Last year, my sister got Hal a faux red rose from Ikea and placed it in a glass jar, also from Ikea, that looked nearly identical to the one from Beauty and the Beast. “Mom it needs sparkles,” she said. While she was sleeping, I painted the edges of each petal with glittered nail polish before returning it to its glass dome. She woke up the next morning to exclaim, “Mom, you have magic! Will you teach me?”
How could I tell her no? She confirmed what I’d always hoped to be true of myself. That I had magic. On a whim, I promised her that I’d teach her my magic. That by the time she left home, she’d have all of it. So, I began teaching her magic lessons, feeling more like a fraudulent Elizabeth Gilbert or Hermione Granger than myself.
Magic lesson #1. It’s under your nose. It’s all around you, magic that is. You just have to look for it. But take note—it’s so unassuming you might overlook it. Like finding glittered nail polish in the junk drawer just when you need it.
Magic lesson #2. Surround yourself with good people. I had to pull this lesson out without much notice. Hal found herself with another red rose while visiting family in Tulsa. A real rose. Of course, it needed to glisten like the other one. “Mom, will you add your magic?” she said just before going to bed. Like the tooth fairy subdued by a margarita, I missed my appointment and fell asleep on the couch. The next morning, we both woke up to a sparkly red rose.
It had to be real magic because it wasn’t me. My mother-in-law swooped in and scraped glitter off a Christmas card she’d saved, saving me, too. “Surround yourself with great people, Hal. Because sometimes they’ll be able to do things for you that you can’t do for yourself.”
Magic lesson #3. Life is poetic. She waits for lightening bolts to zoom out of my fingers or my Harry Potter wand (more like spatula) to appear on this lesson. On most lessons. What Hal doesn’t realize yet, is that I have ordinary, everyday magic. She’s looking for something more grand to come out of me. Aren’t we all? That’s a longer lesson for another day, years from now. This one, too, is probably taught out of order, too soon. But life is poetic and round and circular. I’ve been working on this cookie recipe for weeks. It’s an oatmeal/trail mix cookie with just about every staple from the left side of our pantry. I’ll tell you more about it in a second.
Kev named this cookie Scout after the second batch—like a cookie you should take on a hike. My parents, who live in Texas, got a new pup this weekend. And would you guess his name. “Mom, his name is Scout like the cookies!” Life is kind like that. Poetic like that. Welcome to the family Scout! I guess we’ve been making you some cookies.
These Scout Cookies are inspired by a trail mix cookie from Northern Coffeeworks that I can’t not order when I go. It’s an oatmeal cookie with lots of other things like: unsweetened coconut, bittersweet chocolate, pepita seeds, chia seeds, and pecans. It’s just sweet enough, a touch salty, and packed with flavor. Like most things in life, they’re best with a rest (Magic Lesson #256). So make them in advance if you can.
The Scout Cookie is an oatmeal cookie with a lot of other things like: unsweetened coconut, bittersweet chocolate, pepita seeds, chia seeds, and pecans. It’s just sweet enough, a touch salty, and packed with flavor. It’s a cookie you’d take on a hike, or not. I prefer these cookies best after an overnight rest.
1 stick (1/2 c.) unsalted butter
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. turbinado (coarse sugar)
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 c. quick-cooking oats*
1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c. wheat pastry flour
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut shreds
scant 1/4 c. finely chopped pecans
2 tbsp. pepita seeds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. chopped bittersweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.
Begin preparing the wet ingredients. In a small saucepan, melt butter on low until half melted. Set aside to continue melting and cooling.
Prepare the dry ingredients. Stir together all the dry ingredients, except for the chocolate, in a large mixing bowl.
Into the cooled butter mixture, stir in all the remaining wet ingredients until evenly combined. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate. Dough will be fairly dense.
Scoop cookies using a 2 teaspoon-sized spring-release scoop (.3-ounce scoop/#60 scoop). For every cookie, scoop two balls and roll together. (Each cookie is about 4 teaspoons or heaping 1 tablespoon.) Bake for 11 to 12 minutes. They will appear slightly soft, but will harden up as they cool. Let cool on pan for 1 minute before carefully removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for a month.
*I prefer quick-cooking oats to old-fashioned oats here for their size and overall texture of the cookie. If you don’t stock quick-cooking oats, try barely pulsing the oats in a high-powered blender or food processor to decrease the size of the grain.