden spoon, then you are solid!

First up - get to know the oven. Get it preheating and then spread some coconut and chopped pecans out on a baking tray. Let it bake until golden brown and smellin' toasty. If all goes well it will brown rather evenly. But, if one side is totally black and the other is still a shade of white, then we definitely have a hot spot situation. That would be concerning. Let's hope this is not the case.

Next - cream butter and two sugars until light and fluffy. Just work it by hand in the bowl rubbing the butter and sugar against the sides until they are well incorporated. Then stir in one egg until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla extract and move on to the dry ingredients.

Over the creamed mixture add flour, baking soda, oats, a touch of nutmeg and salt. Add in your cooled toasted coconut and pecans and stir it up until you get a nice soft dough. Stir through the chocolate chips.

I let this dough sit in the fridge for one hour while I try and do something productive like put down my glass of gin and pick up a box.

This resting time is important because it lets the dough firm up and suck up moisture so that the cookies don't spread flat during baking. They will stay chewy and moist for days so that there is something to look forward to other than what the heck is in that other box.

In most cases, I'd rather be eating cookies.

Coconut-Nut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
makes 20-22 cookies

½ cup (30g) unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup (60g) chopped pecans
1 cup (142g) all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 cup (100g) old-fashioned rolled oats
7 tbsp (100g) soft unsalted butter
2/3 cup (145g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp sour cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
100g (3.5 oz) chocolate chips

Spread coconut and pecans on a large baking sheet and bake for 4-6 minutes until toasted, stirring every few minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, oats, toasted coconut and pecans. 

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars until fluffy, 2 minutes on medium speed. Beat in egg until well combined. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix to blend. Add flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Wrap dough well with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper.

Roll tablespoons of chilled dough into balls and place on prepared baking trays. Flatten slightly and bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool and then store in an airtight container.
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