026

Parsnip and Carrot Muffins

By now carrot, parsnip and other root crop supplies are winding down for the spring. But before we say goodbye, why not use them in one creative, less obvious method? These muffins make a healthy breakfast option that could adapted to include additional nutritional benefits with ingredients such as ground flax seeds and golden raisins. Or, for a special celebration, turn them into cupcakes with a maple cream cheese frosting. For those of you who must hide vegetables to get picky kids or stubborn adults to eat them, this should help too.

Parsnip and Carrot Muffins

Makes 12 standard muffins or 24+ mini

Ingredients
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 vegetable oil + more for greasing
3/4 cups maple syrup + a splash more
1/2 cup grated parsnips
3/4 cup grated carrots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a muffin pan with vegetable oil or use muffin liners.

Place the chopped almonds and the splash of maple syrup in a small pan over medium heat. Cook until the nuts are well coated then remove to a plate to cool slightly.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.

Whisk the eggs, yogurt, vegetable oil and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl until combined. Add the flour mixture, carrots and parsnips, and fold with a spatula until all of the flour is moistened. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin cups.

Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the maple almonds (you’ll probably have to break them up a bit if they’ve cooled for long). Bake for 20 minutes for regular sized muffins or 8 minutes for mini, either way, checking and rotating the pans halfway through baking. Check with a toothpick for doneness. Cool for 10 minutes before removing. Serve warm.

Adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown

IMG_2983

Rhubarb Orange Sauce

Last week, at a demonstration tasting for GE Aviation’s Wellness Fair, we gave out samples of one of my favorite springtime recipes – Rhubarb Orange Sauce – for its versatility, ease in making and sheer deliciousness.

Rhubarb, also called “pie fruit”, is a long living perennial and a welcome sign of spring in Vermont when the green and red stalks, topped by green, furled leaves, push their way through the soil. With a bit of rain and some warm-ish temperatures, a rhubarb patch will seemingly grow before your eyes.

I like to use oranges (or orange-like fruits) in early spring, because I usually have a few kicking around in the fridge after a long winter. It’s a great way to use up the last of these golden fruits and still enjoy rhubarb before the strawberry season which renders the equally delicious strawberry rhubarb sauce than many of us know and love.

A lip puckering tartness is tempered with sugar in most recipes. In ours, because I like the versatility of a slightly more tart sauce, I use less sugar than most recipes you will see online, and then finish the cooked sauce with a bit of dark maple syrup to lend a bit more subtle flavor.

Use stalks that are not too thick and fibrous, and if you can find the popular red stalks that will impart a lovely rosy color to your sauce, by all means, do so.

 

Without further ado, the recipe follows:

Simple Rhubarb Orange Sauce

2 cups rhubarb stalk, thickly sliced

1 orange or two clementines, chopped whole – peels and flesh – seeds discarded. Save any juice.

1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 cup water

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons dark maple syrup to finish

In a quart pan, combine the chopped rhubarb and oranges, reserved orange juice, water, salt and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a lively simmer over medium high heat, then reduce to medium low and simmer quietly on the stove until the rhubarb “melts” and turns soft. Stir occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and taste the sauce while still warm. Add a bit more sugar if needed, then stir in about 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Cool and store in a jar or bowl with lid, in the refrigerator.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups.

Notes & Options: 

  • Substitute white sugar with 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar.
  • Substitute maple syrup for honey.
  • Omit the oranges and instead use 1/2 cup of blueberries or 1/2 cup of strawberries, plus the juice and zest of 1/2 lemon.
  • Add a vanilla bean while simmering or a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract after cooking.

Savory Uses:

  • Spoon on meats like pork, chicken, turkey or sausages.
  • Serve with aged cheese, soft and semi soft, with fresh bread.
  • Use as a base for barbecue sauce.

Sweet Uses:

  • Spread onto toast, English muffins or on a bagel with cream cheese.
  • A generous dollop on yogurt, oatmeal or ice cream is most welcome.
  • Stir into whipped cream and spoon on to a snacking cake like pound cake or angel food
  • Layer with pudding and leftover cake pieces for a springtime trifle.

WHAT ARE YOUR IDEAS?

IMG_1859

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Apples often steal the crisp scene in the fall. But berry crisps as just as good and make for a quick, but impressive summer dessert any evening. And that’s especially true with this technique. Like the other strawberry and rhubarb recipes this week, I give you another cheat recipe. If you’ve already made your batch of compote earlier this week, you’re already good to go. In fact, this is a double cheat recipe, though no one is going to know the difference.

