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Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

My favorite oatmeal cookies (pudding-based), with crunchy edges and chewy interiors, punched up “healthful” additions, if you will!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Pudding Cookies

cherrydarkchoc

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 (3.4 oz) package instant pudding mix (vanilla)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional — I like lots of vanilla)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (5.7 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups oats, quick or old fashioned (I used old fashioned)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add both sugars and beat until creamy. Beat in the pudding and vanilla (if using), then add the eggs and beat just until blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture until blended. Stir in the oats.
  4. Using a tablespoon, scoop up dough and roll into balls. Arrange the balls about 2 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Press tops down slightly.
  5. Bake one sheet at a time on center rack for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are nicely browned. Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.

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The title may be a mouthful to handle, but these cookies go down easily!  With a splash of cranberry and hearty oats for fall, these are a new way to use up those counter-ripened bananas!

 Banana Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

bananaoatmealcookies

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)
1-3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup (6 ounces) white chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped cranberries
In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients; beat in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg, bananas and oats; mix well. Stir in chips and cranberries.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Yield: 4 dozen

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Gingerbread Biscotti

I enjoy “gingerbread” flavors in traditional cookie form, so I don’t know why it took me so long to make this recipe!  Crisp and slightly spicy, these are a healthier option than the gingerbread men we see during the holidays and the gingerbread crisps from the grocery store.  I prefer my gingerbread more on the spicy side, however.  If you do, too, I would suggest adding another tsp of ground ginger or even some grated fresh ginger for some added zing.

Gingerbread Biscotti, from here

gingerbreadbiscotti

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Lemon poppyseed is one of my favorite combinations in cake, scone, and muffin forms.  After rediscovering my affection for biscotti recently, I decided to infuse lemon and poppyseed into the traditional Italian cookie. 

Lemon adds a refreshing zing and the addition of poppy seeds do not go unnoticed.  The icing on the cake is literally the icing – a white chocolate lemon icing spiked with flecks of lemon zest.

I based my recipe loosely on this one, with the addition of 2 tbsp of poppy seeds (I like more!) and an additional tbsp of lemon zest in the white chocolate coating.

lemonpoppyseedbiscotti

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Many biscotti recipes call for butter or oil.  It creates a “softer” biscotti.  To me, though, biscotti should be hard, worthy of dunking into a hot cup of tea or coffee without turning into complete mush.  This recipe is just right – sufficient crunch and texture without breaking any teeth!

Biscotti

 

biscotti1

3/4 cup (110 grams) blanched whole almonds
2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried fruit

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Toast almonds for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely. Set aside.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until thick, pale, and fluffy (about 5 minutes). At this point beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg mixture and beat until combined. Fold in the chopped almonds and fruit.
  4. Transfer the dough to a well floured counter and roll into a log shape, about 12 inches (30 cm) long and 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) wide. You may have to flour your hands to form the log as the dough is quite sticky. Place on your baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).Transfer the log to a cutting board and cut into about 1/2 inch (1.25  cm) slices, on the diagonal. Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
  6. Makes about 20-24 biscotti.

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My mother was not much of a baker.  In fact, I have fond memories of enjoying Betty Crocker yellow and white cake mixes.  When it came to cookies in our house, most came from the bakery or the supermarket.  One of the few cookies she prepared, however, was mexican wedding cookies.  Sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar, the little gems were melt-in-your-mouth buttery, soft, nutty, and blissfully sweet.  I never found the recipe she used, but most recipes available online and in cookbooks yield similarly delectable results.

I came across this “lightened” recipe recently and figured I’d give it a try.  (I’ll use any excuse to make these!)  It has a slight tartness from the addition of cream cheese which helps reduce the “bad” fat in the recipe.  While I like the use of whole wheat flour, truthfully, the recipe makeover isn’t drastic enough for me to use again.  Some things just can’t be messed with!

Recipe here.

mexicanweddingcookie

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I love any recipe for a lightened, banana cookie.  Years ago, their cake-like texture was odd to me, but I’ve grown fond of these healthier gems.  This recipe features an extra coconut kick – Rice Kernel’s obsession of late, courtesy of Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

Banana Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or canola/vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 very very ripe banana
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour, all-purpose, white whole wheat or whole wheat
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1-1/2 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick, not instant)
1 cup coconut, preferably unsweetened
1 cup chocolate chips, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Melt butter in a small dish in microwave, 10 seconds at a time.  (Oil works fine as well, I think.)  Transfer to mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, thoroughly mix in sugars, banana, egg and vanilla.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Stir in oatmeal and coconut.  Fold in chocolate chips, if desired.
  4. Drop dough by tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set and golden. Cool 5 minutes before removing from tray.

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