Presto–Chango! I’ve turned into the Baking Banker this holiday season. Once 5:30 comes around I ditch the stuffy banker costume for one of my favorite aprons and a spot of bubbly before commencing the baking festivities. The sight of flour dusting every surface—even the puppies–and the smell of baking dough really helps capture the holiday spirit!
This is my first year participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and I can’t wait to do it again next year. Not only is it great fun to send out bundles of cookies to discerning foodies, it is quite exciting to receive cookies I haven’t tried before and to discover new blog sites. But more importantly, it is a great way to support Cookies for Kids Cancer as the efforts of the food bloggers involved helped raise over $13,500.
We received some tasty morsels from Small Eats, Nutmeg Nanny, and Melecotte and sampled them with our Thanksgiving meal. There was the ever so tasty Pumpkin and Persimmon Cookie from Small Eats – moist, delectable with a hint of persimmon. Then we had the Orange Cherry Oatmeal Pecan Cookies from Nutmeg Nanny – this was a whole lot of goodness in every bite! As if that weren’t enough, we finished with a package of Orange and Rosemary Shortbread from Melecotte. Make sure to visit their websites for some terrific cookie recipes!
My cookie inspiration comes from living in the Coachella Valley where dates are one of our local delicacies. I like incorporating local ingredients into my cookies, so I paired dates with an all-time favorite—peanut butter—and combined with oatmeal for a twist on the basic oatmeal cookie. My Vita Mix makes whipping up fresh peanut butter a breeze, and It is good to exercise my Kitchen Aid mixer from time-to-time to keep it and me sharp. By adding a few spices, including cardamom, I created a holiday cookie that was crispy outside, with moist, holiday spice inside. This cookie is great for snacking, dipping, or making ice cream sandwiches!
Enjoy your cookies and your holiday season!
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1//2-teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla powder
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- 10 diced/seeded medjool dates
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place racks so oven is divided into thirds.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
- Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one (1) at a time, and beat for a minute after each addition. Add the vanilla, turn mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients only until just blended. Add the peanuts and dates and mix for thirty seconds.
- Cover and refrigerate dough for two (2) hours. (Chilling the dough helps to get more evenly shaped cookies.) Once dough is chilled, scoop up with a tablespoon and roll into a ball in your hand and place on baking sheet approximately two (2) inches apart.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes. The cookies should be golden in color and just firm around the edges. Transfer cookies from baking sheet to wire rack to cool and firm-up as they cool.
- They make a great ice cream sandwich, but are terrific on their own as well.