Several years ago while visiting San Diego’s Little Italy, I noticed a striking potted kumquat tree in front of one of the restaurants. Not too long after I came across an unusual offering in what used to be one of our “Henry’s Farmers Market” stores (now called “Sprouts”). I fell in love with these smallish citrus fruit and have since added two varieties to our garden.
When researching about these symbolic fruits, I’ve noticed that there aren’t a lot of recipes out there using them and far too often I find that folks enjoy them for their ornamental value, but sadly don’t take advantage of their culinary uses too. Here’s another way to incorporate these tangy gems into what would be just chocolate-chunk & walnut oatmeal cookies. These citrus treats dress up and are the star of an old-fashioned cookie favorite.
Kumquats can be a challenge to find in local markets. If you happen upon them or have a resource (like a friend, relative or neighbor’s abundant tree), consider the tasty culinary dishes and recipes you could add these tangy, citrus fruits to. In previous posts, I’ve made a kumquat syrup to compliment a chocolate mousse, incorporated them in healthful muffins and now here, using them in cookies. Adding them to quick breads, tossing in stir fries, making marmalade or chutneys, adding to glazes are other inspirational uses.
Tangy and sweet. Pairing the tangy and tart kumquats with the rich sweetness of chocolate lends a complimentary contrast of flavors. I’ve further combined the two contrasts with a third flavor of walnut nuttiness. The results are these seasonal, tasty oatmeal cookies loaded with wholesome goodness.
- Avoid folding in sliced kumquats into the cookie dough. After dropping moundfuls of cookie dough on a cookie sheet, place kumquat pieces in the mounds by pushing them into the dough before baking.
- Adjusted baking temperature to an odd number of 365 degrees.
- Rotate pans half-way through baking time and watch baking time. 11 minutes was perfect for my oven the golden color I wanted to achieve.
Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies
3/4 cup lightly packed very fresh dark brown sugar
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly firm
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
20-24 fresh kumquats, vertically sliced in half and then the halves sliced in thirds (see this post for example)
Heat oven to 365 degrees. Place brown sugar, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, and the granulated sugar in a work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the oatmeal is very finely ground and powdery.
In a medium bowl, strain together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the remaining oatmeal and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter with the corn syrup on medium-low speed, mixing until smooth and lightened in color. Add oatmeal-sugar mixture in three additions, mixing well after each addition. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix for 1 minute longer. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed. Reduce mixer speed to low, then incorporate the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until blended (don’t over mix). Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chunks and walnuts.
Drop golf ball size mounds of dough from the tip of a tablespoon or scoop onto cookie sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Slightly flatten each cookie dough mound with the palm of your hands and PLACE about 3-4 pieces of cut kumquat pieces in each cookie.
Bake about 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to turn a golden brown. Rotate cookie pans if you need to, to ensure even baking. Do not overbake.
Remove cookies from oven and let set for 2-3 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container.
Previous Posts Featuring Kumquats
- Kumquat & Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Cardamom, Coconut & Honeyed Oats
- Dark Chocolate Mousse with Sugared Kumquats in Syrup
- Kumquats – Symbols of good luck and prosperity – feature & food photography