Friday, August 27, 2010

Healthier Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Cookies

I love cookies. No, really...I LOVE them.

I love Sesame Street too :)

My cookie palate has changed over the years, and I have come to realize that microwaved Chips Ahoy just don't cut it for me anymore. I would much rather have a freshly-baked homemade cookie than a "soft-baked" one with lots of who-knows-what in it from a package. Keep bringing on the Oreos and Girl Scout cookies, however - go big or go home :)

Hubby and I went to a church picnic last weekend and guests were asked to bring a side dish or dessert to share. Side dish? Psh. Bring on the sweets, baby!

We have more oatmeal than China has tea in our apartment, so oatmeal cookies it was :) I added dried cranberries and walnuts from my mum to sweeten the deal. I used flavored instant oatmeal (the stuff that has the sugar already added to it), so I decided to cut back on the sugar by half and add some applesauce to give the cookies a little extra moistness without added fat. I also used egg whites instead of whole eggs, and substituted whole wheat flour for AP flour.

Get all your goodies together. Yes, your counter will be cluttered for a little while.

Cream your butter.

Add your sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, applesauce, vanilla and egg whites. Eat a bit if you must. Yes, I know you're not supposed to eat raw eggs. Who doesn't eat a little when they bake cookies? ;)

Add your flour, oats, cranberries and walnuts. Eat a little more - now that's the good stuff.

Bake. Cool. Drool.

The cookies are great right out of the oven with a nice cold glass of moo juice. Hope you enjoy!

Healthier Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (this means the good, all-natural stuff - regular applesauce has so much extra sugar added to it :p)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups oats (I used about 6 packets of flavored instant)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or your choice of nut)

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a stand mixer, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
  • Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt, and cinnamon. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl.
  • Beat in eggs, vanilla, and applesauce.
  • Gradually mix in your flour.
  • Gradually mix in your oats.
  • Mix in your cranberries and nuts. It helps to coat them with a little bit of flour first so they don't sink to the bottom of the batter.
  • Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are light brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Try not to burn your fingers and eat one hot. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Eat another one while you wait for them to cool.

These will keep in airtight plastic containers for several days (if you don't eat them all before then!), or you can freeze them for later.

Join the Virtual Cookie Recipe Exchange with Flour On My Face  Prizes donated by King Arthur Flour, St Martins Press / Robin L. Olson and Garnish.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Paffles (Pancake-Waffle Hybrid)

I wanted to make waffles the other weekend because I was in a waffle-y mood. It was Saturday morning and visions of maple syrup bottles danced in my head the night before.

As usual, I was up before Hubster and got to work with the ingredients. I "borrowed" a box of waffle mix from my mom's pantry and gathered everything all together to make 1-2 large waffles. The great thing about mixes is that you just have to follow the directions on the box and everything turns out perfectly. Right? ;)

In my decaffeinated grogginess I misread the directions and added the amount of water required for 3-4 large waffles. Oops.

I ran with it anyway. I was hungry, gosh darnit! The mixture took a little bit longer to cook, but the texture was something like a very chewy, soft waffle. It was like a pancake in the shape and form of a waffle.

And I will call them...paffles! They weren't bad. I probably won't make 'em again ;)

Recipe for Paffles
  • Enough waffle mix for 1-2 large waffles (I followed the measurements on the Krusteaz box).
  • Enough water for 3-4 large waffles (I think it was twice as much as the correct measurement called for)
  • Eggs (I just used egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop vanilla-flavored protein powder (keeps ya full, I tell ya!)
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon (I like my spice, what can I say)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • My toppings: natural peanut butter, agave drizzled on top (what! no maple syrup?!?!), clementine slices
The ingredients:
The toppings:

Cook mixture according to your waffle maker's directions. Top with peanut butter and clementine slices, and drizzle with agave. Stuff your face and let your hubby do the dishes when he wakes up :) Taste and see that breakfasty goodness can be had without maple syrup, too :)

Peppermint Iced Tea

All summer it’s been gray and yucky here in SoCal – what we call “June gloom”. Basically the marine layer of fog and clouds sits around until after noon, then it burns off. Needless to say there have not been many pleasant beach-going days this summer, and aforementioned gloom lasted until August. Weather fail.

Fortunately, last week and this week have been beautiful. The sunshine and heat call for something cool to drink. I wanted something refreshing and non-caffeinated after dinner the other night as a little treat.

For 1 serving: Place 2 peppermint tea bags in a mug. 2 is key so the tea will stand up to the ice later. Boil your water and add it to the tea bags. Steep for 4 minutes, then throw the tea bags away. Pour your tea over a glass of ice, and add sweetener if desired. Enjoy!

Or, for an entire pitcher: Fill your large pitcher (mine holds 3 pints of liquid) up with water, and add to your teapot. Boil your water and pour it back into your pitcher. Add 6 tea bags and steep for 4 minutes - no longer! Throw away your tea bags. Allow tea to cool to room temperature, then place it in the fridge to cool completely. Serve chilled over ice, and add sweetener if you like. A few sprigs of fresh mint would be delightful hanging out in your pitcher too :)

Delicious and summery!

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