I was not a fan of oatmeal cookies as a child and avoided them for a good chunk of my early adulthood. In those days, if you mentioned oatmeal cookies, I automatically assumed you meant oatmeal raisin cookies as my dad’s oatmeal cookies always had raisins. As soon as the word raisin was uttered, I no longer wanted those cookies. I’ve grown up a little and I almost kind of like golden raisins and will tolerate regular raisins in most things (so long as the item of food is not teeming with them). I have also learned that oatmeal cookies do not necessarily have raisins in them. These are the types of oatmeal cookies I enjoy the most: oatmeal cream pies, cranberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and these new to me maple pecan oatmeal cookies.
(Related, but unrelated thought: Could my dislike of regular raisins stem from the fact that I abhor red grapes? Green grapes are fine but I absolutely will not eat red grapes. This would explain why I like golden raisins more.)
I was introduced to these maple pecan oatmeal cookies by Joel’s aunt when she sent a handful of them home with him a while ago. Joel told me that they had maple syrup and pecans in them and I was sold before the first bite. There was no mention of raisins and there was maple syrup. I happen to adore maple syrup and pecans sounded pretty good, too. The couple of cookies I got to try were better than I hoped they would be and I managed to get a copy of the recipe from Joel’s aunt within a couple of weeks.
Once I had the recipe in hand, I think it took me all of 2 days to bake a whole batch of them. And only another 4 days or so for us to eat all of them.
One note about these cookies that you should know: the instructions will seem weird. I followed the recipe to the letter and thought that there was no possible way these cookies would turn out right…but they did. Follow the recipe, shake your head at some of the odd steps (especially the one involving baking soda) and move on. The cookies will turn out just fine despite your doubts. Mine did!
Vermont Maple Pecan Cookies
Recipe very, very slightly adapted from Food.com
Makes approximately 50 2-inch cookies
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar (I think I actually used dark brown sugar)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (I used Grade B)
- 2 tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or you can use light corn syrup)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon maple extract (sub in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract if you don’t have maple extract)
- 2 cups pecans, chopped and toasted (walnuts would be good, too!)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and position one of the racks in the upper third of the oven.
- Line at least two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine oats, coconut, flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar in a bowl. Whisk to blend.
- Combine butter, maple syrup and Lyle’s Golden Syrup in a medium saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally and remove from heat.
- Combine baking soda and boiling water and stir to dissolve.
- Add to maple syrup ingredients and stir well.
- Add maple extract. Stir into dry ingredients.
- Add pecans and stir well.
- Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop rounded balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet with about 2 inches between each scoop of dough.
- Bake (one baking sheet at a time) for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and set, rotating baking sheet halfway through the baking process.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.