Not your ordinary oatmeal cookie. The addition of moist grated apple and sweet chopped dates adds interest to the American standard.
What you don’t realize (or maybe you do) is that a fair chunk of my recipes never make it to posting. Some, like this week’s Moroccan Chicken Wings, don’t make the cut. They aren’t worth salvaging, even with significant tweaking. I write a recipe, I shop, I cook, I photograph, and then nothing. The story ends.
When these cookies first came out of the oven, I thought they were going to be one of those lost soul recipes. They tasted great, but strayed too far from what I had first envisioned. I imagined something reminiscent of a quintessential Quaker Oatmeal cookies – but flavored like Apples and Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal. These cookies were something quite different – chewy, yet somewhat flat and lacy in texture, a bit difficult to remove from the cookie sheet and, well, not very photogenic. I popped one, and then another, and then a third in my mouth as I tried to determine what went wrong (I snuck in a few more before bedtime).
I took the rest of the batch into the office and, by lunchtime, realized they may not look pretty, they may not be the quintessential cookie of my childhood, but, as coworkers sought me out for their rave reviews, these cookies were damn good. It dawned on me, I can’t judge the final product based on my expectations – sometimes it’s okay to stray.
Trusting has been difficult for me, yet of the highest importance. I don’t trust easily – or often. It takes years of loyalty to gain my trust, one bad deed to destroy it. One boyfriend, The Irishman, managed to garner my complete trust during our exceedingly brief 8-month relationship. At the time, I should have questioned it further – why did I trust him, what was his secret trust sauce? Because now, I could use a magnum of it. I find myself obliged to trust others with my livelihood, my reputation, my future, my pride and, most importantly, my heart. Utter reliability on others has never been my forte and, today, I’m left vulnerable. I possess no options except to close my eyes, fall back from a great height, and pray someone’s there to catch me.
While I anxiously await answers to my immediate future, I divert myself with this holiday-appropriate use for leftover cranberry sauce, using last week’s recipe.
6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons whole milk
1 cup cranberry sauce
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 8×8-inch baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving overhang. Spray foil with nonstick spray.
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in processor; blend for 5 seconds. Add butter and extract. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and pulse until mixture comes together in small clumps.
Transfer ½ cup (packed) mixture to small bowl and reserve for streusel. Blend remaining mixture in processor until large moist clumps form. Press dough over bottom of prepared pan. Don’t clean processor bowl. Bake dough until golden, about 15 minutes; cool crust 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
While crust bakes and cools, blend cranberry sauce in processor into a chunky puree. Add oatmeal and walnuts to reserved 1/2 cup dough. Mix dough with fork or fingers, breaking streusel topping into small clumps.
Spread cranberry sauce over baked crust. Sprinkle streusel topping over. Bake until filling is bubbling and streusel topping is golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang as aid, lift from pan. Peel off foil and discard. Cut cookies into 16 bars.