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Pantry Raid = Cookies. Soft, Nutty, Oat-filled Cookies!

It's time to raid the pantry again!  That's our theme this week over at IHCC...and it could not have come at a better time.  There are so many this-n-that's crowding my pantry* that need to get used up it's almost ridiculous.  I think I went a little koo-koo with the nuts this past winter because I have so many waiting to be turned into something delicious.  Not that nuts aren't delicious just naked in their own rite. And, to be completely honest, they're actually in the freezer...not the pantry.  But I did use up some other items that are actually in the pantry, so...

With what I had to use up, I almost made granola...but I didn't have enough dried fruit variety for my liking...and no coconut...so I went with a nutty oatmeal cookie instead.  Although if you want to see some killer granola, Deb did make some that had me drooling and cursing my not-so-well-stocked (as I thought) pantry!  But cookies did suffice.
Nutty Oatmeal Cookies
from Food Matters by Mark Bittman
yield: ~3 dozen cookies
items I used up from my pantry or fridge/freezer

1/2 c. peanut oil or vegetable oil, or 8 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. applesauce, or 2 eggs
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. rolled oats (not instant)
1 c. (~3 oz) chopped dried apples, or other fruit I used only 1/2 c. raisins & dates
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans I upped it to 1 c. of nuts and also used pine nuts & almonds
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, or cow's milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
...Bittman also suggests adding 1/2 tsp. ground ginger and 1/4 tsp. each allspice & nutmeg and bumping up the cinnamon to 1 tsp. to make the spice flavors more prominent...if you like...and I do.  Like.  You can also add an extra 1/2 c. of chocolate if you're feeling "decadent".  Which I wasn't.  And also, take a look at the recipe ingredients...if you choose the first options through the list, you've got a vegan cookie! 

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Use an electric mixer to cream oil or butter and sugars together; add applesauce or eggs and beat until well blended.

2.  Combine the flour, oats, fruit, nuts, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  Alternating with the milk, add the dry ingredients to the butter & sugar mixture by hand, a little at a time, stirring to blend.  Stir in the vanilla.

3.  Put tsp-size mounds of dough about 3 inches aprt on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake until lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.  Cook for ~2 minutes on the sheets, then use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a rack to finish cooling.  Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for no more than a day or two.
I seem to remember saying that I was going to do a pantry cleaning every few months just to use things up and see what kind of good stuff could be made from forgotten items...mission accomplished!!  As a matter of fact, one of the last times I went on a pantry raid...I ended up making something else from Bittman.  Hmmm.

These cookies were good. Not my favorite, but I ate them.  My favorite oatmeal cookies have more of a chewy texture while these were very cakey and soft (probably because of the use of baking powder instead of soda, I'm guessing)... I think they would have been good with a thin drizzle of icing.  And while some are of the school that screams at those nuts and fruit to stay out of their cookies! I am not.  I love nuts and fruit in my cookies.  Yum.

*and by pantry I mean tall, awesome converted bookshelf
Be sure to hop on over to IHCC to see what else was made from a simple pantry raid!
IHCC
There is still time to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a great cookbook...Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms!