Several years ago I was assigned “dessert” for a church pot luck, so I made oatmeal cookies to share. Apparently, my cookies were liked because our Sunday school teacher started asking if I’d be bringing cookies. So I named my oatmeal raisin & walnut cookies “agape oatmeal cookies” and take them frequently when there is a gathering where I want to bring something to share. To make the cookies more colorful and joyful, I started substituting dried cranberries and yellow raisins for regular raisins and pistachios for walnuts. This is my recipe:
Cream together: 1 cup shortening + 3/4 cup sugar + 3/4 cup brown sugar.
Mix in: 2 eggs + 1 tsp quality Mexican vanilla.
Sift together: 1+1/2 cups unbleached flour + 1/2 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.
Gradually add and mix flour mixture into creamed mixture.
Measure into glass measuring cup: 1/4 cup dried cranberries + 3/4 cup yellow raisins. Pour boiling water over dried fruit and let it soak to plump. Meanwhile…
Stir into cookie dough mixture: 3 cups old-fashioned oats (not the quick kind).
Then stir in: 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts. (I traditionally use walnuts, but I like roasted & salted pistachios for the green color and salty bite. If you want to be fancy you could use pecans. Or, I suppose, you could not add nuts, but I don’t understand an oatmeal cookie without nuts.)
Then stir in: plumped fruit, well strained. (I make it sound easy, but stirring oats and mix-ins into cookie dough is a bit of a workout.)
Scoop cookie dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet. (Pampered Chef small scoop is a perfect size for scooping cookie dough.) Bake @ 350* 10-13 minutes, until cookies are just lightly browned on top.
Cool on cookie sheet for a couple minutes; Remove cookies to wire rack to continue cooling.
Serve with love! Oatmeal cookies are a wonderful refreshment at a coffee hour because they can pass for a healthy breakfast or a sweet treat. Bake as many as you plan to serve, and scoop the leftover dough and freeze cookie dough balls to bake for treats another day. With oatmeal, nuts and fruit, I have myself convinced these cookies are a healthy breakfast or afternoon snack.