There are a few things in life that I consider highly unpleasant. Problems that I know, deep inside, are first world problems but that I will complain about nonetheless. I dislike visiting the Apple store for computer repairs. I dislike being late, even though I’m never on time for anything in my life. I dislike traffic, long lines and having to walk up and down five flights of stairs to do my laundry (or wait two extra minutes for the elevator).
I also dislike the month February. Actually, make that hate the month of February. I’ve never held such a grudge against a day, a week or a month as I do February when sometime in college it occurred to me that every year since I was 12, something unpleasant has happened in February.
Now, logically I know I’m lucky that February’s unpleasantness has been relatively minor in the grand scheme of things: break-ups, arguments with friends, several consecutive 3 a.m. nights at work. Things that happen in life but for whatever reason, the universe doles them out in February.
What I do like about February is that it’s cold out and bulky sweaters cover up what we here in Chicago call “winter weight.” Bears aren’t the only mammal that prefer hibernation during the winter, anyone who lives in the 312 area code is also prone to rarely see the light of day from January until April.
These factors combined though, make for the perfect opportunity to bake. Because we’ll all have to emerge from our burrows eventually, baking with oatmeal, dark chocolate and whole wheat flour will soften the blow when it’s time to put that swim suit on.
- 6 Tbs unsalted butter
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1½ cups old fashioned oatmeal
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup finely chopped pitted dates
- 3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets (or line w/ parchment or silipats).
- Place butter in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Melt in microwave, just until completely melted. Remove from microwave and add brown sugar. Stir until smooth.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flours, baking soda & salt. Stir into butter sugar mixture along with egg, vanilla and dates. Fold in chopped chocolate and mix well.
- Drop Tablespoonfuls of the cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until they appear to be set and not gooey in the middles.