I look down at my bowl of sticky toffee apple cookie batter and shake my head. “I can’t! I have to finish baking these cookies!”
A squeal erupts from the other room and my mom, dad, brother, and sister-in-law laugh with appreciation. My little eight month old niece is quite the charmer – her face perpetually lined with a gaping smile.
“You have to see her!” My mom says again.
I grunt in frustration. I had wanted to have the cookies done by the time my brother, sister-in-law and niece Addison arrived at my parents house for dinner.
“Just a second!” I call back, quickly rolling a few more balls of cookies before popping the sheet in the oven. I rinse off my hands and dash into the family room where Addison is sitting in the middle of a blanket on the floor. She grins up at me, showcasing her two tiny teeth, and my heart melts. I fall to the floor and reach out my hands for her to clasp onto with her pudgy little fingers.
“She’s the cutest baby ever.” I gush, not wanting to go back to the kitchen to finish my latest dessert experiment – a Heath bar apple oatmeal cookie inspired by a tweet from the Duo Dishes about a toffee apple peanut cookie they made.
The timer screams a warning, and I begrudgingly climb to my feet to check on the cookies. They aren’t done yet, which means I need to stand idly by until they are done – spending more precious time away from my niece’s infectious giggles. It’s a simple recipe that’s been complicated by Addison’s presence nearby.
Why does she have to be so adorable? I think, as I heave the next batch into the oven and rush over to again “ooh” and “aah” over her.
When did I become such a sap? I wonder. Is this my maternal clock ticking?
No, this time it’s just the kitchen timer.
The cookies are finished, and actually turn out quite well no thanks to my dear little distraction. As I nibble the chewy toffee bits that have oozed out from the edge of the cookie, I imagine baking them for Addison someday when she has more teeth. I’ll tell her she was so cute I almost didn’t finish them. And then I’ll send her home to her parents with a sugar high.
Heath Bar Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 18 cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
3-4 Heath bars, crushed
¾ cup toasted walnuts
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture.
Heat diced apples in microwave for approximately 1 minute or until slightly tender. Add apples, Heath bar pieces and walnuts to batter. Stir until just combined.
Chill the dough for approximately 30 minutes so it is easier to work with.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and then roll the dough into golf ball sized balls. Bake for 13-15 minutes depending on hot your oven is/how cool the cookies are. They are done when golden brown. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.