Oatmeal Cookies with Figs, Chocolate Chips and Walnuts


1 cup walnuts
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups dried figs, stems removed and diced (Blue Ribbon®, Orchard Choice®,  and Sun-Maid® are excellent brands)
1 cup excellent quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 sticks (or 12 tablespoons or 6 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat an oven to 350° F.  Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until light golden and very hot to the palm of your hand, 7 to 9 minutes.  Remove from the oven and chop coarsely.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl stir together the oatmeal, dried figs, chocolate chops and chopped walnuts. 

With a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy.  Add the brown sugar and beat again.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well mixed, scraping down the sides from time to time.  On slow speed, add the flour and then the oatmeal chocolate mixture and mix at slow speed until it is thoroughly mixed. 

Using an tablespoon measure, scoop heaping tablespoon portions.  Roll into a ball and place on an oiled baking sheet about 3-inches apart.  Press the cookies with the palm of your hand to form a 1/2-inch thick cookie.  Bake in the oven for 17 to 20 minutes until the edges are cooked and the centers are soft.  Remove from pan and cool on a rack. Repeat to bake all of the cookies.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.