Sometimes (ok, often) in the middle of the week I'm in the mood for a treat, but don't want something too heavy. I had some pecans in my cupboard along with some whole-wheat pastry flour but no butter, and thought I would experiment with making some cookies that are a little bit healthier using olive oil instead. The result was even better than I expected - cookies that are full of flavor, chewy yet relatively light in texture, and great for a little treat or snack.
These are also just about the easiest cookies I've made - since there's no butter, there is no mixer needed. You just stir the ingredients together!
I used a small ice cream scoop to form the cookies (my new favorite baking accessory for cookies - here's an example: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/kitchen-and-food/serving-utensils/stainless-steel-ice-cream-scoop/s283323) but you can certainly just drop them by the tablespoon onto the cookie sheets.
One more tip - this recipe makes about 30 cookies, but if you don't think you can polish them off in a week or so (these kept remarkably well in an airtight container), I also love to freeze almost any type of cookies before you bake them and then you can pop them out of the freezer for impromptu cookie cravings in the future right into the oven. To do this, drop the cookies as you normally would onto a cookie sheet, then put them in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes (it's ok if it's longer). Once they've started to freeze a little, you can transfer them to a ziplog bag or reusable container and freeze them for several months. When you're ready to bake them, take them out of the freezer, put them on a cookie sheet, and bake for 1-2 minutes longer than called for below.
Whole-Wheat Oatmeal Pecan Cookies
Makes ~ 30 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes cooking time per batch
1 1/2 c. whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. fine grain sea salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 T. molasses
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. olive oil
Approx. 30 pecan halves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamonm and nuts. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, and olive oil. Stir in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Drop by the tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Immediately upon taking the cookies out of the oven, press a pecan half into each cookie. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then enjoy!