Today I received a large (think dozens and dozens…almost the kind you would see at a funeral or wedding size) bouquet of white roses. Which the average female would have loved to receive. Except me. #1 they came from a guy I already let know I wasn’t interested in. I’m not playing hard to get. I don’t play anything. If you let me know you are interested and I tell you I am not, I’m not. I’m pretty transparent that way. #2 I don’t like roses. I like cabbage roses, but not traditional roses. And they make my allergies go insane.
So I could have kept them. I could have thrown the out. Instead I thought of my mother. My mom used to volunteer at the Assisted Living Center (you know them as the old folks home) when my grandmother stayed in one. She went every day. She would often drag me, mostly in the summers to help her run Bingo. She would read the numbers in English and I would follow in Spanish (this was Phoenix after all). But I remember how sad she would be for the people who day in and day out had no visitors. So I thought, clearly we have an assisted living place around here. We do. Several.
So down I went with my white rose extravaganza to find a woman who never gets visitors. I told the nurses what I was doing. I asked if there were any females who never got visitors. Sadly that number was higher than I had wanted to hear. So I asked who could carry on full conversations. And I got A. In a walked with my large bouquet and sat them down in front of her. Of course, she had the do I know her look on her face, which I told her she did not (then she asked me if I was from one of those do gooder churches and I loved her immediately). I told her no church, just had some spare roses and that I was just stopping by to wish her a happy Thursday. She smiled super big. I sat down and had a chat with A. A very nice woman, who just happens to be a retired school teacher, and so we had lots to talk about. On my way out, I asked the nurses if A was diabetic or anything that would not allow her to have sweets. They said no. But told me that she loved oatmeal raisin cookies. I go back in two weeks, cookies in hand. I think the movie UP is giving me a soft spot for seniors.
Now though these cookies were made even before I went. These of course are not oatmeal raisin, but they do have oatmeal in it, and I found it kind of ironic that I had made those the day before. This is the time of year when they sell the Christmas candy cheap, which means Almond Roca (which can be pricey) goes on sale, as long as it was in a gift pack type thing. So I bought some. Chopped it up and put it in cookies. It is super important that you grease the heck out of your cookie pans. The toffee when it melts will stick to pan…big time. If you let it cool completely they are a much easier to remove from pan. But as much as they are kind of a pain, they are really yummy.
Mocha-Almond Roca Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. instant coffee (I used Starbucks Via)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups oatmeal (old fashioned or quick)
1 ½ cups Almond Roca, roughly chopped
Heat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
Add eggs, instant coffee, and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
Add oats and Almond Roca; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a super greased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes (my oven was running more on the 10 minute side) or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Adapted from Quaker Oats