Thursday, May 5, 2011

Allspice Oatmeal Cookies

Friends.... I am feeling a wee bit inflicted this past week.

There seems to be so much going on.

Tsunamis. Tornados in Alabama. Osama bin Laden dying. Friends betraying friends. New job offers. Crossroads in life...

And me getting a car.

Which isn't exactly inflicting to ME...moreso to the people who will be driving with me on the road.

I can just hear it now...

"Hey GRANDMA. GET OFF THE FREAKIN' ROAD. I have to be at work in 5 MINUTES. You're doing 20 IN A FAST LANE."

Yes... that's right. I'm a grandma driver. I do the speed limit. I check three times before I cross the street. You might as well throw a walker at me and call it a day, I'd probably get to work faster that way than driving.

But at least I have transportation!

Now I just need money.

In fact, having no money is kind of what brought me to this recipe to begin with. These cookies are very easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients sitting in the back of your cabinet somewhere collecting dust because that one reason you bought them you forgot to use them for and now it's too late because you already used the other ingredients and you're too lazy to go to the store and get them.

Yeah, that's right. I know your dirty kitchen secrets. Its okay. Mine are probably the same. If you must know, I bought the raisins and dried cherries in this for a chicken salad ( that I never made ) and the oats for breakfast (which I also never made due to my incompetence in making oatmeal).

So when I got the urge to make cookies, I immediately thought Oatmeal. Then I thought to use both the raisins and dried cherries and use them up (I didn't have enough in each packet to just use one flavor). And while I began to make the sweet doughy concoction, it occurred to me that while looking through my spice cabinet that I had no cinnamon whatsoever.

Then, I dropped dead of shock. Because this NEVER. HAPPENS.

I always have cinnamon around. Cinnamon is my mistress. My other lover. The boy next door. It's my favorite spice of all time. When I didn't see any in the cabinet I just about freaked out. Then I stuck my finger in the cookie dough and ate off a spoonfuls worth. Then I felt better.

I tried looking for the closest possible spice. Nutmeg? Oh god, no. Ever since that one time I tried to make Alfredo sauce by scratch and threw like 2 tablespoons of nutmeg in the sauce, nutmeg and I have never seen eye to eye. Cloves? WAY too strong and dark. Ginger? I just had a feeling that wouldn't bear well with the raisins and dried cherries. So, almost at the end of my rope, I kept looking until at the very back of the cabinet I saw my savior:


Allspice doesn't get much attention, but it should. It's a great substitute for cinnamon, since it basically carries all the spices in (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc) without being too overpowering. In fact, when I made this cookies I thought it tasted BETTER than cinnamon did. It just gave them this different, spicy edge to it that complimented the dried fruit PERFECTLY. I'm actually really excited about it, too, because who knows what else it's good with? dried apricots, maybe? allspice chocolate chip cookies? we shall see.

In the meantime though, if you're in a cookie crunch and you don't have all the ingredients you wish you did... make these. I'm sure if you don't have allspice you can sub out cinnamon, but it won't taste the same. This recipe is a good base recipe for any additions, really, so just use your imagination.

You may come up with one of your favorite cookies ever.

Allspice Oatmeal Cookies with Raisins and Dried Cherries

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup each raisins and dried cherries or other dried fruit of choice
1 3/4 cup rolled or quick cooking oats (not instant!)


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a cookie sheet pan.

2. Cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla on low setting until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, allspice, and baking soda. Add into butter mixture and mix until there are no traces of flour left.

4. Fold in dried fruit and oats by hand with a spatula.

5. Drop the cookies by tablespoonfuls (I made mine a bit bigger) about 2 inches away from eachother on the pan in case they spread (mine didn't). Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are done around the edges but still a little raw in the middle. Cool on pan for 2 minutes then move onto wire wrack to cool completely. Devour immediately.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen cookies depending on how big you make them.

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