It’s now officially Easter because I woke up today and baked THESE COOKIES.

I’ve shared Nanny’s oatmeal cookies previously, only to realize when I looked at my handwritten recipe, it’s not EXACTLY the same as what’s on the Quaker site now. So, to be sure we have it documented properly, here we go. I’m pretty sure Nanny’s recipe originated from the Quaker oats canister, but then recipes change over time, so let’s get it right for old times’ sake. And for Nanny!

Now, a reminder about my grandmother and one of the many things that made her so cool. Nanny put M&Ms in her oatmeal cookies. And every holiday, she’d head down here with Poppy and a giant platter of them for my cousins and me. She must have made AT LEAST two or three batches, because in my mind’s eye, I can still see those cookies piled high. All of us kids (and my uncles) still remember them fondly–and I’m proud to carry on her holiday baking tradition in her memory.

This year, I wanted to try a Mounds variation just to be a little different. If you love chocolate and coconut together, these will rock your world. If not, stick to Nanny’s original recipe and add a cup of M&Ms instead. I only use 1/2 a cup, but that’s just because Nanny was a whole lot cooler than I am.

NANNY’S OATMEAL COOKIES–WITH A MOUNDS TWIST!

3/4 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups quick oats, (quick, 1-minute oats–can’t you picture them hurrying somewhere?) uncooked
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped (Valrhona in my house)
1/2 cup tender flake coconut (sweetened)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter, sugars, egg, water and vanilla together until creamy.

Sift together flour, salt and soda. Add to creamed mixture, blend well. Add oats and blend. Then add coconut and blend…then add chopped chocolate (and do what? that’s right), blend.

Original recipe calls for dropping by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. I used my trusty Zeroll Universal EZ Disher scoop (#60, pink).

I love and highly recommend this scoop for perfect portioning!

Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees F…in my house, 13.5 minutes is the magic number, but could be anywhere from 12-15 minutes at yours. I find letting the cookies rest on the baking sheet a few minutes makes it easier to move them from sheet to rack.

Makes 5 dozen, except in my kitchen because (block your eyes, Nanny!) I  love to eat the dough raw and always must ensure quality control, once baked, before sharing with others! MOO.

Happy Easter!

Cherries are ripe for the pickin’ in the Land of Steady Habits–didjaknow? Belltown Hill Orchards kicked off pick-your-own cherries yesterday, thus I hopped in the katmobile, headed for Glastonbury and grabbed a pail.

I couldn’t leave Belltown without sampling their own cherry donuts…yes, made with freshly picked cherries right from their orchards!

Belltown's cherry donut--have a bite!

If you are anywhere near, please get there during cherry season to enjoy one yourself! Nowhere near me? That’s OK, we can bake this moist and delicious cherry almond cake instead.

Life's a katty bowl of cherries!

As anyone who knows me realizes, I pick to bake–ALWAYS. If you’re an almond lover–and I absolutely am–this cake has your name written all over it.

KATTY’S CHERRY ALMOND CAKE
adapted from Williams Sonoma

1 cup sliced almonds (3/4 cup to grind, 1/4 cup to reserve for topping)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (I used Paneangeli lievito vaniglinato per dolci)
1/4 teaspoon (heaping) salt
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (for sprinkling on top)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch pie plate.

Using a mini food processor, add 3/4 cup almonds, flour, baking powder and salt. Process until almonds are finely ground. Set aside.

Use your stand mixer to cream butter with sugar. Add eggs one by one, blending each one till fully incorporated. Add almond extract.

With mixer on low, blend in flour mixture gradually–do not overmix.

Spread batter evenly into buttered pie plate. Place cherries atop batter. Mix together remaining 1/4 cup of almonds with 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar–sprinkle around edges of cake.

Like this--ready to bake!

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Tastes fantastic warm. Dig in!

Ready to eat!

Want some?