Friday, February 20, 2009
Cookies for Michael
My brother Michael is 8 years younger than I am. I remember being kind of pissed off when my parents told me they were going to have another baby, being perplexed when they woke me in the middle of the night to tell me that this baby was coming 6 weeks ahead of schedule, and being disappointed to find out he was a boy (I already had a brother.) But as soon as I saw him, I fell in love. Being the oldest child and a baby lover, Michael became my baby.
Soon after he was born, my mom went back to school to earn her nursing degree. I did a lot of caregiving for Michael and it brought us very close together. We are similar in a lot of ways and as we have become adults, our bond remains strong. At the end of this past summer, he decided to move back to Seattle after having not lived here since high school. I am delighted to have him back. My boys adore him and I love being able to spend some quality time with him.
One of my favorite things to do with Michael is feed him. He is an incredibly enthusiastic eater. He is a hard core carnivore, but at the root of it all, he just loves good food. He is happy to eat vegetarian at my house and has even said that he could eat that way all the time if I was cooking for him. He is not a big sweets person but he absolutely LOVES cookies. The other night he and my parents came over for dinner and I realized that I had only one palmier left. Being the person I am, I can't know someone loves something and not be able to offer it to them.
So, I pulled out a special recipe. I made these about a year ago for my clients and they prompted a special note from one of them. She said they were the best cookies she had ever had. I do have to say there is something special about these. The oats make them soft and the coconut adds a new dimension of flavor - don't skip it even if you think you don't like coconut. There is no white sugar in these, only brown, so they bake up nice and golden and have that cararmel-y taste. Plus, I like oatmeal raisin cookies as much as the next person, but I would really prefer chocolate chip. I gave Michael a big bag to take home with him and yet he dipped into my cookie jar for a "few for the road". Guess they were a hit.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from The Greyston Bakery Cookbook
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned rolled ats
3/4 cup shredded coconut (DN: I used unsweetened.)
7 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks (DN: I used chocolate
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt to blend. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer set on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until well combined, scraping down the sides as necessary.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the oats, coconut, and chocolate.
Drop the batter in rounded tablespoons, 2" apart, onto baking sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.