Irish Oat & Honey Ambrosia Cookies

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My youngest Charlie knows that “oatmeal” is the correct word, but still insists on calling his favorite kind of cookie “oakmeal and raisin.” Since he likes the combination so much, I keep tweaking and perfecting recipes to enrich the possibilities. This one is my favorite. Toasting the Irish oats & rum-soaking the raisins makes “ordinary” ingredients extra-ordinary.  Put that with never-plain-jane papaya, coconut and pineapple (“frilly” fruits on their own) and honey, and you have a beautiful, pliable cookie.

Makes 5 dozen cookies

Cookie Batter Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw Irish Kilbeggan Organic Porridge oats (substitute old-fashioned rolled oats if need be)
  • 1 1/2 sticks  butter, soft
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure orange extract
  • 1/2 cup mild-flavored honey
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut (Bobs Mill)
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp each, baking powder and salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup each dried pineapple and papaya, chopped
  • 1 cup raisins that have been soaked in 1/2 cup rum overnight
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Toast oats on a cookie sheet  for 15 minutes.
  2. Whip butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in honey, extract and coconut flakes.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together (except oats) and stir into butter mixture. Stir in toasted oats, dried fruit and nuts.
  4. On parchment lined cookie sheets, drop dough in rounded teaspoonfuls  onto sheets (about 2 inches apart.)
  5. Bake at 325 for 14 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Store in airtight containers.

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