Ginger, lemon, pecans, and oatmeal? Sounds like too much going on. I like simple cookies, you say. And wait a sec. There’s no chocolate? Well, I had the same concerns about these cookies. But these are the favorite cookies chez moi. And the same could happen chez vous.
I like cookies. Everyone likes cookies. But for some reason the idea of “baking cookies” always conjured up images of entire afternoons in the kitchen, making batch after batch of cookies, only to end up with dozens of cookies to store, give away, or eat. I don’t know why I felt that making cookies was always a day-long event. Maybe that was just my youthful impression of how long it took to get the cookies Mom was making into my mouth. It seemed like eons from when she started making them to when I got to eat them. So, as an adult, I just always assumed that baking cookies meant dozens of cookies.
And then, a couple of years ago, I had a cookie epiphany — it really only takes minutes to make a dozen or so cookies. And the ingredients in most cookies are pantry staples I usually have on-hand. Once I realized this, it meant that no longer would cookie-making be relegated to rainy weekend afternoons (and there aren’t that many of those here in Los Angeles), but that on an average weeknight I could have delicious homemade cookies, in less time than it takes to cook the rest of dinner.
Epiphanies don’t come out of the blue. Oh, wait, I think they do, or at least that they can. But I gotta be honest, and this one didn’t. I owe this epiphany to Melissa D’Arabian and her show on The Food Network, Ten Dollar Dinners. I remember half-watching the show and then she said something about how making a small batch of cookies is easy and not very time-demanding. I really don’t know what else she was making on this particular episode — I was having a cookie epiphany.
This moment rocked my world. Once I discovered how easy it was to make just 12 or 15 cookies, there was just no reason for me not to have fresh, homemade cookies around whenever I wanted them!
And I have to tell you, the recipe for these cookies is just about perfect. I am a pretty confident baker — I have no problem changing recipes to suit my need or taste, but this is one of those instances where I would hardly change a thing. It’s pretty much a perfect recipe for a delicious cookie. I’ve slightly adapted it to have a bit less salt, but here’s the link to the original recipe, if you prefer.
Ginger Lemon Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
(very slightly adapted from Melissa D’Arabian)
Makes 12-15 large cookies
- 8 oz or 1 stick (114 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (115 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) fresh grated ginger*
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. (2.5 g) baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. (2.5 g) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. (1.25 g) salt
- 1 cup (90 g) oats
- 1/2 cup (50 g) chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190 C).
- Cream the softened butter and the sugars together for a few minutes until light and fluffy. You can do this with either a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Add in the egg, grated ginger, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until fluffy and well-combined. You can also sift these ingredients together if you prefer.
- Combine the dry ingredients from the previous step into the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Then add the oats and mix to combine. Stir in the chopped pecans by hand.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, drop large balls of the cookie dough, evenly spaced.** These cookies will spread significantly, so give them room.***
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
* I keep a piece of fresh ginger in the freezer so that I will always have it when I want it. It can be grated directly from the freezer — no need to thaw.
** I use a #20 disher to scoop these cookies, which is big — about 1.6 ounces by volume. With a #20 disher, I usually get 13 cookies from this recipe. Feel free to make your cookies smaller if you like, but reduce the baking time accordingly.
*** I can fit the entire batch of cookies on one 2/3 size sheet pan (21″ by 15″), which is big enough to take up one whole level of my oven. It’s very likely that you only have a 1/2 sheet pan size (18″ by 13″), which is pretty standard for home use. If that’s the case, you’ll need two pans onto which to fit the cookies.
The cookies can be kept at room temperature, and will last for a few days quite nicely.
Feel free to add a different citrus juice to change the flavor, or use whatever kind of nuts you have. I have definitely substituted orange juice here when I didn’t have a lemon on hand.