This week’s recipe is brought to you by the Cookie Queen, a.k.a. – my mom. The woman knows her cookies and has built up quite a reputation thanks to them. She mastered the perfect chocolate chip – crisp edges, chewy interior, and miraculously gooey chips even at room temperature – long before it was en vogue.
These days she’s the hardest working person I know. Up at dawn, suited up, pumps on, and backing out of the driveway before most of the neighborhood has even hit snooze on their alarm clocks. She loves her job and has gone after it with gusto. I know and admire all of this about her thus, it never ceases to amaze me when I blow in from D.C. for a visit late on a Friday night and find a fresh batch of cookies cooling on the counter. Even exhausted and with an empty nest, a mom will always be a mom.
It goes without saying that for women, striking a perfect balance between ambition and the desire for a family is near impossible. Sure, there are renaissance husbands out there, stay-at-home dads and the like, but even with an equal partner, the pressure on a woman to do it all will always, for better or worse, be greater.
Fortunately for me, I’ve had an as-close-to-perfect example of balancing both, as possible. Sure, there were frazzled moments. Like the morning she was running late to drop me at school and neglected to notice the 101 Dalmatians sleeping bag caught underneath the station wagon. We drug that puppy, sparks flying, all the way to school. The football team’s star player retrieved it just as I ran, mortified, into the building.
But with a cookie (or two) those brief moments are easily forgotten. I’ll be sure to remember that when I inevitably drag a sleeping bag to my future daughter’s high school.
Mom’s Oatmeal Cherry Pecan Cookies
2 sticks (16 Tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup pecans, toasted
1 cup tart dried cherries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugars together then beat in in the eggs. Add the extracts and combine well.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, cinnamon, and soda. Gradually add dry ingredients to the mixer. Add the oats, then the coconut and mix well. Finally add in the pecans and cherries.
3. Scoop dough onto ungreased sheet pans and bake 9-11 mins until golden and depending on how “chewy” you want them. Store in an airtight. These cookies freeze wonderfully. Defrost at room temperature for 24hrs.