Yesterday, I made cookies. Big deal, right? Well in a way it was, because I had never made cookies before. I guess that is technically not true, because I remember baking cookies once, a long time ago with my daughters… the chocolate chip kind you brought in a tube, and sliced up, and put on a baking sheet, and put in the oven, and baked. But I’m not really counting that as cookie making, since I didn’t have anything to do with the ingredients… much like heating up a TV Dinner would qualify as cooking. So, I made Oatmeal Date Pecan Cookies… from scratch. From Scratch… now that is a term I dislike, and now I have used it. Having worked in restaurants, the wording on menus is always interesting to me. One of my pet peeves, is the use of terms like ‘our own’ and ‘from scratch’ in describing salad dressing and other items coming out of the kitchen. But that’s just me, and now I have used ‘from scratch’… I guess that makes my cookies all the more special. So, what’s the big deal about making cookies? Well, nothing really, except it is another ‘notch in the belt’ of my trying new experiences.
About two or three weeks ago, I went by Ann’s house, and she had made cookies. I was astonished. Ann does not bake except at Thanksgiving, when she supplies pies for the feast. So, I was surprised when she said she had made Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies… and they were really good. Ann is very accomplished at making Authentic Indian Cuisine, and is a pretty good pie maker, but, she is not a cookie baking grandmother type. So I figured if she could do it, I could also. I had long had a yen for an oatmeal cookie with dates. I once did some work for a woman who paid me in Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They were fantastic, and when I suggested she use dates instead of raisins the next time she made them, she said “oh, they are too expensive”. I got some cookies at the market, but while they were tasty, they were not all that great. So, I have had a longing for a good date cookie for some time now.
When I got serious about making the cookies, I realized I didn’t have any cookie making paraphernalia. So I consulted a Cookie Expert, and who better than a yearly Blue Ribbon Winner at the San Juan County Fair… my daughter Ashley. Both of my daughters are excellent bakers. Krista is the Queen of Cakes and Ashley is the Cookie Monster. So I was in good company when she advised me on what kind of cookie sheet to buy, and lent me her mixer along with a few tips.
I decided to start simple, and use the cookie recipe under the lid of the Quaker Oats box, that Ann had showed me… I figured that if she hadn’t screwed it up, I was safe to try it too. I had to buy a lot things like flour, baking soda and sugars, and got some eggs from Krista’s chickens. Ashley suggested pecans would be a nice compliment with the dates, so I added pecans to the recipe, along with the dates.
So, while watching the first NASCAR race of the season, I made Oatmeal Date Pecan Cookies… they were fantastic. They were so good, I had to pause the race to go to the market to buy some vanilla ice cream. The race was a good one, and one my favorite drivers won… while I was eating some fantastic cookies.