Maple, Walnuts and Oatmeal: sure sounds like the perfect fall combination to me, especially when they are mixed together into a delicious cookie. When I came across this recipe for Maple-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies in the special Martha Stewart Halloween Magazine I couldn’t wait to give them a try with all the toasted walnuts, real maple syrup and brown sugar.

The twist in this oatmeal cookie is the addition of shredded coconut. The recipe calls for unsweetened coconut but all I had on hand was the sweetened varied. To off-set the sweetness I toasted the coconut along with the walnuts. The toasted coconut provided a great texture and nutty flavor element that wasn’t overly sweet.

I also added a little sprinkle of sea salt on the top of each cookie before baking. After mixing the dough together I let it “rest” in the fridge for a good 30 minutes to let the flavors mingle before baking. These cookies bake up moist and tender in the center and slightly crispy around the edges with a terrific walnut/maple flavor. The oatmeal and toasted coconut add nice texture and heft to the cookie. Here is how you can make your own, with a few changes that I’ve made along the way. All the changes I made are in italics:

Maple-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies– adapted from the Martha Stewart Halloween Magazine
Makes 12 cookies (I made mine smaller so I ended up with around 20 cookies)

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut (I used sweetened coconut, toasted in the oven)
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • sea salt for sprinkling (I used this for sprinkling on the top of each cookie

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpat. In a bowl, combine oats, toasted coconut, flour, salt and sugar.

In a saucepan over medium heat, mix butter and maple syrup together until melted and combined. Hint: spray measuring cup with Pam before filling with maple syrup. The syrup will slide easily out of the measuring cup! Remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and boiling water. Immediately stir into the butter mixture until combined. Stir into the oat mixture and fold in the toasted walnuts.

At this point I covered the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and chilled in the fridge for around 30 minutes. The recipe doesn’t call for doing this but I feel it really helps the wet ingredients fully incorporate with the dry ingredients creating a better tasting baked cookie.

Form dough into 1/4 cup balls (I used a medium sized scoop and got a smaller cookie) and place on cookie sheet about 3 inches apart, 6 to a sheet. Flatten each ball slightly. I added a little sprinkle of sea salt to the tops of each cookie. Bake until golden brown and set, around 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

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