I don’t respond well to stress. I tend to work myself up into a tizzy, running myself ragged until I can no longer function as a normal human being. Last night I was so exhausted I fell into a deep sleep without another thought of what today might hold for me. This morning I dropped my huge, enormous, grown up 6 month old Baby at his new babysitting group. Then I left, and I didn’t cry (neither did he, but we all knew he’s a tough cookie). I ate a bagel, drank a cup of tea and walked to start my life as a Hebrew speaker.
To my surprise, I was home 40 minutes after my first day of classes was meant to begin with a request to come back tomorrow morning and start fresh. I found myself in an empty house with more than 3 hours until I had to pick up AJ. I have not had 3 hours to myself since last August. I seriously considered putting my PJs back on and going to bed for the entire time. Then I realized these gifts don’t come around often, so I decided to do the next best thing: bake some cookies. I’ve been all-consumed with preparing the Babe for daycare, I haven’t baked anything in weeks. Not good for my psyche. Time to fill the void.
When I was pregnant my birthing class teacher taught me that you should always have healthy oatmeal cookies on hand. They are good for fighting cravings, are filled with wholesome ingredients, and you don’t have to feel badly about eating a ton of them. Her version is a whole lot healthier than these, but I’m not complaining.
Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book
I love the combination of dried coconut with oatmeal- in fact, I love it so much I eat it every morning for breakfast. Instead of your average addition of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice packs a punch of interesting flavors including cardamom, cloves, and citrus depending on your brand. I like Trader Joe’s. These are reminiscent of the Ranger cookies from my past. Even though they are made with oil as opposed to butter, they are surprisingly rich tasting.
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (depending how spicy you like your cookies)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut
In a large bowl, add canola oil and sugars and beat well with a wooden spoon. Add lightly beaten egg and vanilla, beating again to combine. Sift in flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix until well blended. Add rolled oats and dried coconut and mix until blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 F (176 C) and grease a cookie sheet well or line with parchment paper. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the sheet, with at least 2 inches in between as the cookies spread. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove immediately to a wire rack and cool completely. These will keep for a few days in an airtight container. You can also flash freeze balls of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet, transferring them to a freezer safe bag when solid. Then grab a few from the bag and pop them in the oven whenever you want fresh cookies!
*Note- I did the above and discovered these are even better straight of the freezer into a hot oven.