Fig, Pecan, & Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
March 17, 2022
Oatmeal cookies get a bad rap, but they are my favorite cookies. Don’t let camp chocolate chip keep you from the things you truly love. And you will love these, because they are stuffed with plenty of sweet, crunchy, and rich mix-ins. Fig, pecan, and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies could be the new classic.
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If someone tells me they don’t like a certain sweet, I hear it as a challenge. And the ultimate one was oatmeal raisin cookies. It’s the raisins that are offensive to so many, and I knew I needed to find an alternative that kept that balance of sweetness: enter figs. Then, I just went a little wild with it and added in some nuts and chocolate – classic cookie mix-ins.
The cookie base itself is one of my favorites, just slightly modified from my cream cheese oatmeal cookie sandwiches. It’s like little disks of streusel basically, chewy and oaty, and with plenty of cinnamon to add a spicy balance to the other flavors.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for these fig, pecan, and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies at your grocery store:
- Fridge: Butter, Eggs, Milk
- Pantry: Sugar, Brown sugar, White whole wheat flour, Quick oats, Baking powder, Baking soda, Pecans, Dried figs, Chocolate chips
- Spice Rack: Vanilla, Cinnamon, Salt
- Equipment: Baking sheet, Parchment paper, Stand mixer, Mixing bowl, Whisk, Cooling rack
Let’s Make Fig, Pecan, & Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Who’s in the mood for some cookies? Honestly, is that even a real question? It’s obviously me, and probably you, and likely most people out there. So let’s get to making some. These are a fun batch, filled with all kinds of goodies and surprises, so that’s a good place to get started.
This oatmeal cookie dough doesn’t need to be chilled at all, so these come together pretty quickly. Before you get started, you can preheat your oven with a rack in the center. Then line a cookie sheet (or a couple, if you like to do cookies in quicker batches) with parchment paper and set it aside.
Meanwhile, prepare all of your mix-ins for the cookies. Roughly chop both the figs and pecans. The figs provide a sweet jamminess, adding a little extra chew to the cookies. They have a throwback feel to raisins but with a different flavor, almost a honey sweetness.
Pecans add the perfect amount of crunch. They are my favorite nut, especially in these high-texture oatmeal cookies. Walnuts could also work flavor-wise here, but the nuts themselves are a little bit softer.
When you are ready to start making the dough, let your stand mixer do the hard work for you at the beginning. Use the paddle attachment to cream together butter and both brown and white sugar. The brown will add some moisture, for chewier cookies, while the white gives them that wonderful crispness.
Creaming is an important step in cookie making. Quickly mixing the sugar into the butter creates tiny air pockets, making the butter fluffy. Think of it like when you make whipped cream, and you can see how the air interacts with the fat. The more solid butterfats get some help from the sugar as well.
Mix on low or medium-low speed for a couple minutes. The butter will appear fluffy and lighter. However, over-creaming can cause those little air pockets to collapse, so once it’s all mixed up, be sure to stop.
Meanwhile, in a separate mixing bowl, combine together the remaining dry ingredients. White whole wheat flour and oats here provide the main structure, and the whole grains keep these cookies sturdy, but with a chewy texture. The only additional flavoring this dough needs is some cinnamon and salt, to complement the mix-ins.
A combination of baking powder and baking soda will help these cookies puff up while baking, working together with the air pockets in the butter to assure that your cookies don’t turn out too dense. Whisk all of these together until it’s a uniform mixture.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in the eggs and vanilla. Mix these into the creamed butter until it’s smooth. Then you can add in the dry ingredients as well.
Now, if you turn your mixer on right away, you’ll get a lovely dust cloud of flour. Instead, I like to remove the paddle attachment from the mixer, and give the dough a little help to start to coming together. Stir manually until much of the flour is incorporated under the wet ingredients in large pockets.
