Tag Archives: cookies

A Load-a Oats: Cookie Recipes!

(Hooray, I recovered the post!  Today’s Tidbit #Two: Sometimes Perseverance Pays Off)

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for*… Here’s the missing cookie recipe from the last post.  Or, I guess, recipes, since I made the one recipe into two different cookies.

*I fully recognizes that none of you may have been waiting for this moment at all… but I hope you’re glad it’s here anyway : )

Like I said before, I started with a recipe from Oh She Glows (which was already a combination of two different recipes), and then did some experimental modification to create two different types of cookie with one dough base.

I’ll give you the base, and then the mix-ins for the two variations.  Or feel free the variate to your taste. They will satisfy any oaty and/or nutty need that resides within your being.  Plus most of the mixing takes place in a food processor, which minimizes the need for both extra hours in the day and high endurance arm strength.

Nuts and Oats Cookie Base

Ingredients:

1 cup toasted almonds*

3/4 cup oats, ground in a food processor until flour-like

1 cup old fashioned oats, not ground

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 tsp any type of milk (cow’s, soy, almond, etc)

1/4 cup (4 tbsp) unsalted butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

(*If your almonds aren’t already toasted, toast for 10-12 minutes in a 350 F oven until they smell lovely.)

Directions:

1- Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a baking sheet.

2- Put the almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground (before it starts to exude oils and turn to almond butter)

3- Add oat “flour”, all purpose flour, old fashioned oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar and process for about 30 seconds until all mixed up (it may seem redundant to have the floury oats and the old fashioned, but the floury ones help hold the cookies together, and the unground oats add some oat nub textures).

3- Melt the butter in a mixing bowl (or melt the butter on the stove top and then put it in the mixing bowl).  Stir in the maple syrup, milk of choice, and vanilla.  Pour these wet ingredients into the food processor and process until thoroughly combined.

4- At this point, if you are making a chocolate version of these cookies, you also need to process the cocoa powder and extra 2 tbsp milk (see below for specifications).  If you do this, expect this:

Transformation!

5- Remove dough to the mixing bowl and stir in your mix-ins.

6- Remove about 2 tbsp of dough, roll into a ball, and then flatten into a cookie shape.  Place on cookie sheet and repeat, spacing cookies about an inch apart.

7- Bake for 10 minutes, no longer!

8- Remove from oven and let sit on sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack until cool.

Possible Mix-In Ingredients:

for Double Dark Chocolate Oat Cookies..

2/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tbsp milk of choice

1/2 cup chocolate chips

(the cocoa powder and milk are processed in with the dough in the food processor and the chocolate chips are stirred in after)

for Extra Oaty Cherry Walnut…

1/2 cup dried cherries

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/4 cup walnut pieces

(stir all of these ingredients into the dough after removing from the food processor)

That was probably the last thing I baked just for fun… over a month ago!

School is always a difficult balance for me because if I decide to try and “relax” I often end up preoccupied about the work I should be doing.  But if I let my need to work take over, I seldom do certain things I enjoy, such as baking.  I am not as extreme as some — I always make time for running, eating, and sleeping — but there are many things in life I find pleasing and I do not want to exclude all of those things from my life.

Friday I stayed in College Park to do some grading in the hopes that Sunday could be a little more relaxing, but today is Sunday and I still feel the weight of the Things To Do that lie ahead… However, I did make a conscious decision to bake this cake, since it was something my mother expressed interest in and I am currently obsessed with fresh figs.

Figs, resting in a bed of butter and brown sugar, scattered over with rosemary, waiting to become a lemony Fresh Fig, Walnut,  and Rosemary Upside Down Cake.  I can’t vouch for the taste yet, but the smell is definitely tantalizing.  According to Food Blogga, who posted the original, it’s a cake of balance and contrast, which are the qualities that make desserts like these interesting.  I was convinced, and maybe you will be too : )

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These Cookies are Highly Evolved

When I make cookies for the public, I usually stick to the recipe. But when I make them just to have around the house, I have a hard time leaving the recipe alone. I can’t resist trying to find some way to reduce the amount of refined (and/or total) sugar or incorporate oats and/or nuts. It’s almost compulsory, actually. But I’m usually pleased with the results.

I love the chewy texture ground oats provide, and the rich flavors from nuts. Plus, we have to give credit where credit is due: both ingredients make your cookies healthier. Better-tasting and healthier = win-win.

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Recipes have always evolved as they have been passed through generations and amongst friends, but the internet has intensified and complicated this evolution. The recipe I most recently modified was actually an already-modified recipe. Angela from Oh She Glows has a recipe for vegan oatmeal raisin cookies, which is already a combination of two different recipes. I modified her recipe, then divided the batch in half and modified each further to get two different cookies out of the batch (you follow?). One chocolate, one cherry walnut. It’s like combining the genes of two species and then genetically altering the offspring before they’re even born. But don’t worry, the analogy stops there…no need to protest these cookies; save your activism energy for actual GMOs : )

What you actually might want to protest is that this is a teaser. I am back at College Park, just starting my first semester of graduate school in nutrition, and I left the recipe at home (along with my computer cord…). But it had been so long since my last post, I just had to update. So this teaser stands as a taste of what’s to come, as well as motivation to continue!

