Friday, January 27, 2012

On Perfect as the Enemy of Good: Ugly Cookies

All of a sudden there are words on this page – this page that had been blank for more than three years.  Not too long after I made that egg sandwich I was paralyzed by the quest for perfection.  I would draft posts, choose pictures, look into hosting and promoting a website, research monetizing, etc.  Nothing I wrote was perfect and no matter what I learned I felt I should know more.

And then one day last week, a woman I used to work with quit.  She stopped her day job and started her life as she wanted it.  First I was inspired and then I was motivated.  And then suddenly I didn’t care if I was perfect, I just wanted to start doing something I wanted to do.  And now there are words on the page – imperfect words and imperfect pictures, but they are mine.  So I say all of this to say, hang in there with me while I get in the groove – and if there’s something you’ve been wanting to do, try it.  What’s the worst that can happen?

This recipe is dedicated to my former co-worker and to my friends whose ooooh’s and aaah’s over the cookies below helped me feel like I had something worth posting about.   It is adapted from my friend Linda’s world famous-in-the-neighborhood cookie recipe.  I’ve changed the oats-to-flour recipe to make a flatter, chewier cookie – they aren’t as pretty as Linda’s, but I’m a sucker for oats, so these ugly cookies get me every time.

Ugly Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4c. oats
1 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1 c. Scharffenberger’s bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 c. flaked coconut

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until mixture is light, about 2 minutes. Whisk the next four ingredients together and then add to the wet ingredients until blended. Finally, mix in cherries, chocolate and coconut – be careful not to over mix.  Store dough in the fridge covered in plastic wrap for 1-2 days before continuing for best results.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Drop batter by the heaping tablespoonful on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

Notes: The fridge storage time really makes a difference in the flavor.  Plus, I like that I can keep the dough in the fridge and bake off cookies as I need them.  Sometimes I scoop them and lay them on a cookie sheet to freeze individually and then pop them in a storage bag.  That way you can bake just a couple at a time.


  1. They really are the best cookies. I tell people all the time that they are healthy because they contains oats. Most people choose to believe it because they want to eat more than one!

    1. And here she is, ladies and gentlemen! Lind herself. Thanks for the inspiration, my friend!

  2. I'm gonna try these they sound lush!

    1. Yay! I will do my best to update with weights as soon as possible -- tell me how they come out!