Posts Tagged ‘oatmeal’
The kids’ school had their Easter party on Thursday (annoying to us because we’re still trying to be in the throes of lent, but oh well). A few time one Wednesday, and then again right before bed, Eli requested “chocolate chip cookies in Easter shapes.” At that time, I didn’t take time to explain how drop cookies and rolled cookies are different, and the one is not easily used for the other. However, I did do a little research and found some yummy chewy oatmeal cutout cookies that, with a few springy sprinkles, seemed like they’d be perfect for the job. With just a few tweaks, we had a super, spring time cookie. Eli reports that all of his classmates liked them, “Except Ben. He didn’t even like the dipped in cool-whip, but he did like chips in cool-whip.” I’m pretty sure that means Ben’s has questionable taste.
It’s hard to see the spinkles in this photo, but they’re there, I swear. The kids are super excited about them.
*We’ve been out of vanilla for a while, so I keep subbing in various zests. These cookies are lovely with orange, but I’d bet they’d be great with lemon, almond or vanilla.
Chewy Oatmeal Cutouts from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking via Shiny Cooking
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 2 Tsp orange zest (or lemon, or vanilla extract, or 1/2 tsp almond extract)1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 c (10 oz)flour (could probably replace more of it with whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup (2 1/4 oz) of regular or white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup oats (4 oz) lightly ground in the blender (blending makes the cookies much easier to cut and give them a finer texture)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/ tsp salt
- egg white for egg wash, if desired
Cream butter, sugar and zest (if using) until light and fluffy, scraping down occasionally to make sure butter and sugar are fully incorporated (3 min.). Beat in extract (if using) eggs one at a time (1 min.) again, scraping down for full incorporation. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and beat at a low speed until dough forms a ball. Press dough into 2 disks, wrap in a cereal bag (or cellophane or whatnot) and refrigerate at least a half hour, 1 or more is better. Preheat oven to 350*. Roll out one disk a scant 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Transfer cookies to baking sheets (I put silpat on mine, but I’m not sure it’s necessary). If desired, whisk egg white with 1 tsp of water. Brush a thin coat of egg wash on the cookies and decorate as desired (SPRINKLES!!!!). Bake for 9-11 minutes. Gather scraps and re-refridgerate. Repeat rolling process for second disk. Re-roll scraps, and repeat cut-out process, or cut into diamonds. Remember, rolling cookie dough more than twice may result in tough cookies.
I feel quite confident that if needed, I could come up with a new recipe for Oatmeal every month, what with Fudge Nut Bars, Turkish spice cookies, overnight oatmeal (which recently got gussied up with home jarred peaches!), and how could I forget oatmeal pancakes. Needless to say, there’s a lot of oatmeal in our repertoire. With that, it’s not shocking to find that we have consumed most of the 50lbs of oatmeal I bought last March (buying a whole bag meant that we got it for about $.55/lb and we haven’t had to go back to fill up our sad little containers). Some of this was used in the occasional search for a good, homemade granola bar recipe. We’ve tried many different techniques, and none of them have done it for me: too sweet, too crumbly, too complicated, too hard, too expensive.
Reading a recipe for “Chewy Walnut Trail Bars” on another blog I felt invigorated to try again, so I checked out a few other new recipes, and decided on my tweaks. 3 batches later**, I feel very confident of what has become our go-to granola bar. This recipe is definitely not too sweet, and, if you have a food processor, very easy to make. It’s still a little crumbly (I’ve been meaning to add an egg to the goo, but haven’t yet [editor's note: tried the egg and the bars become cakey... not what I was looking for]), a little bit spicy, and has plenty of room for improvisation.
One of my friends had an intense day, so the kids and I decided to make her some cookies. We love to make cookies, with all the measuring and dumping and mixing, it’s childhood heaven. I’ve been working on a low fat, low sugar recipe for a while. Cooks Illustrated created light recipe where you use all butter (no applesauce or other funny stuff), but you melt it, and somehow that means you only have to use half as much.
