After escaping the city for a day (see previous post) it always charms by welcoming you back in surprising ways. For me the surprise came in the form of a near-perfect Sunday after two horrible days of weekend weather. I woke up late after an eventful sleep (read: gloriously over-served the night before) to blue skies, powder puff clouds and a cool breeze that made my evening walk in Central Park with the pup a real 10. There's something that happens to New Yorkers on days like this -- pride. We love to hate this town, but my pride in the city swelled to overflowing tonight while walking Izzy around the Great Lawn in Central Park, with baseball games on each diamond and the sparkling city behind the treetops.
I came home, found a cookie recipe that sounded like dinner and gathered my ingredients... only to find I was out of white sugar. I don't know anyone in the city who knows their neighbors a la Friends to borrow a cup of sugar (I sure don't), so our replacement is the neighborhood deli. Mine happens to carry nothing but Goya products, a nod to its clientele, but the owners are real gems. When I ran out of aluminum foil to finish my Rum Raisin Apple Pie, they tore a sheet off for me. And tonight, when I went in search of sugar, they opened the enormous bucket behind the counter and shoveled two cups into a plastic bag. I gave him $1 and a smile and fell in love with the city a little more.
This is a great recipe, made rich with the spices and pecans. I ground mine fine in a food processor to add some texture to the dough and I don't think I'll ever hand-chop nuts again. Bake them just to 10 minutes for a perfectly chewy cookie.
Oatmeal, Chocolate and Pecan Cookies
1 stick butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground clove
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cups chopped pecans
2 tsp. freshly grated orange zest (I left this out)
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla, and beat until well mixed, about 3 minutes. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in a separate bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter with the mixer on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half. Stir in the oats, pecans, orange zest and chocolate chips. Drop the dough, by rounded tablespoon, onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack. Store at room temperature in a cookie jar or other airtight container.