I couldn’t let National Oatmeal Month end without at least one oatmeal recipe. This is your basic oatmeal-raisin cookie with a few extra touches to make it even more satisfying. The coconut in particular adds to the cookies’ chewiness.
These cookies offer my conscience a perfect compromise. At this chilly time of year I long to bake, particularly for my nephew Michael. I am aware that sweet baked goods are not the healthiest thing to feed him … or anyone else. These cookies still contain sugar and fat, but they are also chock full of fruits, nuts, and grains that make them healthier than your average cookie. If you use the white whole-wheat flour, the cookies are even less guilt-inducing.
You’ll note that I suggest using either butter or shortening. They both have advantages. The shortening gives oatmeal cookies a remarkable light consistency. On the other hand, butter gives them added flavor. Use whichever you like—or whichever you have more of!
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature) or vegetable shortening
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour (you may use either all-purpose or King Arthur Flour white whole-wheat flour)
1-1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut, firmly packed
1/2 cup toasted pecans (optional if you have a child like ours who thinks he doesn’t like nuts)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the butter and/or shortening with the sugars. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla. Stir in the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, followed by the flour—and then the oatmeal!
Gently stir in the raisins, coconut, and pecans (if you are using those). The batter will be fairly dense.
Drop the batter in smallish clumps onto 2 ungreased baking sheets. (You may line the sheets with a silicone mat if you like.)
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should JUST be beginning to brown. They are best not overcooked to ensure maximum chewiness.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.