Every once in a while, I decide to take another baby step forward towards towards the possibility of a life without junk food.

I’ve switched to skim milk.

I’ve started using a multi-vitamin. For more than just propping up my makeup mirror.

I’ve given up Oreos.

And then, a few years ago, I signed us up for a weekly hiking excursion through the wild cornfields of Ohio. It was part of the local Parks & Rec’s employees annual bid to keep their jobs by proving that people did, in fact, occasionally wander onto their paths and parks. On purpose. And not at gun point.

So, the legend goes, each fall they put on a big “Kick-Off” event for a month-long series of group hikes. Lured in by the promise of health, wellness, and a shiny, new walking stick, tens of strangers gathered at a pre-appointed starting place, hiked around the cornfields to the river (you thought I was joking about the cornfields, didn’t you?), created their own Kodak moments, and then hiked on to the festivities awaiting them at the other end of the trail.

It promised to be a good time. A day full of promise for a new, healthier life full of camaraderie, hiking, and maybe a little bit of Trail Mix.

Fifteen minutes later, we’d reached the end point.

What can I say? Unless you decide to hack a fresh path directly through the cornfield, there really isn’t much to get between you and the source of a certain mouth-watering aroma at the other end of the trail. Because at the other end of that trail, in the midst of the festivities, was a wood-burning stove, out of which fresh-baked cookies were being pulled. First come, first served.

You had best believe that the Big Man and I? Were first served. And second served. Possibly third.

Because those cookies, those gorgeous, warm, hearty, cookies of looove, were enough to make me forget about the rest of that fall’s hiking schedule and remember where my true place is.

In the kitchen.

Oatmeal Raisin Pecan Cookies
Dish: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Feeds: 72
Adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/raisin-pecan-oatmeal-cookies-recipe/index.html
  • 2cups Chopped Pecans
  • 2 Sticks Room-Temperature Unsalted Butter
  • 1cup Sugar
  • 1cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Room-Temperature Eggs
  • 2tsp pure Mexican Vanilla Extract
  • 1½cups Flour
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • 3cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal
  • 1½cups Raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350degrees.
  2. Spread pecans onto a aluminum foil-covered baking sheet, and bake in oven for 3-5minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  4. In a large bowl, blend together butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
  5. Add in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
  6. Stir flour into butter mixture, a little at a time, until it is completely mixed.
  7. Add in pecans, oatmeal, and raisins and mix until just combined.
  8. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, and drop spoonfuls of dough onto sheets.
  9. Using the palm of your hand, flatten each cookie slightly.
  10. Bake in oven for 9-12 minutes, just until the edges start to brown.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheet for 9 more minutes.
  12. Remove from baking sheet and finish cooling on cookie rack.
Store cookies in freezer, removing 20minutes before serving. If you leave them out? You will Eat. Them. All.




Aunt M May 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

I love it!

My rule is – if you have it on a recipe card, and make it yourself, it’s not junk food.

Wombat Central May 13, 2012 at 8:37 am

*drooling* Pecans in oatmeal raisin = brilliant! Can’t wait to try this. Also, your cornfield hikes sound like a riot. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt to find warm cookies at the end.

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