Speaking of grad school, I taught my first discussion as a TA today. It went as well as I could have hoped for, and now that I know what to expect for the next two sections I am more excited than nervous about the job (before this afternoon’s discussion I was perhaps equally nervous and excited). Teaching is such an important experience- for confidence, communication and public speaking, and then just the pure delight of witnessing young people learning.

Before I go, just a recommendation: my astoundingly talented friend, Meredith, just started a food blog herself. It will with no doubt be more organized and consistent than mine is.. : ) Go see for yourself!

And so this isn’t a one-picture post, here is a snack; purchased from and consumed at a farm stand when Bonnie and I drove back from visiting Meredith (see above) and Tyler up in Boston. I offer it as a symbol of balance as I begin my education in nutrition and make you wait for cookies…

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Camera Shy

You may have noticed a decline in the quality of the photos I have been posting recently. Not that they were ever going to compete for any awards or anything, but at least they had resolution. Unfortunately I recently turned my camera on and discovered it was not willing to open its lens cover completely. A sudden bout of modesty? Well, I don’t appreciate it.

Exhibit A: Ready-to-bake ginger cookies, from the viewpoint of your tongue as you open your mouth to take a bite?

I’m going to have to take it over to the people at Best Buy who speak its language, and hopefully they can remedy the situation. Or replace it if it comes to that- it should still be under warranty

In the meantime, pictures will come in the form of grainy iPad photos. Because, as Emily has said, bad pictures are better than no pictures.

Exhibit B: The above cookies, all done.

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These cookies are the best ginger cookie recipe ever. I’ll post the recipe sometime. We served them for dessert with vanilla ice cream and a pear-bourbon compote. I had some of the leftover compote on my peanut butter toast this morning.
Edit: Okay, Mary! The recipe is at the bottom of the post now 🙂

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It’s hiding under the coconut. (And no, the date on the jar does not reflect the date the compote was made. It used to be a jam jar.)

The smoothie on the side was banana-blueberry-spinach with a little yogurt. Very refreshing.
And the sun came out, so the picture actually looks okay!

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Ginger Spice Cookies
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Combine all ingredients and mix until you have a soft dough. I usually mix the dry ingredients together, then put the egg, oil, and molasses on top, then stir. One bowl recipe!
2. Roll into small balls (diameter of about an inch).
3. Roll the balls in granulated sugar.
4. Place 2 inches apart on on an ungreased cookie sheet, then bake for 6-8 minutes. They should be only very lightly browned on the bottom so that they come out with some chew.
5. Cool on the cookie sheet. Eat. Or vice versa 🙂

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Chocolate Chip Apology

Oh dear, I’ve been a slacker blogger.  I feel like that’s the worst kind of blogger; the other unfortunate kinds of bloggers include annoying bloggers and offensive bloggers… but you as a reader don’t have to be affected by them, you can just avoid their site.  A slacker blogger, on the other hand, may cause a reader to return to their site to be disappointed over and over.  How cruel.

Can I make it up to you with cookies?

These cookies are from the magazine Vegetarian Times.  They are titled “The Heart-Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World” because they use ground walnuts and a little canola oil instead of butter and eggs (resulting in no cholesterol and minimal saturated fat) and include both oat flour and rolled oats (resulting in lots of fiber, including soluble fiber which helps remove LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from your blood).  Of course, there are plenty of of studies these days about how it’s saturated fat, not the dietary cholesterol you consume, that raises the cholesterol in your blood, or how you need a little saturated fat to keep everything running right… But the only thing I was really thinking about when I made these cookies was that anything bound together by ground up walnuts couldn’t be bad.

They are especially good about half an hour after they come out of the oven, when they are chewy but a little crisp around the edges.  As they aged, they became just chewy, kind of in the way a chewy granola bar is chewy.  In fact, I basically used them as granola bars, taking them to work for quick energy and carrying them on long runs.  At this point, they are improved when dipped in tea.

They are super easy to make.  You can find the recipe here.  The only changes I made were to use 1 cup almonds and 1 cup walnuts (since we didn’t have enough walnuts) and to grind my own oat flour in the food processor.  It’s super easy: you just stick the oats in and turn on the food processor until they become powder.  And for this recipe, you need the food processor anyway to grind the nuts, so you don’t even dirty and extra dish!  I think I actually didn’t grind my oats enough… the cookies would probably have a little less granola bar chew if I had made a finer powder.

Here are the dry ingredients…

Here is the nut “butter”, combined with the melted brown sugar/water…

Everything getting mixed up…

Combine

I like to use pieces of random chocolate bars we have lying around in cookies… these ones contained some dark chocolate with espresso along with the chocolate chips.  I also did some with raisins instead of chocolate.

Mmmmm… fresh.

So yes, speaking of running…. I did my longest run last week!  20 miles.  It went well; my biggest complaint was thirst around mile 17, but conveniently I was approaching a gas station at that point, so I stopped there to drink some water.  Maybe in the future I’ll carry water on long runs, especially if I do them on trails where gas stations are less frequently encountered.  Now, though, I’m in taper land.  Today was just a 12 mile run and it went smoothly.  It was a sunny, warm Fall morning.  Time out in this weather is an added bonus to running; I’m really glad I chose this season to train!

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