Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Cookies and Cocoa
Last year for either Christmas or Birthday, I bought Mr. F. this book. Mr. F. likes playing around with types of flour, so I figured he would appreciate it. “Honey look! I made pancakes with spelt, oat, AND wheat flour. Let’s see how they taste!” However, I won’t say that I wasn’t interested in owning it either and maybe that makes me a bad person because I like to give him gifts that I can enjoy as well.
The other week I searched through the online Cooking Light Community Boards to look up threads regarding this book. Mr. F. and I have made a number of items from this cookbook successfully, but there were a couple of “mehs.” (Can’t say I was partial to their whole wheat chocolate chip cookie. Too sweet.) I was in the mood to make some cookies but also wanted something that would turn out—always a crap shoot when using new recipe. Can I just say that I love on-line forums for this sort of investigative reporting? There is nothing worse than making a dud of a recipe. One recipe that kept getting positive reviews was the Nutty for Oats Cookies. Peanut butter, oat, and chocolate? Yes please! These are wonderful. But then again, I have a thing for peanut butter, oats, and chocolate.
Nutty For Oats Cookies
Yield: 38 cookies
2/3 creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 cup rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor (I used oat flour)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (I think this is way out of proportion. I used barley a cup.)
Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
Cream the peanut butter, butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Beat in the eggs, scraping the bowl once they're incorporated, then the ground oats, old fashioned rolled oats and chocolate chips. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. (I actually let the dough chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before putting on sheets and baking them. I was worried that they would spread and I really dislike thin, flat cookies. This is generally a good idea when working with whole grain flour (vs. All Purpose) as it takes longer for the flour to absorb all the liquid, etc. I don’t think the step was necessary though, since I have seen pictures of non-chilled cookies, and they looked fine.)
Bake the cookies until they're barely set and just beginning to brown around the edges, 11 to 13 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely on the pans.
Nutritional Information per cookie: 7g whole grains, 131 cal, 7g fat, 3g protein, 5g complex carbs, 10g sugar, 1g dietary fiber (my MC says 2), 14mg cholesterol, 64mg sodium, 99mg potassium, 14RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 11mg calcium, 62mg phosphorous, 7mg caffeine.
Like I mentioned before, these cookies are seriously good. I am in love with oat flour. I want to put it in all my baked goods.
And what is better with cookies than a mug of hot cocoa on a wintery day? Nothing! Mr. F. and I have stopped buying hot chocolate mix: 1) It is not very good, and 2) there are a lot of unnecessary ingredients. For example the Swiss Miss Rich Chocolate Mix contains the following: Sugar, corn syrup (Dude! Enough with the corn syrup people!), whey protein concentrate, cocoa (processed with alkali), partially hydrogenated soybean oil, nonfat dry milk, calcium carbonate, less than 2% of: salt, dipotassium phosphate, cellulose gum, artificial color, carrageenan.
Instead, we make our own following a recipe from our favorite FoodTV Guru: Alton Brown.
Hot Cocoa Mix
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred) (we love using Hershey Special Dark)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional. We don’t include)
We combine all the ingredients using a sieve (to eliminate any cocoa/dry milk clumps and the like) and store in an air tight container. Add as much mix to taste.
So, throw together some cocoa mix, whip up a batch of these cookies and have yourself an enjoyable mid-winter afternoon.