Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Oatmeal Walnut Cocoa Nib Cookies

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, 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
  • 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.

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.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Congrats on the culumn! Those cookies look terrific. Cocoa nibs are wonderful.



Midge said...

Those are definitely some totally scrumptious-looking cookies!

Eileen said...

How have I missed these cookies? The crunch of cacao nibs with the chew of oatmeal sounds super appealing. :)

Fork and Whisk said...

I am kind of the same with goals, I tend to have a lot of the same ones every year. I do like starting the year off with cookies, thanks for the post.

Pam5 said...

I can feel your excitement and this post inspires me --- in addition to the yummy recipe, your post is so full of hope. Thank you for making my day. : )

Filipino Food said...

Thanks for sharing this one. I had a great time reading your recipe. I'm gonna try this one out...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Rosa! Thanks! :)

Hi Midge! I really liked the way they turned out :)

Hi Eileen! They are really good...so happy I stumbled on this recipe :) I love Joy the Baker!

Hi Fork and Whisk! That only means we are steadfast and constant in what we value in life :) :)

Hi Pam! What a sweet comment! Live may not always be roses but without hope we are lost! All the best to you in 2013!

Hi Filipino Food! Hope you like it!

peachy said...

I love Cocoa Nibs! I get mine from Sugarleaf.

Happy New year to you!

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings said...

I am officially drooling over these cookies. Cocoa nibs are a healthful addition, with lots of benefits. Those Mayans knew what they were doing! Oooh, and the walnuts with their omegas...superb!

preoccupiedpress said...

Unfortunately I would have these for breakfast any day with my sweet tooth!

walnut is divine with chocolate!


Shalum said...

Yum! I'm trying this soon! Thanks for sharing!:)

BettyAnn @Mango_Queen said...

Oh my what a delicious and tempting recipe to try. Did I mention to you that I had the good fortune to meet Joy the Baker in person during the 'Big Summer Potluck' food bloggers conference in PA last year? She's so down to earth and very talented. That and the fact that you tried her recipe well, this is another winner for me. Must try this one. Thanks for sharing. Wish you all the best for 2013, Joey! See you again soon :-)

Needful Things said...

You're so right - the larger goals are always the same. I've had to remind myself to stop losing myself in the minutiae and just (like you said) waste less, do more, live more and focus on things that make me happy.
Wishing you a productive and happy 2013!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Peachy! Thanks for the tip!!

Hi Jen! I didn't even know cocoa nibs were that healthy! Now I'm doubly pleased :)

Hi Preoccupiedpress! I love walnut and chocolate together too :)

Hi Shalum! Hope you enjoy them!

Hi BettyAnn! You lucky ducky!! I would love to meet Joy in person...I am such a fan! :) Wishing you all the best for 2013!

Hi Needful Things! I have to remind myself as well...putting it "out there" on this blog helps me :) Happy 2013 to you too!

Janette said...

I didn't have cocao nibs and used cocao powder instead. The result is still extremely good!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Janette! Glad to hear it! I'll keep that in mind for when I run out :)

Laura said...

Yum! I love cacao nibs!

Debra said...

These cookies look amazing and sooo true about having cookie dough in the freezer as one of life's great assurances. Lately I have been very into using parchment paper to prevent cookies from burning :)

Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box said...

These look and sound amazing! I'm off to convert them to gluten free. Thanks so much for sharing!