Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

I'm not entirely sure I was a very nice child. I was an absolute nightmare to my Sunday School teachers, an irony that is not lost on me as the current Sunday School Director. A few years ago I reconnected with my friend Carlyn that I knew from elementary through high school. She did what I'm sure so many people have dreamt of doing: she confronted her bully. Oh yeah, and that bully was me. 

She reminded me of how she used to wear American Girl style dresses that her grandmother made for her (think Felicity Merriman) and how I was so mean to her about them. I remember her wearing those dresses and I remember how much I wanted one but that we couldn't afford it. I don't remember what I said to her as a kid, but I told her as an adult, without hesitation, that I was sorry, that I was completely jealous and that was why I was mean. She said her mom had told her that was the reason and she never believed her. Thankfully Carlyn has forgiven me because she has been a great friend to me since.

I posted this on my instagram a while back: 

Because this happens to me all the time. Something has been bugging me for a while now and I'm pretty sure I've made it out to be WAY bigger than it really was, but I have got to get it off my chest. 

Paul and I went to a small dinner party with some really lovely people a little over a year ago. They were charming and kind, and they opened their house to us to get to know us better. The whole point was to make new friends. Along the way I said something to one of our hosts that I wish I had not said. I don't remember the words I used but I've blown it up in my head to the point where it may as well have been, "I don't need any more friends. I'm good."

How rude can you get?? Why would I say something like that? I certainly didn't mean it. Needless to say it didn't really work out. We're all very busy, mind you, but my foot-in-mouth disease may have killed that one before it began. 

I actively try to be a good human being but I am aware of my shortcomings - sometimes painfully aware. A lot of times bloggers only put their good traits in writing for the world to see and we think they are winning at life all the time. I won't deny that a lot of days I feel like I am winning, mostly in small ways. But I really struggle with trying to be the person I want to be sometimes. 

I saw someone for the first time in about 15 years yesterday and when I reintroduced myself I almost said, "And I'm really, really sorry if I was ever mean to you." Maybe I should start doing that from now on. Life feels too short not to.

If I could give people a mea culpa in food form, these cookies would probably be it. They're thick and soft, like a hug, with a subtly spicy warmth. They taste like someone cares about you, if that could be summed up in a flavor. I'll be bringing some to Carlyn soon.

Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Vegan With A Vengeance
Yield: 3-4 dozen, depending on size

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 2/3 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350ยบ.

Mix together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, molasses, pumpkin, and vanilla until very well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches, folding to combine. Fold in the pecans.

Using a cookie scoop (or well rounded tablespoonfuls) drop dough evenly onto lined cookie sheets. 

Bake for 14-16 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely. 

These are that magic type of cookie that tastes even better the next day. 

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