Well, it’s a great recipe, but it has 1 cup of sugar, which is the main ingredient we try to avoid in this house, so I’ve been slowly reducing it. A half cup provides enough sweetness, but since sugar is important for moisture and cohesion, I have been tinkering with the recipe in other ways to compensate. I perused online for a trailmix cookie recipe and found one that included 1/2 tsp of baking soda dissolved in 1 tbsp of hot water. Wondering if that might do the trick, the kiddos and I set to work on a batch of cookies.
But wait. I forgot. We ran out of cinnamon a few days ago. Grrrrrr. What’s an oatmeal cookie without a little cinnamon? Plus, cinnamon speaks to your tastebuds as if it’s sweetness, thereby allowing you to reduce the sugar content without totally sacrificing flavor. What’s a girl to do without cinnamon? Dorie Greenspan published the recipe for this amazing Spiced Cranberry Bunt cake in the November 2008 issue of Bon Appetit where she introduced me to Chinese 5 Spice*, and aromatic combination of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and other spices. Since then, I’ve used it here and there to add ore interesting flavor than cinnamon alone.
Using 5 spice, I knew I had to be choose my nuts and fruits wisely. Thinking about the fruit, nuts and seeds I had, I thought a Turkish/Middle East inspired cookie with apricots and pistachios might work out well. Of course you could always replace the 5 spice with cinnamon and have a quite traditional (only healthier) oatmeal.
Also, sorry about the lack of pictures. Imagine an oatmeal cookie, not totally flat, not a puffy little cake cookie, but a nice normal one. Now imagine it a few shades darker because of the spice and molasses. There’s your picture.
*I bought my 5 spice in bulk where I could get just a spoonful for a few cents, just in case I didn’t like it. I’ve been back for more. Twice.
Turkish Spice Trail Mix Cookies (makes about 30 and are probably healthier than most granola bars)
2/3 c. white whole wheat (or unbleached all purpose) flour
1 1/3 c. oats (preferably old fashioned)
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled (in a big enough bowl or pan to mix the following 7 ingredients)
1/2 c. sugar (or 1/2 c. dark brown sugar and omit the molasses, but I’m “frugal”)
1 egg, room temp
1 T. blackstrap molasses
2 T applesauce (or just do 6 tbsp melted butter)
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder (or cinnamon)
1/4 tsp powdered ginger (my ginger loving friend might have liked 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp hot water
1 1/2 cups “stuff”
We did chopped apricots, golden raisins, toasted almonds, pecans, pistachios and sunflower seeds.
The variations are endless: sesame seeds, dried cherries, coconut, chocolate chips, or the classic raisins and walnuts)
2 tbsp chopped candied ginger, optional
Preheat the oven to 325*. If using raw nuts and seeds, place them on a baking sheet in the oven to toast for 15 min or until fragrant. Remove and allow to cool. The oven does not have to be preheated for this.
In the mean time, in a small bowl, pour hot water over the dried fruit & candied ginger, if using (this helps plump them). Mix the flour, oats and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Mix the sugar into the butter. Beat in the egg. Add the molasses, applesauce, 5 spice (or cinnamon), ginger and vanilla. Stir until blended.
Dissolve the baking soda into the fruit and water mixture. Stir the sugar/egg mixture into the oat mixture until combined. Add the fruit, water, baking soda, nuts and other “stuff” and mix until evenly distributed. Drop tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and flatten a little. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 12-14 min, rotating halfway through baking. Allow to cool 5 min, then remove to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
P.S. My wonderful aunt asked about a diabetic friendly oatmeal cookie recipe just as I was preparing to type this. One might try replacing the sugar and applesauce (maybe the molasses too) with 1/3 cup agave nectar. It has a lower glycemic index than sugar.
I know I’ve done several posts about oats, but really the stuff is amazing: nutty and delicious, easy to cook and super healthy. Molly from the Orangette posted about these pancakes last month and I made them the next day. Tom and I were full after eating just 2. 2!!! We’re the kind of people who eat 5 or 6 1/4 cup pancakes. Not only that, but I thought they were absolutely delicious. Tom, however, was unimpressed. I made them again a few weeks later, because I just couldn’t get enough. But this time Amelia insisted on wah-wah (which is clearly the word for banana, right?), so I decided to add some banana slices*. So we got to it, pouring batter, slicing bananas and flipping in turn. Tom took a bite and said, “These are a lot better than I remember.” A few bites later, “Wow, these are really good.”
