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I'm a very lucky guy: I live in Los Angeles, am in good health, I enjoy life, and have a loving family and many wonderful friends. My friends are often kind enough to invite me to holiday celebrations and my contribution to these celebrations over the last few years has been my [now] famous oatmeal cookies.

Mind you, I'm not trying to take any undue credit here. Yes, this is in fact just a simple variation of the recipe you'll find inside the lid of the oatmeal canister. Want to make your friends happy? -- make them some of these bad boys!

Here's the list of ingredients you'll need to make one batch of cookies. The way most of these items come packaged you'll have enough for two batches of goodness.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (leave out over night)
1 cup cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large grade AA eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals
3 cups Quaker Oats (old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)
1-1/2 cups walnut pieces

1. Heat oven to 350º F.
2. Beat butter and sugars until creamy.
3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
4. Sift in flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well.
5. Mix in instant coffee crystals but don't fully dissolve (leave speckles).
6. Mix in oats, chocolate chips, and walnuts (use your hands to get it all mixed).

Drop by 1/4c (yes, 1/4 cup!) measures onto cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper) -- I usually limit to six or eight cookies per sheet. Squash the mix into 1/2-inch thick "pucks" using the bottom of a coffee mug (lubricate with butter or Pam cooking spray).

Bake for about 15-16 minutes. If you have a standard oven like I do then you should switch racks about half-way through the process to ensure that all bake evenly (this assumes that you have two sheets in the oven at one time).

After removing from the oven let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet. Move them to a wire rack to finish cooling. They do taste best when fully cooled and the chocolate chips have solidified.

Makes about two dozen bad-ass oatmeal cookies.

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