To my delight, the okra in these oatmeal okra cookies served its job well: it provided an excuse to eat more cookies (having a green veggie in them must make them healthy) without screaming, “Look at me, I’m okra!” The cookies are cakey (soft and airy), hearty from the bits of okra and oatmeal, sweet in a breakfasty way (like zucchini bread), and vibrantly flavored from the addition of licorice-like fennel and a touch of ginger. Less a dessert than a snack, they are the kind of cookie that would be great to pack in your bag for a day trip or to nosh on when you take a water break on your hike (assuming you take hikes like me – mild ones that don’t require power bars).
Okra Oatmeal Cookies Back Story
In my most frequent encounter with okra, it is breaded and fried beyond recognition, rendering it indistinguishable from every similarly prepared food (veggie or otherwise). When a Facebook reader asked if I could make an okra cupcake (which, as you’ll soon see, I did), I began to wonder if okra could also be interchanged with other vegetables in baked goods.
A bit of Internet research led me to a post on Chowhound that mentioned replacing carrot with okra in carrot cake. I decided before tackling the okra cupcake that I would begin with an okra cookie. I used a carrot cake cookie recipe that I found on my go-to site for cookie recipes, Cookie Madness, as a starting point. I was particularly excited about this recipe because it contained oatmeal and I would be able to call the oatmeal okra cookies “Oo” (keep reading if you don’t understand why this would excite me).
Oatmeal Okra Cookies Recipe
As noted above, this recipe is based on the carrot cake cookie recipe from Cookie Madness. I left the basic proportions of the cookie the same as in the original recipe, changed the carrot to okra, and swapped the spices for fennel and ginger (I referred to The Flavor Bible to see what spices went well with okra even though I don’t think the authors had cookies in mind).
I’m guessing that the thought of okra on your dessert table might have initially made some of you say, “Eww!”, but I hope that instead you are now saying, “Oo!”:
instead focus on my son’s enthusiasm as
expressed by the sound “Oo!”