Oatmeal Raisin Date Cookies with Toasted Walnuts

I was inspired to make these cookies by my friend Pam who told me about how she craved oatmeal cookies and apple cider in the Fall.  To make these treats, I started with a recipe from Epicurious that scored high in the ratings.  I reduced the sugar a little and toasted the nuts, but apart from that, it’s pretty close to the original.  The resulting cookies were tender with a little crunch along the edge.  Quite good really.  Of course, after I had eaten a few I started to think about how to make them even better and cranked up my mixer to make a little Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting to sandwich between two fresh cookies.  That was crazy good!

Adapted from a recipe by Charmaine Haravey of Niwot, CO

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup transfat-free shortening, room temperature (See Note)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • OPTION:  Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

Note:  OK, there is Crisco in this recipe and some people will read this and think “yuck” and “unhealthy”, but consider this.  Butter is still the primary flavor signature of these cookies.  Crisco is now available transfat-free.  What does the Crisco do for this recipe?  It allows the finished cookies to be taller and lighter.  They can crisp up on the outside without flattening out completely.  This is all explained quite nicely here.  Of course, if you are unconvinced, you can substitute butter.  If you do, please comment and let me know how they turn out.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

About 20 minutes before you are ready to mix up the cookies, toast the walnuts in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant.  Be careful not to burn the nuts.  Then chop.  Cool to room temp.  Pop them in the freezer to hurry this along, if you like.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and kosher salt.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or a handheld electric mixer) beat the butter, vegetable shortening, and both sugars in large bowl until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

Beat in honey, eggs, and vanilla.

Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Stir in oats, raisins, dates, and walnuts.

Scoop batter onto prepared sheets, spacing each 2 inches apart. Flatten cookies slightly.

Bake cookies until golden brown, about 12-14 minutes.  The flatter you make it and the longer you cook it, the crispier they become.  I cooked the second batch longer, and I liked them better because I am a fan of the crispy oatmeal.

Cool completely on sheets (which makes them even crispier).

To take this to the next level, make a batch of Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting and sandwich it between two cooled cookies.  This results in a dangerously addictive substance that is best avoided.

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