Chocolate chip cookies were my culinary rite of passage; when I was about ten years old, I received my first cookbook as a gift (something kid-oriented) and methodically followed its simple recipe for the classic treat. From there, I experimented with different methods to turn out thin and crisp, or thick and chewy variations on the theme. I moved on to thumbprint and rolled shortbread cookies, then raspberry and lemon bars. There are an endless array of cookies to be made in this lifetime-- my college years yielded many a fancy THC-laced baked good, to the great fortune of friends and professors-- and it still makes me happy to just bake up a batch when the impulse strikes (no THC these days, alas; I can't take the paranoia). It also still makes me happy to give them away, either stacked and wrapped up pretty-like for friends with birthdays or blues, or just piled into a bowl, straight from the oven, and served hot to Mr. Husband... who hangs demurely around the kitchen from the moment I start mixing my batter.

These Cowgirl Cookies are a greatest-hits goldmine as far as taste and adventure are concerned; rolled oats, sliced almonds, dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, coconut-- it's all in there, and it all works. They come together quickly, too, so you'll get that satisfied, mission-accomplished feeling without much effort at all. And the people that you love will love you for it... if, that is, you're inclined to share the bounty (you're not obligated). So bake 'em up, cowgirls. And let me know what you think!

Click Read More for the what and the how.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, or 8 Tablespoons Spectrum spread
  • 1 egg
  • one ripe banana
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • zest from one large orange
  • 1 cup oat flour (you can also use whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (go for the good ones)

What You'll Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream the butter and egg together until well blended, then mix in the banana through zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour through chocolate chips) and mix so well so that they're evenly distributed. 
  4. Stir the dry ingredients thoroughly into the wet ingredients.
  5. Spoon large cookie-dough-blobs (about two Tblsp. worth each) onto a greased cookie sheet, about three inches apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes, and cool on a metal rack.
  6. Enjoy!

07/27/2011 06:12

Mr. Fish never gets homemade cookies at our house, but I really should throw him a bone. These look delicious. I think I'll make them for our next camping trip!


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