Since you already have your compote, that drastically reduces the cook time here and that’s the first cheat. Even if you need to make the compote when you go to make the crisp, it’s still going to take less time in the long run – so either way you’re beating the traditional crisp system. And, with a big batch of the compote, you know there is also this idea and this one to put it to good use.

The second big thing here, is that you use granola for your crisp’s topping. Yup, that’s right. And no one will know the difference. If you think about it, granola is very similar to the topping of a crisp, so why not take advantage of that fact?Of course, use a high quality (or homemade) variety that you enjoy. This isn’t supposed to be an inferior crisp imitation by any means, just a quicker approach to an equally good end product.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Try this granola cheat method with any kind of crisp.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the broiler to low.
  2. Make the compote, if you haven’t already.
  3. Spread the compote into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  4. Cover with the granola.
  5. Put under the broiler for about 10 minutes until the granola starts to turn slightly brown and aromatic.
  6. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
IMG_1951

Strawberry Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt

If I had to pick just one of my slightly unhealthy food weaknesses to share with you, it would be ice cream.

I blame my grandfather. His freezer is stocked with at least two quarts of the stuff at all times. As a kid, I knew a cone would usually be involved in every visit. Though, unlike my grandfather, I enjoy actually all kinds of flavors – not just chocolate. And at some point, I convinced myself if I sometimes opted for frozen yogurt instead, it would actually be a healthy choice.

 In some cases perhaps that’s true. But much of the frozen yogurt in stores is still loaded with sugar, unfortunately. Even worse, most times it’s not even actually sugar, but high fructose corn syrup. Or, there are just a ton of undecipherable ingredients listed on the package, as is the case with most processed food. Try finding an ice cream or frozen yogurt made up of just the ingredients you’d expect (or want) to find. Good luck, because there are very few.

When summer comes, I’m much more apt to make my own. With fresh produce, it’s fun to make interesting combinations. One of my favorite is steeping mint leaves in my yogurt or cream then adding in chocolate. And more importantly, I know exactly what I’m eating.

When I moved out of my parents’ house I took with me this ice cream maker someone had gifted our family years ago. It remained largely unused but I insisted on saving it anyway. I really don’t like collecting appliances with just one use, but this one is the exception. I see them at yard sales all the time for a few bucks.

On the other hand, it’s not too difficult to make your own frozen confection without one. Pastry chef and cookbook author David Lebovitz outlines a stir and freeze method here and The Kitchn has additional idea here. It’s really pretty accessible. Just takes a bit of stirring or creativity.

This simple mix of yogurt and sweetener can be the frozen base for any combination of ingredients. Here, I fold in the strawberry rhubarb compote and it couldn’t be much simpler. Do you have a favorite kind of ice cream or frozen yogurt you like to make? Share your ideas.

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2 pints/1 quart

Use this sweetened yogurt base for your favorite frozen combinations.

Ingredients

  • 1 quart yogurt (keep in mind that the variety, fat content and style, such as Greek, will impact the end flavor. In other words, use what you already enjoy)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 batch of strawberry rhubarb compote

Instructions

  1. Make the strawberry rhubarb compote and let cool.
  2. Drain off some of the liquid from the compote and save for another use.
  3. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar and honey. You can use more, less, or other sweeteners altogether if you’d like.
  4. Add the yogurt to the frozen drum of your maker – if using a maker – and let run for about 20-25 minutes, until thick. If not using, you might want to add the compote in at this point depending on the directions of your preferred method.
  5. When the yogurt is thickened, fold in the compote.
  6. Let freeze for as long as you like. If you want a soft serve and are going to be eating right away, you probably don’t need to freeze at all. For a harder consistency, transfer to a storage container and let freeze for at least an hour.

Notes

When storing homemade ice cream, it’s important to cover the top with plastic wrap in order to keep fresh – even when storing in a sealed container.

2031

Blueberry Thyme Zucchini Bread

Brace yourself. The zucchini invasion is upon us. And it’s only going to get worse.

At first, just a few short weeks ago, you were excited for the first squashes of the season – either in your garden, CSA, or at the market. But then you ate a couple. And another. Then a few more. Eventually the charm wore off. Now, they’re slowly piling up on your counter, one by one. You realize that perhaps you shouldn’t have planted twelve squash plants after all.

