This springy summer sun has never been more welcome to me than now. In the past, I never longed for the sunshine as much as I did this year.
Maybe it’s part of aging, and I’ve learned to appreciate the joy of sunshine. Perhaps it’s me doing a 180 from the 16-year-old-theatre-camp-goer who longed to move to the dreary landscape of London and become a stage star. Maybe it’s the 26 years of overly pale skin and my body is finally crying out for the vitamin D it has lacked for so long. Whatever it is, the sunshine is here, and I am overjoyed by it.
Despite the Austin allergies that have obliterated anyone with functioning nostrils and the green film of pollen that’s covering any and every car, the fresh, crisp, greenness of spring has bloomed, and it’s infiltrating everything.
The farmers’ market finally has fresh tomatoes. Kale and Swiss chard have lost their luster (die leafy greens, die…). We planted our spring garden and inundated it with about 20 pepper plants and a dozen tomato plants. The dog park is laden with a multitude of over-hyper pups who are high on sunshine after months of dreary rain and indoor-living.
And flip-flops are back. Yesssssssss.
I should be focused on finding the perfect pair of shorts and a new swimsuit that doesn’t make me look like a troll. I should be taking pictures on the side of the highway, knee deep in bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush wildflowers. I should be dreaming of light, fresh, crisp recipes that are the perfect reflection of the Springy spring in my step.
Instead, I made monstrous, hearty, swimsuit-obliterating cookies.
It felt so right.
Usually, what churns out of our kitchen is often a reflection of our seasonal ingredients, but not in this case. A yellow, weathered piece of paper with this recipe scribbled on it has been comfortably lodging on our fridge under an adorable antique shoe magnet for ages. A perfect, tried and true recipe that I simply hadn’t made in a while.
It caught my eye a few days back, called out to me, and assured me it could fix the little-effort-baking-bug that was biting at me one Saturday. I had just bought a fresh bag of Texas pecans in a fit of state spirit, so it seemed like a divine appointment.
These cookies are my spirit animal.
They’re cakey, crumbly, oaty, crisp, sweet, nutty, and interspersed with delectable spurts of chocolate. I make them the size of a saucer because cookie size shock value is a real, enjoyable experience when you offer these to your coworkers at 9 am and they surprise even themselves by putting back a plate-sized piece of dessert before they’ve finished their first cup of coffee.
They’re simple, fuss-less, and incredibly delicious. They’re comfort in a compact, sweet, cookie form. And are perfectly acceptable to eat for breakfast.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and oats in a separate bowl. Add to the creamed mixture while the paddle is running in increments until just combined.
- Mix in pecans and chocolate until just combined - make sure not to over beat.
- Roll dough into 3" sized balls and slightly flatten with your palm. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden on the edges and set in the middle.