Oh how I love these cookies! Touch of sweet, nuts and fruit, and perfect at any time of the day. I make a huge batch almost weekly for a healthy quick breakfast for my 16 year old who gets on the bus at 6:35 AM everyday. I also bring them for snack at work, and we eat them for dessert.
They also make the best hiking and camping snack ever. Here is a picture of this famous cookie on the top of Mt. Pisgah in North Carolina.
3 cups old fashioned oats (NOT quick oats)
3/4 cup all purpose flour (I use unbleached flour. I have never tried whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use light brown. Dark brown works as well)
1/4 cup honey
1 medium orange-ZEST ONLY (optional)
1 cup dried fruit (I have used cherries, blueberries, cranberries, raisins, and a mix of all)
1 cup unsalted chopped nuts (I use pecans, mostly, but walnuts or almonds would work as well)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Soften butter, either by leaving out at room temp. or microwaving in medium bowl for 30 seconds. Test and see if soft. If not, microwave at 15 second increments until soft but not melted.
3. Cream butter with brown sugar and honey until blended well and mixture is pale yellow and creamy.
4. Add 2 eggs. Blend well.
5. Add vanilla extract and orange zest. Mix well. Set bowl aside.
6. Dry ingredients: mix 3 cups of oats with flour. Mix in baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Blend well with a fork. (I like to measure my spices with my palm. This is about a tablespoon.)
7. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix until just blended.
8. Pour dried fruit and nuts into bowl. Fold nuts and fruit into cookie mixture.
9. Spoon into approximately 2 inch-across mounds on parchment paper. I usually leave a 1/2 inch space between cookies. They do not spread when they cook.
10. Bake on middle rack of oven at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. Take out of oven when edges are browning and cookies are "set"= not too squishy in the middle.
11. Cool completely and enjoy! These keep for about a week in an airtight container.