Now what do you do? Simple. Put zucchini in everything. But mostly, in things where you don’t even realize it’s there. And better, paired with other seasonal ingredients that can steal the focus.

Memories of your grandmother’s zucchini bread will remind you that this is certainly not a revolutionary concept. I haven’t come across a ton of recipes where blueberries were part of the mix (pun intended), though. What if you threw in some chocolate and a little thyme? Suddenly, it becomes more unique and you forget there was ever zucchini there to begin with.

Unless you are without a food processor and have to grate that zucchini by hand. In which case, it’s really not that terrible. Three medium zucchini are generally enough for two loaves of bread and that’s not too much effort. The processor just cuts the time down to a few seconds rather than 5 minutes.

The blueberries add a mouth popping burst of flavor while the thyme lends an earthiness that cuts the bread’s sweetness. If including chocolate, go for dark. I go through these breads for breakfast in no time and I don’t care for or benefit from too much sugar in the am. Add your own combination of nuts and seeds if you want.

Blueberry Thyme Zucchini Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • zest of 1 lemon or lime
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease two 8×4 inch bread pans liberally.
  2. Mix the zucchini, sugar, oil, yogurt, zest, vanilla and eggs in a bowl.
  3. Remove the leaves from the sprigs of thyme by pinching your thumb and forefinger and running them down the stem. Add to the mixture.
  4. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a second bowl.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  6. Gently stir in the blueberries and walnuts.
  7. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pans.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.
1631

Baked Stuffed Apples

This is entirely un-American of me, I apologize, but apple pie does nothing for me. I’ve just never really cared for it. Maybe it’s all that crust or the mushy texture of the apples after they’re baked. I must have had a bad experience at some point that I don’t recall. Though I’ll admit that some melted cheddar cheese on top (a practice I only became aware of after moving to VT, of course) certainly makes it more appealing.

Baked and stuffed apples, however, are another story. The apples actually have some texture and a little crunch left to them. And since you eat the skins (at least you should) you get added benefits, like fiber. But they’re also quicker to make. No crust. No hassle. It’s a simple weeknight dessert, or even better – breakfast the next morning. Also, in this recipe I stuff them with oats, making this quite similar to an apple crisp – a dish I always looked forward to as a kid. Your pick of dried fruit and nuts only make things better and better for you.

Find yourself some good baking apples. There are many unique, Vermont grown varieties available well into the winter. This time I used Northern Spies and Granny Smiths. Here is New England Apple Association for identifying and learning more about apple varieties.

Preheat the oven to 350F. After you wash your apples, use a paring knife to cut out the stem and top.

And then a spoon to scoop out the seeds a just a little of the flesh. We just need some room for stuffing – no need to hollow the apples out.

This is a good sized cavity. Keep in mind that the apples will start browning quickly. If this bothers you then just coast them with some lemon juice, though it won’t really be noticeable after filling and baking.

Set the apples aside and mix together the oats and brown sugar. Alter the amount of sugar based on how sweet you like things. I think as little as 1/4 cup would be fine.

Then add in the dried fruit. I used currants. I’m a big currant enthusiast and was thrilled to find red ones fresh at the farmers market in Rutland this summer. Raisins and cranberries work well too.

Chop some nuts to add to the stuffing mix. Walnuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts – you choose.

Lastly, get your spices together – cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. I like my food to have flavor, so I tend to go strong on recipe recommendations. With the amounts I suggest below, you will certainly taste these flavors. Scale back if you need. The ginger can be powdered. I just happened to have fresh. It does make a big difference, however, as does grating whole nutmeg and grinding whole cloves, if you have those.

Mix everything together then getting stuffing. Really pack it in well.

Now pour some water into the bottom of the pan to prevent burning and to help speed up the cooking.

Top each with a teaspoon of butter before getting in the oven. They look good already, don’t they? Bake for 30 minutes – you should be able to easily pierce the apples – and enjoy. You might not want to give up your apple pie traditions, but I don’t think anyone would refuse one of these whether at the holiday table or hot out of the oven on a cold night – or morning.

Baked Stuffed Apples

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 baked apples, depending on size of apples

Ingredients

  • 4-6 good baking apples
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional)
  • 4 tsp. butter
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Core your apples, making a good sized hole in the center. A paring knife and spoon work fine.
  3. Combine the sugar, oats, nuts, raisins and spices in a bowl.
  4. Stuff the apples with the filling, packing it in as much as possible.
  5. Place the apples in a baking dish with the water in the bottom.
  6. Top each with a teaspoon of butter.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until tender when poked with a knife, being careful not to overbake.
  8. Cool slightly and serve, topped with yogurt or ice cream.
069

Carrot Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

It’s the winter that will never end. This time last year there were plenty of fresh local greens available and peas were already growing strong. Right now, as I write and look out my window upon Rutland, I can’t even see the ground. But it’s somewhere under all the dirty snow. Let’s just hope we see it sometime soon.

