Someone asked me yesterday how I manage the day job, this site, cooking, hobbies and attempting some semblance of a social life, but I didn’t answer because the gritty truth is that I don’t. I’m horrible at time management, not because I’m a slacker so much as I lack an attention span of more than 12 minutes. Take tonight. I swore I’d leave work at 5:30, but left at 6:20 instead (still earlier than last night), I had planned to give you guys a pie crust how-to but instead flitted from one thing (side project) to another (Thanksgiving thumbnails in sidebar) and as usual it’s 11 p.m. and oh right! I haven’t updated yet today.
It’s not a complaint, mind you. Somehow it almost always works out in the end, so who cares if the path meanders? But I do have one rule only, and that is that I am not allowed to complain about being busy. Yes, I have done it before, but I try to shut down that line of thinking as soon as it happens, because I think it leads to revving motors in place/stressing about stressing/getting caught up in the act of being and not doing, oh, and also, it’s really boring to hear about. I mean, have you ever met a person not busy? Yeah, me neither.
Why go on about this today? Well, I was going to say that I’ve been meaning to share an oatmeal cookie recipe with you for some time but I’ve been too busy, but then I remembered I’m not allowed to say that. So instead I’ll admit that I haven’t shared one because oatmeal cookies range so widely from the thin and lacy to the thick and cakey and it seems impossible to make one that meets every single person’s expectations. And I hate being unable to please everyone.
Yet, somehow this one does. It’s not too thin and not too thick, soft in the middle but crisp on the outside. That’s not all the divides it straddles elegantly; it manages to be both grown-up–with orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves–but young at heart–with chocolate chips instead of the traditional raisins. It also distinctly reminded me of that season that has been all but canceled this year. Maybe if we all bake some, we can lure it back.
One year ago: No-Knead Bread
Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies
Adapted from Katy Sparks and Andrea Strong
I found the orange zest a little strong, as did many of the commenters on Epicurious, but Alex and the three friends I shared them with last week loved them just the way they were. I’d consider your own personal taste when making these, perhaps start with just a microplane or two of zest, and adding the rest if the batter tastes like it could use more. What, you don’t eat raw cookie batter? I’m sorry, we can’t be friends anymore.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cups chopped pecans
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat (nonstick baking mat). Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla, and beat until well mixed, about three minutes. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in a separate bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter with the mixer on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half. Stir in the oats, pecans, orange zest, and chocolate chips. Drop the dough, by the tablespoon, onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack. Store at room temperature in a cookie jar or other airtight container.