Oatmeal Cookies with Apples, Raisins, and Pecans {Tulum – Mexico}

Oatmeal Cookies with Apples, Raisins, and Pecans - afarmgirlsdabbles.com

As I was playing around with this recipe for Oatmeal Cookies with Apples, Raisins, and Pecans, all I kept thinking was, “Why don’t I make oatmeal cookies more often?” And that wasn’t some kind of flippant reflection going on in my head. I was serious. And almost upset with myself. Because every time I do make oatmeal cookies, I find them completely hard to resist.

These soft and chewy cookies have the loveliest lightly crispy edges, and I have no regrets in needing to make more than one batch to get the recipe just right. Now, I’ve had plenty of oatmeal raisin cookies in my life, even ones that included nuts of some kind (usually walnuts), but I had never had any with little bits of apple before. Until my family visited Mexico last fall. And that changed everything…

Mayan sand castle - Dreams Puerto Aventuras - afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Playing in the sun and sand, sea and pool, takes alot of energy! I don’t think I’ve ever gone on vacation before and actually lost a little weight. But I did in Mexico, while eating and drinking to my heart’s content. And the delicious little oatmeal raisin cookies with apples, served at the Coco Cafe at our resort, were a daily treat. I would even go so far as to say they were sustenance, as I packed a little paper bag of them for my trip to Tulum one morning.

The photo above shows all the kiddos (our two daughters and their cousins) with their always-willing-to-play uncle/dad filling in as Mayan Sand Castle Construction Foreman. Dreams Puerto Aventuras was a great resort for our young active families, never short on engaging activities all throughout the day. This sand castle competition gathered many families along the sunny shore, and is a favorite memory of our girls’ from this week in paradise on the Mexican Riviera Maya.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.comIt was really, really, really hard to tear myself away from our resort for a few hours, but I knew I’d surely regret if I didn’t visit the nearby Mayan ruins of Tulum. With freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookies and a few bottles of water in my backpack, I set out with my parents to visit an ancient site I’ve longed to see for many years.

A little history for you…

Tulum is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city, set 39 feet above the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, on tall rugged cliffs. It was an important player in Mayan trade, with access to both land and sea trade routes, and required protection from invaders. Tulum translates to “fence” or “wall” in Yucatan Mayan. The limestone wall reaches up to 16 feet tall in places, and is 26 feet thick. We entered and exited the site through short narrow passages in the wall, crouching as we walked.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Whenever I travel outside of the familiar Midwest, my destinations’ landscapes never cease to captivate me. I found this area of Mexico to be both rugged and lush, with rocky coastlines and gorgeous soft sand beaches and thick tropical forests. This shot was taken on the high cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.comOur guide led us through Tulum, filling our heads with all kinds of interesting facts and surmisings, and showed us sketches of how they believe the site once looked during the 13th through 15th centuries.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.com

The grounds inside the walls are gently rolling and mostly covered with grass. All the structures are roped off. You have to do your looking from afar.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.com


Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.comThere were a number of structures still standing, in varying degrees of time erosion. Pictured above is the Great Palace, which served as a residence to some of the most important inhabitants of Tulum.

Black and gray stone outcroppings, which were once buildings, were commonplace (above, lower left photo). And the small stone shown above, in the lower right photo? That’s a grinding stone, for processing grains and seeds for food preparation.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.comThe Temple of the Frescoes has withstood time better than most of the structures, and shows the most decoration. Painted murals are still visible, and masks of stucco can be seen on the exterior corners (above, right photo).

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.comThe most prominent remaining structure is El Castillo, or The Castle, the central hub of Tulum. This temple-topped pyramid also served as a watchtower and a lighthouse. When two torches aligned, it showed sea travelers the way through the reef.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.comThe Castle is the tallest of all the structures, and built on the highest piece of ground. Perched at the edge of the cliff, these walls face the sea and the rising sun.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.comFrom the cliff at The Castle, you can gaze across a solitary stretch of beach at the Temple of the Wind. This breathtaking view is etched in my mind, and was worth every single minute away from the fun at the pool back at the resort.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.comThe Temple of the Wind is set off all on its own, and was a very important structure to those who lived at Tulum. They believed that the creation of the earth was due to the wind, and also that the destruction of the earth will be due to the wind. It was here that they offered sacrifices to the God of the Wind to ensure that wind did not destroy the earth.

The temple also served as a place that registered the actions and force of the wind. A hollow stick made a sound when hurricane winds were forming, serving as a warning signal to the Mayans.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.comThe beach that is tucked in below the cliffs of The Castle is breathtaking, with silky soft sand meeting up with the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Many visitors took full advantage of the opportunity, and donned their swimsuits for a different kind of view of the ancient ruins towering above them.

Tulum Ruins - Mexico - afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Those waters are like a magnet, drawing visitors down the long set of wooden stairs. There was no denying its pull. A walk down to the shoreline was a must.

Oatmeal Cookies with Apples, Raisins, and Pecans - afarmgirlsdabbles.com

And now I leave you with the recipe for these Oatmeal Cookies with Apples, Raisins, and Pecans. These also are a must. Make them soon. They are packed with all kinds of goodness. And for me, visions of the sea.

(For more on our visit to Mexico, read here and here!)

Oatmeal Cookies with Apples, Raisins, and Pecans

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Prep Time:40 minutes

Cook Time:12 minutes


  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and small diced (should equal about 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • large pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1/2 c. small chopped pecans


In a small bowl, combine diced apple and lemon juice. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times, for a total of 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg and beat until combined. Add vanilla and beat again to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated. With a spatula, fold in the raisins, pecans, and diced apple. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Then use a medium scoop to place chilled cookie dough on prepared parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until edges are golden. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Inspired by the cookies served at Coco Cafe, the sweet little coffee shop at Dreams Puerto Aventuras in Mexico.