In the meantime, were not completely starved of good local food. You can still find root crops for sale that were stored and perhaps overwintered and dug up from last season. Carrots are just one of those crops – yet one that should not be overlooked for creative uses. Carrot cake is one idea. It’s certainly a popular dessert at the upcoming Easter holiday table and it is also widely loved in the UK. During the first and second world wars, due to rationing, carrots were added to cakes as a means of adding moisture. Eventually, the popularity of carrot cake made its way over here.

While carrot cake is great, we can’t forget it’s loaded with sugar and cream cheese frosting. Not something you want everyday. These cookies, from 101 Cookbooks, however, are another story. They’re made without refined white sugar, eggs and butter. Here you can actually taste the carrot, as well as the oats, coconut and walnuts that make up these cookies. Sweetened with maple syrup and containing olive oil, they’re a better alternative for an everyday type of treat. In a few minutes, you can have a comforting plate of cookies to enjoy while you watch the snow melt.

Carrot Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies

I changed a few things from the original recipe. I used olive oil in place of the coconut oil and added in shredded coconut in its place. Then I added some cinnamon. I found the cookies needed a couple more minutes than Heidi suggests, and be sure to let them cool on the pan before transferring.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and oats. Add the nuts, carrots and coconut. In a smaller bowl use a whisk to combine the maple syrup, oil and ginger. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  3. Drop onto baking sheets, one tablespoonful at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
  4. Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until the cookies are golden. Cookies will be delicate. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the sheet before carefully transferring to a wire rack.
218

Vanilla Chai Bread Pudding

How often do you buy bread and not get a chance to use it before it goes stale? I don’t know about you, but this happens to me all the time. That doesn’t mean I toss the bread out though. Stale bread has all kinds of good uses – like bread crumbs, croutons, and my favorite – bread pudding.

At the restaurant I worked back in Connecticut, bread pudding was on the dessert menu every day and the variety was always changing. It’s an economical dish using household staples of bread, milk and eggs. And its flavored with almost anything. Chocolate, raisins, nuts, dried or fresh fruit are all options. Really, anything goes with bread pudding. Even the type of bread doesn’t particularly matter. Chances are you could make this right now with what you already have.

When done right, bread pudding should have the perfect balance of gooey goodness and chewy texture. That’s why stale bread is key, but not absolutely vital. If your bread is not stale you could leave it out on the counter for a good 24 hours. But if you don’t feel like waiting, a slight toasting in the oven will do the job. The bread needs this degree of crunch otherwise you’ll be serving mush pudding.

I find that the amount of liquid needed can vary depending on the degree of staleness of the bread and the type of bread used. Some absorb a ton of liquid and others do not. That’s why I say to use a bit more half and half then you might actually need. If you have leftover, keep it cold and pour over the warm bread pudding when ready to eat. You could use all milk or all cream, or a nondairy option just as well.

Raisins, almonds and plenty of vanilla complement the chai flavor nicely here. And what’s great about it is that you could serve this for breakfast or dessert.

Vanilla Chai Bread Pudding

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of your favorite bread (about 6-7 cups) stale is great, but not completely necessary
  • butter, for greasing
  • 5 cups half and half
  • 4 tablespoons quality chai tea
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Slice or tear up the bread into large chunks. If not already stale, spread the bread out on a baking sheet and place in the preheating oven for a few minutes until slightly toasted.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the half and half with the chai tea in a small pot. Bring to a gentle boil on the stove and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. While the tea simmers, grease a 9x13x2″ baking dish with butter.
  4. When ready, strain out the tea leaves and stir in the honey, salt and vanilla. Cool for about 5 minutes then reserve one cup for now.
  5. In a bowl, beat the eggs until whites and yolks are well combined. Add to the half and half and pour the mixture over the bread. Toss the bread together with the almonds and raisins, being sure to coat the bread well in the egg-milk mixture. The bread should be well saturated. If not, add in some of the reserved cup of half and half. Top with a few of the almonds.
  6. Place the bread pudding in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Check on it about halfway through. If it looks like it is too dried out, add some of the remaining half and half and continue baking.
  7. When done, serve warm, with any of the cold half and half drizzled over top.
syrupjugs_UOFCabot

Maple Trees + Spring = Liquid Gold

Maple syrup. Ubiquitous and delightful. Celebrated and loved. The sweet liquid gold of our green mountains.

