I am from the Southern part of the United States, the land of milk and honey (or diabetes and corn syrup depending on the day). Southern girls cut their culinary teeth on dessert making, and I was no exception. However, over the years I have learned that there are very few occasions that call for hummingbird cake, and the pancreas can only handle so many pecan pies per year.
I also married a man from New Zealand, who is not used to the heavy, over sugared desserts of my youth, and our son has followed down the palate path of graciously pushing away super-sweet desserts with a, “No more, thank you”.
But I have learned over the years that all things cinnamon and fruit-flavored go over well, and with our household recovering from the flu this weekend I broke out the recipe book to make Figgy Oatmeal Cookies.
Dried Mission figs, in my opinion, are underutilized baking options in a Mother’s cupboard, although I was an adult before I had a fig that wasn’t pulverized and wrapped up in dry bar form. Chock full of potassium and fiber they are sweet and easy to store. They are also now easy to find and we like to put our on pizza, and keep the unused figs stored in a ziplock bag in the fridge until we are ready to use them.
I like this recipe because it’s cheap to make with ingredients you just have in your pantry. I make this small-batch style but you can easily double the recipe. They are sweet enough to satisfy my Southern girl sweet tooth while heavy on the spice side for the Nelson men. They bake up crispy crunchy on the outside edges with a chewy soft center, just how I like them. Our little guy loves a cookie before his morning nap, and they oatmeal in them keeps his tummy full (and him asleep!) until lunchtime. We enjoy them on Sundays with a nice cup of coffee (which may or may not have whisky in it) in front of the fire. Elmo especially enjoyed helping me make these cookies. This meant there was a little extra cleaning up but a whole lot more fun!
Figgy Oatmeal Cookies
(small batch-makes two dozen)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup packed all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp apple pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups of uncooked old-fashioned or quick oats
- 3/4 cup of dried mission figs, chopped
- 1/3 cup of orange juice
- 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, for garnish
- Take your chopped figs and let them sit in a small bowl of the orange juice for about 20-30 minutes, then drain. I usually let them sit on the counter while I do the following steps.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until creamy.
- Add vanilla and egg, beat for two minutes.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, apple pie spice, cinnamon and salt. Mix.
- Pour flour mixture directly into sugar mixture and mix until well combined.
- Turn off mixer, add in the oats and drained figs, mix with a wooden spoon until combined.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle tops of cookies with nutmeg.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet then transfer to wire rack to let it cool completely.