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Oatmeal Walnut Cocoa Nib Cookies
2014/01/22 11:49
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Happy New Year!

Another year dawns bright any sunny…if not literally, then at least, hopefully, in our figurative perceptions of it.  I for one am chomping at the bit to launch myself head first, with arms wide open, into 2013.

Before hurtling down the unknown but promising adventure of this new year, let me take one last look at the year that was. 2012 definitely had its moments of bliss, along with its share of trials and tribulations.  In retrospect, both vital, in their own ways, to where I am now.  It has certainly, although perhaps not too apparent on this blog, been a year of reflection and soul searching. I am, like most of the human race, nowhere near “figuring it out” yet, despite my advancing years, but I am happy to know that I am closer than I was last year.  At least I hope so!

I thought to put together a list of goals for the year but I realize, looking back, that most of my goals remain the same.  Not because they weren't achieved in past years, but because these are, by and large, the recurring themes of my life (or at the very least the direction I want to take it): simplify, avoid waste (food and otherwise), write more, read more, cook more, laugh more, live more, focus on what is truly important and spend more time doing what truly makes me happy -- part of which, of course, is being right here Managed Security, messing around in the kitchen, and talking with you all.

I've started a few new writing projects which I am beyond excited about.  You can already see one of here.  I'll be sharing the other very soon so stay tuned!  As for ongoing writing projects, my column, Family Kitchen, in Yummy Magazine is still chugging merrily along...the January/February issue is out now if you'd like to take a peek.

And what better way to start the new year than with something sweet and delicious :)  These cookies from Joy The Baker are perfect.  Oatmeal for virtue, cocoa nibs for something new, and chocolate to celebrate!

Oatmeal Walnut Cocoa Nib Cookies
(from Joy The Baker)

    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup white granulated sugar
    1 cup brown sugar, packed
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
    1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
    1/2 cup cocoa nibs
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

- Beat the butter and both sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.
- In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add this flour mixture all at once to the butter and egg mixture and beat on low speed until the mixture just comes together (there may still be some flour visible, and that’s ok).
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the oats, walnuts, cocoa nibs, and the chocolate chips.  Use a spatula or wooden spoon to finish mixing everything by hand.  Mix together just until no flour bits remain, and everything is well mixed together and evenly distributed.
- Scoop dough by the tablespoonful onto parchement-lines baking sheets. Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for 10-13 minutes until edges are just a tad toasty (the middles will still be soft).  Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

You can make the dough ahead of time and chill (Joy says it it will stay good for a week in the fridge) until you are ready to bake it.  Indeed, since these cookies, I have been resting my dough for a day before baking.  If I don't need the whole batch, I also like to freeze half the dough, already shaped into logs, for future cookie needs.  I have said it a million times before, cookie dough in your freezer is one of life's great insurances Doctor degree.

These cookies got a resounding two thumbs up from my family, who liquidated almost 2 dozen over one Sunday lunch.  This includes my brother who will normally not touch anything with nuts.  I highly recommend them (and am unabashedly smug that I have 2 logs of its dough tucked away in the freezer)!

2013 will be quite an adventure for me and my little family, I can already tell...an adventure I hope to share with all of you.  Finger and toes crossed, a wing, a prayer, and full speed ahead!!!  Wishing you all the best this year!

***For those of you asking: I got my cocoa nibs from Risa Chocolates -- they are lovely artisans who are passionate about local chocolate.  They don't have any nibs currently but may have some by mid-year.  Meanwhile, check out their other tempting products here.
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