Vermont is well known for its sugar houses that dot our working landscape, belching steam from its vents and smoke from its stacks.
Our season is short and completely dependent on the weather – freezing nights, ‘warmer than freezing’ days – and a sugarmaker can be found in the sugar house for days on end as long as the sap is running.
treebucket_UOFCabotMaple syrup, like honey, is rich in antioxidants and minerals from the trees it comes from. It is a great substitute in recipes that call for honey or simple syrup and can often be successfully swapped in for  cane sugar.

In our house, besides the usual pancakes and waffles, we drizzle maple syrup over bananas slathered with peanut butter or use it to sweeten our tea. It is a delicious on oatmeal, in a smoothie, in a salad dressing and spooned over plain yogurt or even ice cream.

Maple syrup recipes abound, so rather than give you lots of new ones, see below for some great recipes within Everyday Chef as well as a few other exceptional sources.

So the only question now is…golden, amber or dark?

carrots

RECIPES, FACTS, & HOW TO:

Links below will open up a new window

Everyday Chef: Our Favorite Recipes using Maple Syrup

VPR Cafe: Exploring Vermont Maple Syrup Recipes Through the Ages

Buzzfeed:  57 Magical Ways to use Maple Syrup

Vermont Maple: How We Make It

Tablespoon: How to Sweeten with Maple Syrup

Cornell University: Replacing Table Sugar with Maple Syrup (pdf)

IMG_0576

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

It often seems that the many fruits and vegetables of Vermont overshadow the other foods produced here. Take grains, for instance. Did you even know you can find them locally? Gleason Grains of Bridport and Nitty Gritty Grains of Charlotte are two (but not the only) grain producers in Vermont worth checking out. In Rutland, you can find several of their flours and grains for sale in the bulk section of the Rutland Area Food Co-op at very reasonable prices.

Outmeal Cookie

While we have talked a little about cooking with grains, we have yet to get into flour. Perhaps it’s because we don’t often cover baking. Yet it’s an equally important knowledge base for the Everyday Chef. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a freelance baker. Knowing how to make one’s own baked goods – whether it be breads, cakes, muffins, or cookies – is much better for your health and is more economical. Whether we admit it or not, most of us eat baked foods, and rather than simply lumping them into the junk food category, why not learn how to improve them?

That said, I thought I’d share my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe made with whole wheat flour. Baking with whole wheat flour is not exactly the same as white flour and you shouldn’t have the same expectations. However, you can often substitute a percentage of white flour for wheat, without a significant difference (anywhere from 50 – 100%). Just keep in mind that this won’t work in all cases. But you should absolutely give it a try and do some experimenting.

wheat-germ

oats1

Whole wheat flour has around four times more fiber than white and contains higher amounts of potassium, magnesium and zinc. I’m not about to say that these cookies are a health food, but they are a healthier option than many alternatives. The wheat flour and oats help give these cookies a nice crispy texture that I really like. This recipe produces large thin cookies, so be sure to leave plenty of room on your baking sheets, as the recipe suggests.

chocolate-chips

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

  • 2 3/4 cup / 9 oz rolled oats
  • 1 cup / 4.5 oz whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup / 1 1/2 oz wheat bran (or germ)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup / 8 oz  unsalted butter
  • 1 cup / 6.5 oz natural cane sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1 cup / 6 oz firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 oz / 285 g semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F, with racks placed in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl combine the oats, flour, bran or germ, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Either by hand, or using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar for 3+ minutes, scraping down sides a few times along the way. Incorporate the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla – scraping the sides of the bowl another time or two. Add the dry mixture, and stir until everything barely comes together. Then stir in the chocolate, mixing until it is evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Use a small ice-cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup to make uniform dough balls. Arrange each cookie at least 3-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. They’ll flatten out quite a bit. For extra crisp cookies, bake until deeply, deeply golden on the bottom, about 15+ minutes. Rotate the pans once about 2/3 the way through baking – back to front, top to bottom. Like your cookies a little chewier? Bake for less time. Cool on a rack.

Makes about 2 dozen large cookies.  Prep time: 20 min   Cook time: 15 min

1 2