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These soft, chewy cookies bake up flat, rather than rounded, making them perfect for ice cream sandwiches. Oatmeal cookies pair beautifully with all kinds of ice cream flavors; I especially like to make sandwiches using butter-pecan or one of the caramel-type ice creams.
This recipe calls for you to grind the fruit with some of the oats before starting. What's up with that? Well, grinding a portion of the oats makes a flatter, less "chunky" cookie, better for ice cream sandwiches. And grinding the fruit prevents it from turning into rock-hard pellets when the cookies are frozen; while the fruit still freezes, it doesn't make a noticeable textural difference, since the pieces are so small.
1 1/3 cups (4 5/8 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (about 5 ounces) dried fruit: diced dried apples, chopped dates, dried cranberries, raisins, chopped dried apricots, or the dried fruits of your choice
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons, 1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
3 tablespoons (2 ounces) dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons Signature Secrets*
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur® whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
*This helps keep the cookies soft and chewy; if you choose not to use it, underbake them slightly, so they don't become too hard in the freezer.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
Place 1/3 cup of the oats, along with the fruit, into the bowl of a food processor. Process until everything is finely ground and pasty. Set the mixture aside.
To prepare the dough: Cream together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, spices, leaveners, salt, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat in the egg. Add the oat/fruit mixture, the remainder of the oats, and the flour, stirring to combine.
Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
To bake the cookies: Bake the cookies for 7 minutes; reverse the pans on the racks, and bake for an additional 6 minutes, until cookies are slightly browned, but still soft in the center. Remove them from the oven, and cool them right on the pan. This is why you use parchment, by the way: you can pull the parchment, cookies and all, off the pan onto a cooling rack, then place a new batch of unbaked cookies on the baking sheet. Yield: 40 cookies.