Culinary Creations and Recipes

Hearty Spiced Fruit and Oatmeal Cookies


There is a short story that goes with this recipe…

Once upon a time, three college students, myself included, wanted to make a standard batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to fulfill the dual purpose of a) distracting them from piles of mounting studies, and b) sending them to a dear friend in a care package overseas (we were planning on building a boat as well to carry it across the Atlantic, but it was all a bit last minute). Materials were gathered for weeks, one at a time. When at last the day of cookie-making arrived, one of the chefs resolved to rebel against the recipe and … change things up a bit. Liking cranberries to what some may call an extreme, this chef grabbed a bag of the dried cranberries – a staple, of course – and a bag of dried fruit mix. A few apples looked like they needed to be put out of their misery as well…so those went in. Apple…cranberry…what else goes well? Orange! Train of thought led from one ingredient to another. If I recall correctly, we threw in a few raisins too, for good measure, and to see if they would be noticed by certain raisin-haters. Thus, the Creative Culinary Adventure began.

Now, these three college students were stuck for a while as technology plotted to foil their good intent: the whisk of the mixer refused to stay on the mixer! No amount of shoving, grunting, and pushing would keep them together and the whisk was thus launched multiple times, missing the bowl of ingredients, lonesome and pitiable, and becoming altogether unattractive as the yolk slid about uneasily over the sugar and butter. Alas, what to do? Elbow grease? Yes, I suppose weight lifting would be worth it, if anything, to be able to mix cookie dough, at the very least…but it was a little late to be thinking about that at this time of, well, apparent crisis.

At last, the trick was discovered. It was necessary to NOT push the button labeled “eject” on the mixer while attempting to mix. Goodness. They really should work on making fool-proof mixers. Well, they have. We just didn’t have one. 🙂

We made half a batch with semi-sweet chocolate chips, and the other half with the various fruits.

Since then, I’ve made it a total of 6 times. The cookies are more cake-like and are not too sweet.
Adding the orange pieces makes the cookie batter a bit more liquidy but enhances the orange flavor. Both options are quite delicious…

Its fun to do with multiple people helping, plenty of jobs to go around 🙂

Makes at least 4 dozen cookies!

1 cup unsalted butter (generally, 2 sticks)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup fine, white granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs

1 & 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 cups rolled oats

1 & 1/2 cup orange zest
1 cup dried fruit (combine dried: pineapple, papaya, cranberry, raisins, mango)
2 apples (Gala is good in this) peeled and chopped finely
1/2 of the zested orange, cut into cubes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. peel and chop the apples, zest the orange, cut the orange
3. mix softened butter and both sugars
4. add eggs and vanilla
5. add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg
6. add oats
7. mix well – electric mixer, preferable
8. add apples and orange zest, mix
9. add orange pieces
10. add dried fruit
11. place dough on ungreased cookie sheet in 1-1.5 tspn spoonfulls
12. bake 12 minutes or until light brown and cookies can be scraped from the sheet in one piece without crumbling.


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