Coconut Date Oatmeal Cookies: A Piece of Cake #59
Oatmeal cookie haters, I'm here to bring you over to my side of the aisle.
There are no lukewarm reactions when it comes to oatmeal cookies. Some people love them while others love to joke about how much they loathe them. And I’m just here to tell you, in a full-throated voice, that if you’re in the latter camp? You are wrong. Fully wrong. Come for me; this is one giant mound of rolled old-fashioned oats that I am prepared to die on.
If I was on the National Oatmeal Cookie Council, and was tasked with developing an image-saving ad campaign, the word I would lead with is “wholesome.” An oatmeal cookie isn’t pretending to be anything it’s not. An oatmeal cookie is definitely still a cookie, but you can’t deny that there’s a whole grain in there. And I’m not even talking about the ingredients of an oatmeal cookie; the vibes are just down-home and wholesome. Like, nobody’s inviting an oatmeal cookie to a fancy party. The oatmeal cookie wouldn’t want to come, anyway. An oatmeal cookie is what you eat when you need a little hit of comfort—which is to say, it’s what to eat right now.
Andrew and I recently spent a week in Palm Springs. It was our first vacation in years, our first time in Palm Springs, and it was absolutely lovely. And out of all the things my Instagram followers recommended we do, nearly everyone recommended we order a date shake. And who doesn’t love a date? They’re nature’s caramels.
Back in Brooklyn, as I began mapping out the next few months of recipes, I had dates on my mind, naturally. I’ve been wanting to do quick weekday cookie recipe for a while and this felt like this right time. I started with a great coconut cookie recipe I wrote for Bon Appetit last summer. (That version was made into ice cream sandwiches and dipped in salty chocolate magic shell.) Using that as a base, I added in a whole cup of oats. I chopped my dates and simmered them in dark rum. The resulting cookie is sweet and chewy with punch of rum. If you are looking for a substitute for the booze, steep your dates in hot water with a couple teaspoons of your very best vanilla extract.
Like Sarah Kieffer, I’ve always smacked my cookies around. It’s the secret to a perfectly chewy cookie. As soon as you remove a tray of cookies from the oven, give the tray a hard smack on the counter. (Make sure it’s a heatproof surface.) This will cause the cookies to collapse, eliminating any air that would yield a more cakelike texture when cooled. I do this with all different kinds of cookies, like sugar or chocolate chip. I love a chewy cookie, so therefore, I love to smack.