This is a brand new recipe for me. I made them for the first time on a whim this morning. I was getting ready to go to my Moms of Preschoolers meeting and was waiting for my cinnamon bread to rise. I guess I had too much time on my hands because it occurred to me that I needed to try this cookie recipe. I barely had enough flour, in fact I had to substitute some of my all purpose flour with Bread flour because it was all I had. I also forgot the baking soda. But even with that the cookies turned out great and are a new favorite. I had several requests for the recipe at my meeting.
This recipe is from Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. She calls them Gaia Cookies, after the store and bakery where she first tried them. Since I don’t know how to pronounce Gaia I am calling them Better than Oatmeal Cookies. They have a lot of the perks of oatmeal cookies but have a lot more going on than a traditional oatmeal cookie. They are tasty and hearty. These would make a great cookie to take to a new mom or for a road trip, or anytime you want a cookie but also want something with just a bit more substance.
Better than Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 pound of butter (I used unsalted,) softened
1 and 1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups of flour
1 and 1/2 cups of oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup walnuts, chopped (I was almost out so substituted with pecans)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped dates, raisins, dried cherries, or cranberries or any combination ( I left out the raisins but did a combo of the other three)
1. Cream together butter and sugar.
2. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
3. Add dry ingredients. Mix just until dry ingredients are incorporated.
4. Spoon onto parchment covered baking sheets. I like small cookies, so I do about a teaspoon and a half, spoon more for bigger cookies.
5. Chill baking sheet in the fridge for ten minutes, (this keeps them from spreading out as much when they bake) then remove and bake until slightly browned on the bottom, 10 minutes or so, longer for bigger cookies.
Note: I made two dozen and then spooned out the rest of the dough into cookie sized balls and placed them onto a baking sheet. I stuck the sheet in the freezer over night. Tomorrow I will remove it and divide the cookie dough into bags, 10-12 cookies per bag. Then i have cookie dough that is ready to bake, if company stops by I can just remove however many I want and bake (or I can take two or three and bake them just for me). This works for most basic cookie recipes.