A Tropical Spring Twist On A Classic Cookie

This spring, as we venture into the uncharted terroir of wine and spirits, we are inspired to extend our pairings, cooking, and baking into new and experimental realms as well. About once a month, we serve up an in-store treat for our customers, using our product to celebrate the current season. It’s all things exotic here right now, so we chose to experiment with a classic favorite: the oatmeal cookie. This time, we added the delicious kick of rum-soaked tropical fruits. This cookie has the comforting softness of one of our childhood favorites, while the spice and bitterness from the dark rum keeps this sweet treat surprising.

Our original inspiration came from “Eat the Love” blogger Irvin Lin, and we made a few adjustments along the way.  One of our spirits consultants, Steven Bowles, chose the Columbus Añejo Dominican Rum as the perfect product for this recipe. Not only do the notes of vanilla, nutmeg, and caramel exhibited in the rum perfectly complement the cookie’s oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon, but the rum’s versatile sweet and dry character also makes it the perfect stand-alone pairing with this treat. This bottle is at the right price point, so you won’t feel guilty baking with it.

Oatmeal Cookies with Rum-Soaked Tropical Fruit

This recipe yields cookies for a crowd (about 70)


Ingredients:

3 c. dried tropical fruit (we used mango, pineapple, and papaya)
Columbus Añejo Dominican Rum, enough to cover the fruit—probably 1/3 of the bottle
5 c. old-fashioned oats
1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
3 c. coconut oil (reserve 1 cup)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. brown sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Extra cinnamon and sugar for topping

Directions:

1. The day before you are planning to make the cookies, chop the dried fruits into small pieces and place into a large container. Pour the rum over the fruit until all of the pieces are covered. Soak for a few hours, or, preferably, overnight.
2. On the day that you plan to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 375°F. Melt the coconut oil by placing the jar(s) in hot water. Grease the baking sheet with some of the oil.
3. Whisk together oats, flour, coconut flakes, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until evenly combined.
4. In a separate bowl, beat together two cups of the melted coconut oil, along with the vanilla extract and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly until the dough is well-incorporated. You may need to add additional coconut oil if the mixture is too dry. Drain the fruit of excess rum and stir into the batter.
6. Fill a small bowl with additional cinnamon and sugar.
7. Roll the dough into 1 ½ inch balls and dip one side of each ball into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place balls 1 ½ inches apart on greased baking sheet.
8. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
9. If you find that the cookies are spreading too thin, raise the temperature to 400°F and decrease the baking time.

We are confident that these cookies will have the sweet appeal you crave with the perfect element of surprise. Enjoy!

Hannah’s Suggested Pairing: 
The dark, burnt-sugar notes of the Columbus Añejo Dominican Rum work perfectly with the oats in this cookie—but, served neat, they tend to eclipse some of the subtler nuances of this delicious treat. Mixing this spicy, rich rum with soda water (I prefer the delicacy of Fever-Tree and similar artisanal soda waters) brings some effervescence to the table and allows the spirit to speak for itself. A lime accoutrement is essential in all rum drinks, but especially here, where that final pop of citrus and acid cuts through those gorgeous molasses tones that, while lovely, might obscure some of the competing notes from our star, the oatmeal cookie. Use two ounces of rum for the best possible rum-and-soda and a frosty highball with a lime wheel garnish. Those uncharted islands will feel closer than ever.