Cookies ala Nick

 Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was famously overheard to say, at a parade in her honor held at Disney World after she won the Olympic silver medal in 1994: "This is so corny. This is so dumb. I hate it. This is the most corny thing I've ever done." 

This column is my Nancy Kerrigan moment. I am writing … about a cooky recipe. 
I mean, here I am, right? The Great and Powerful Oz of lawyer food columns, having nobly survived a vicious and unwarranted attack on my cooking hand just prior to the Lawyer Cooking Olympics … and I am stooping to write about oatmeal cookies.
I feel like Dennis Rodman, attempting to revive his dormant career by becoming a North Korean diplomat. Or Tonya Harding, taking up professional boxing after she … 
WHOA. I just had one of those moments, and I must pause to contemplate the Great Circle of Life.
Anyway. Ahem. So last night my wife was craving a big, chewy cooky, but it was too late and snowy to go out. No worries! I said, I will make cookies. 
I went scurrying throughout the house to find ingredients. Chocolate chips? Nah, I ate the last of them. Raisins? Gone. What do I have? Dates. Walnuts. And a bag of Trader Joe’s® Rolled Oats. With a recipe on the back! For “gluten free oatmeal cookies.” 
I could do this, I thought. I had all the ingredients but didn’t want to put in so much peanut butter, so I erased the gluten free aspect of the cookies and added some flour. The result was a cooky that people raved about. 
Getting there was another matter. Creaming the frozen butter resulted in some messy kitchen accidents, and after finishing the recipe and expecting the promised 48 cookies, I wondered where the other 30 went. No matter! Without further adieu, my variation on Mr. Joe’s recipe:
¼ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
3 cups oats
2/3 cup flour
½ cup peanut butter
6 oz. chopped dates (or raisins, or chocolate chips)
½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, and butter and beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla and baking soda and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix. Stir in oats, flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Place teaspoon* full of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 2” apart. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly brown around edges. Do NOT overcook – do not brown bottom. Gently remove cookies with spatula to wire racks and let cool. Result is dense, chewy, delicious and vaguely healthy tasting cookie. Makes approximately 48 cookies.
(* Oh. Teaspoon. That explains me falling a bit short of the target. That, plus the mass quantities of raw dough consumed.)
One last tip: if you’re making these at your wife’s request … try to finish them before she falls asleep. Otherwise, serve for breakfast.
Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht, Roumel, Salvatore, Blanchard, and Walker PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for “Current” magazine in Ann Arbor. He occasionally updates his blog at