Kitchen Comfort: OATMEAL SPICE PECAN COOKIES

The original recipe for Oatmeal Cookies in my grandmother’s recipe box was clipped from a 1950s issue of Parade magazine. The page has browned with age and has worn tissue-thin from years of handling; I was almost afraid to pull it from the tightly packed recipe box for fear of damaging it. A solid recipe, it didn’t need much but I went ahead and used butter instead of shortening, and I added molasses in place of some of the brown sugar to provide flavor depth. And because I love spice in cookies, I tossed in some ground nutmeg, cardamom and cloves — and wow, did that work well! Best of all, these are my favorite texture, crisp at the edges and just a little chewy at the center. These are perfect with coffee or a good cup of Earl Grey tea.
Makes 7 dozen cookies
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • ½ cups pecan pieces, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt together into a medium bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the oats and pecan pieces and mix just until combined. Using a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop 2-inch mounds of dough onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with a buttered spatula. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.

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