When life gets too hectic, what do you do?
I have an ability to make my life rather busy at times. Somehow it all builds up, unnoticed. In the midst the daily routines, you start new projects, help a friend or a family member, find a new hobby, work on that never-ending to-do list or on your New Year's resolutions. Suddenly, you find yourself staring at your calendar with that to-do list in hand, wondering where to fit in everything that needs to be done this week - or today.
Eventually there will be a time when you have to sit down, to schedule your life all over. Something needs to be cut out, set aside for a moment or two until you can catch up on your life again. Or if you are in denial, you try to continue to make it through. I have tried that as well.
But when life gets hectic? I start baking.
It should not make sense to me, that out of all things I can do I always go back to baking. Yet it somehow does. Though baking takes time and energy, both of which I lack at times, the result is worth it. And these cookies are somehow perfect for this situation. They are everything at once and first, it is difficult to get a clear picture on exactly what they are trying to be. Sweet and crunchy, yet also slightly chewy in the center. Packed with all the good stuff; chocolate, coconut, oats. It doesn't take long for everything to fall into its place and suddenly, these cookies were just that thing that was missing.
And it doesn't hurt that these cookies are huge.
Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies
adapted from a cup of mascarpone
makes about 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
170g (3/4 cup) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips or chopped milk chocolate
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup pecans or walnuts (optional) *
Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In another bowl, beat together the butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in the sugars and beat for a couple minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, rolled oats, coconut and nuts, if using.
Drop 1/4 cup of dough on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, leaving about 3 inches between the cookies. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, then turn the baking tray around (front to back) and bake for another 8 to 9 minutes, until the edges have slightly browned.
* Note: Because of nut allergies in our family, I didn't add nuts to these cookies. The original recipe calls for pecans, though I think walnuts would also be delicious.