whole wheat oatmeal chip cookies

I guess you could say I'm on a bit a bit of a 'whole wheat' kick lately, ha ha (whole wheat cranberry muffins here).  I've always loved subbing in some extra goodness when I'm baking.  I love oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips - there's nothing wrong with raisins, but chocolate is just better, right?  Add in a bit of whole wheat flour and you can feel good about packing along a few of these treats in your lunch bag.  

*In the recipe below I used 1/3 cup of old fashioned rolled oats and 1/3 cup of quick oats.  I like the combo because it gives a nice texture to the cookies.  The large flake oats give nice texture and make the cookies really feel 'oatmealish' and the quick oats keep it a bit softer, while still giving great flavour.  If you don't have one or the other, you can use 2/3 cup of whatever you have on hand.    

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats*
  • 1/3 cup quick oats*
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350 F with the oven rack in the middle position and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In the bowl of your stand mixer cream the coconut oil with the brown and white sugar.  When they are well combined, add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and fluffy.  

In another bowl mix the flour, oat (s), baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk to combine.  

Add the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips to the bowl of the stand mixer and combine on low speed.  Don't overmix.  

Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop out cookies onto the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.  Bake for about 12 minutes, until the cookies look lightly browned around the edges.  

 

Recipe adapted from www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

ginger snaps

Yesterday Edmonton got another big dump of snow, so Hannah & I had a 'snow day' and stayed at home in our jammies all day and did a bit of baking.  With the frosty, winter weather and Christmas just around the corner and I've been starting to think about holiday goodies.  Ginger snaps are a favourite at our house all year long, but I think the ginger & deep molasses taste go especially well with winter (and a big mug of hot chocolate).  I'm sure your friends and family wouldn't complain if these cookies found their way onto your cookie plate during the holidays!  This is my go-to recipe for ginger snaps: I like the balance of flavours and they bake up nice & chewy in the middle.  Yum!

Ginger Snaps

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • sugar to roll the dough in before baking

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and beat until well incorporated.  Mix in the molasses.  (Tip: coat your measuring cup with a bit of oil before measuring out the molasses, this makes it way easier to get it out of the measuring cup.)  In another large bowl stir the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt and baking soda together.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

Shape the dough into 1" balls (use a cookie scoop, like I did, to make things easy), then roll the dough in sugar.  Leave about 2" between dough balls - no need to flatten them on the tray, they will spread out.  Bake for 12-14 minutes until the cookies look puffed but set around the edges.

Hannah & I on our 'snow day'


Recipe adapted from: Company's Coming: Cookies

oatmeal orange cookies

Whooo boy...things are even busier around our place (if that was even possible!)  We're in the middle of trying to sell our house and search for a new one to move into - before we meet baby Jellybean in July.  So yeah, a bit crazy.  After an intensive round of housework and our house's photo shoot yesterday I needed some baking therapy.  Yes, I do find baking to be relaxing, even when I'm making a huge mess in my previously spotless kitchen.

Anyhow, the weather outside has been pretty good - I'm starting to feel a bit of spring in the air (ok, just a tiny bit), but it inspired me to make some orange-flavoured cookies.  I was also craving a sort of comfort-food cookie, so I decided to go for oatmeal-orange with toasted pecans.  I couldn't find a recipe  that had what I was looking for, so I adapted my own from several of my cookbooks.  The cookies turned out nicely - they're more on the puffy/cakey side, rather than chewy.  The orange flavour came through nicely and the toasted pecans added a nice nutty flavour and good texture.  The perfect flavour combo for an early March weekend.

Oatmeal Orange Cookies

  • 1 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup minced orange peel
  • 2 cups toasted chopped pecans (or you could substitute raisins or chopped dates)

First cream the butter with the brown sugar.  Add the eggs & milk and mix until well combined.  In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together.  For the orange peel, I think it's best to peel the orange with a vegetable peeler, then mince it, rather than grating it.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.  Scoop by heaping tablespoons (or use a cookie scoop - my favourite way) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 375F for about 14 minutes - until the cookies are puffed and lightly browned

double chocolate cherry cookies

I made these cookies as Valentine's day treats and they were the perfect chocolaty treat.  The cookies were soft with rich, dark chocolate flavour, flecked with chocolate chips and chewy bits of dried cherry.  So decadent!  I brought a tray of these to work and someone told me that they would go perfectly with a glass of champagne...Jellybean and I enjoyed ours with a glass of ice-cold milk instead :)

Someone at work also asked me where I get the cherries.  Usually I buy them in the bulk-food section of my local grocery store.  I've always bought sour cherries in the past, but they didn't have them when I went there this time, so I used dried Bing cherries.  I think the flavour was a bit more mild in the cookies, because the cherries were sweeter, but everyone still seemed to know they were cherries.  Dried Bing cherries are also delicious on their own - chewy, sweet, great cherry flavour.  I think I could even replace my Sour-Patch Kids cravings with these dried cherries.

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

  • 16 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped

Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Stir it frequently and watch it carefully so it doesn't burn.  Remove the chocolate from the heat and set aside once it's smooth.

While the chocolate is melting sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together in a bowl then set it aside.  In a small bowl beat the eggs and vanilla together with a fork then sprinkle the espresso powder over top so it can dissolve, then set it aside.

Add the butter to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat until smooth.  Add the sugars and beat until combined.  Reduce the speed to low and pour in the egg mixture.  Mix until incorporated, then add the chocolate in a steady stream.  Allow the batter to mix for about a minute then scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Add the chopped cherries and chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.

Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest while the oven pre-heats.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  When the oven is ready scoop dough onto the cookie sheets with a cookie scoop - the dough will be quite sticky.  Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, until the edges are set but the centers are still very soft.  When the cookies come out of the oven, allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheet to further allow it to cool.

Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated.

meringue bones

Halloween is just around the corner and it's one of my favourite holidays, so this year I decided to make bones, with a slightly creepy (but delicious) drizzle of coloured chocolate.  I had never made meringues before, so I was pleasantly surprised with how easy they were to make and it was fun to pipe out the shapes.  These cookies would make a perfect Halloween party treat.  How great would these look piled on a plate beside the skeleton cookies I made last year?!

Meringue Bones

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup red chocolate melting wafers

Adjust oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions and preheat to 200 F.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make sure the bowl and whisk you will be using are clean and grease-free (egg whites and grease don't mix).  Add the egg whites to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat at medium-low speed until they are frothy, then add the cream of tartar.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the egg whites are white, thick and fluffy - like shaving cream.  Slowly add half of the sugar while mixing and continue beating until it's well incorporated.  Add the vanilla then decrease the speed of the mixer to low and sprinkle in the remaining sugar and mix until it's just incorporated.

Transfer the meringue to a large piping bag fitted with a large plain round tip.  Pipe 'bones' onto the parchment-lined baking sheets.  You don't need to leave much space between them because they don't spread.  Bake for 90 minutes, then turn off the oven but leave the cookies in there to cool.

After the cookies have cooled gently remove them from the parchment paper, then put the red chocolate wafers in a sandwich-sized ziploc bag.  Melt it in the microwave in 20 second increments (squish it around in-between) until it's really fluid, then snip a small corner off the bag and use it to pipe 'blood' on the ends of the bones.  I found it was easiest to hold the cookie upright and squish a thick line of chocolate along the top edge, while encouraging a few extra drips.  Set the cookie with the chocolate back on the parchment paper to set.

The cookies will keep in a sealed container for about 2 weeks.

Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated.

my table is all ready for Halloween