*Early in our marriage when Tom first suggested we make banana pancakes, I went to it, smashing up bananas to add to the batter. NOOOOO! The bananas must be sliced and laid on top, similar to blueberries. This is what Tom’s folks have always done. They were introduced to the sliced banana pancake (with coconut syrup) when they were young, childless, and galavanting in Hawaii. To Tom, slices were obvious; to me, it was a pancake revolation. The bananas become gooey and caramelized and add more to a pancake than you would expect from their benign mildness.
Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
Adapted from the Orangette, from the Inn at Fordhook Farm
Blueberries or raspberries sprinkled on top just like the bananas would be good too. (And if you’re using frozen, there’s no need to thaw them. The hot pan will do that for you.) Or don’t add any fruit and serve with a spiced or berried apple sauce.
The night before I get all the dry ingredients ready, set out the eggs and put the butter in a bowl in the microwave. The next morning all I have to do is heat the butter, slice the banana, stir and cook. Practically no thinking involved.
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 cup flour (white whole wheat or all purpose)
1 1/2 Tbsp. turbinado sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. table salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted but not hot
1 banana, sliced
Vegetable oil or spray, for greasing the pan
Warm apple sauce or maple syrup, for serving (chopped pecans would be delicious, if you’re being decadent)
The night before:
Combine the oats and milk and yogurt in a medium bowl. Stir to mix. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
The morning of:
Take the bowl of milk and oats out of the fridge. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Add the eggs and melted butter to the oat mixture, and stir well. Add the flour mixture, and stir to blend. The batter will be very thick.
Warm a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, and brush (or spray) with vegetable oil. To make sure it’s hot enough, wet your fingers under the tap and sprinkle a few droplets of water onto the pan. If they sizzle, it’s ready. Scoop the batter, about a scant _ cup at a time, onto the pan, taking care not to crowd them. Lay a few banana slices on each cake. When the underside is nicely browned and the top looks set around the edges, flip the pancakes. Cook until the second side has browned.
Re-grease the skillet, and repeat with more batter. If you find that the pancakes are browning too quickly, dial the heat back to medium.
Serve hot, with the toppings of your choice.
Yield: about 16 pancakes, 4 or more servings
I try to cook breakfast at least once during the week. We are a family that really enjoys all those boxes of cold cereal, but even on sale they are not particularly economical, healthy or environmentally friendly with all that packaging and shipping (though the bags are great for rolling out pastry or covering that rising dough). Because I don’t feel like getting up before Tom to make pancakes or waffles, I turn to oatmeal. I love the old fashioned stuff, and my sister-in-law Betsy says it doesn’t take that, but I made it the “regular” was the other day, and it felt like it took FOREVER. That’s when I realized I should to share this “recipe,” technique really. You do all the measuring night before, and it couldn’t be simpler. Turn it on rather low (we do 3 on our stove that goes to 10) before hopping in the shower, and it’s ready once you’re out. Make sure to check out your coop or bulk food store for oats. We pay $.95-1.25/lb for organic. Quaker and even the generic brand are usually a lot more in the supermarket.
Enough for 2 hungry adults and a couple hungry kids. Adjust quantities as necessary.
2 c old fashioned oats (thick rolled are my favorite)
4 c water
dried fruit* (1/4-1/2 cup)
1/2-1 t cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger, optional
1 soup spoon of blackstrap molasses, optional
The night before put all ingredients in a sauce pan, give it a stir with that soup spoon and put a lid on it.
The next morning turn burner on rather low with the lid on. It should be ready to eat in about 10 min, but because of the low temperature and lid, it will sit on the burner for a while longer without harm.
Serve with maple syrup, honey or other sweetener, nuts, yogurt, milk or anything else that suits your fancy.
*We most often use raisins, since I can get organic ones cheap, but cranberries, cherries, blueberries, apricots are all delicious
It’s also good with a pinch of ginger or Chinese five spice and probably a host of other spices. I wouldn’t recommend nutmeg; it was pretty funky.
*note: we’ve recently started topping with frozen blueberries or jarred peaches