Then, you can put the attachment back on and allow the mixer to get it into that nice, uniform dough. This will happen very quickly, and it’s another place where you want to be cautious not to overmix. Once there are no dry pockets or visible streaks, and the dough holds together when pressed, it’s ready.
Finally, take the bowl off the mixer and add in the chopped figs and pecans, along with some chocolate chips. I used even amounts of each in my cookies, but feel free to play around with the balance here and see how they turn out for you.
This cookie dough is pretty thick, so use a sturdy wooden spoon or spatula to fold in the mix-ins. Be sure you are getting all the way down to the bottom of the bowl, so that last tray of cookies has just as many goodies as the first. I did this mixing in two batches.
Now grab that parchment-lined cookie sheet, and you are ready to start shaping your cookies. You can use a cookie scoop or spoon to help with the sizing, but be sure to press the dough into a ball that holds together nicely. Then flatten each slightly into a thick disk.
Place the cookies on the baking sheet with about an inch or two of space in between. These don’t spread outward too much, but they will puff up, so you don’t want them overcrowded on the pan.
Bake your fig, pecan, and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for right around 10 minutes. You’ll know they are done when they appear dried on top and puffed up. However, they will still be very soft to the touch.
When you remove the pan from the oven, allow the cookies to rest on it and settle for at least five minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. You can let these cool completely, and they will be quite sturdy. But be sure to sneak a taste of a couple fresh from the oven with gooey melty chocolate.
If you are planning ahead, these cookies are a great choice. You can store the unbaked dough before or after it’s shaped, or the finished cookies. Unbaked cookie dough can be refrigerated in the mixing bowl or another sealed container, and just let it come to room temperature before shaping.
After the dough has been shaped, you can refrigerate or freeze it. Then you can either let these come to room temperature before baking for ten minutes, or you can bake them from cold. Just keep in mind that they will need more time, and keep an eye on them.
The finished baked cookies can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for a few days. For extra long-term storage, they can be frozen for a couple months. I don’t recommend eating them from frozen directly, but instead allow the cookies to thaw at room temperature before serving.
Looking for a fun, new twist on a classic? Try these chewy oatmeal cookies, packed with pecans, figs, and chocolate chips!
How to Serve
I have a theory that oatmeal cookies are essentially breakfast. They include oatmeal, right? And with the fruit and nuts in these as well, there’s just no denying it. They are basically a whole meal on their own, or with just a glass of milk.
But have a little fun with it. Try serving them alongside a birthday cake martini or chai white hot chocolate, instead of just plain milk. Or use these cookies as the base for an ice cream sandwich, filled with coffee ice cream.
If you do want to lean into serving these oatmeal cookies as part of a bigger breakfast, try complementing the cinnamon and pecan flavors by serving them alongside a fruit bake like persimmon and apple crisp or strawberry rhubarb crumble.
More Cookies to Try
Fig, Pecan, and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 Cup Butter unsalted and softened to room temperature
- 1 ½ Cups Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 ¼ Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
- 3 Cups Quick Oats
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- ⅔ Cup Pecans roughly chopped
- ⅔ Cup Dried Figs roughly chopped
- ⅔ Cup Chocolate Chips
- 1-2 Tbsp Milk optional, only if needed
- Preheat the oven to 375F, with a rack in the center. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on low speed. Add in the egg and vanilla, mixing until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt until mixed. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl. Use the paddle or another spoon to begin to stir. Then continue mixing on low speed until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Fold in the figs, pecans, and chocolate chips until distributed throughout.
- Use a cookie scoop or spoon to help form 1 ½-inch balls and press into ½-inch thick disks. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes. The cookies will appear dry and puffed up, but will be very soft to touch. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Unbaked cookie dough can be refrigerated for 1-2 days. Thaw to room temperature before shaping.
- Shaped cookie dough can be refrigerated for 1-2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Bake from cold, adding time as needed, or let thaw before baking.
- Baked cookies can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 3-4 days. They can be frozen for 1-2 months. Allow to thaw at room temperature before serving.