Baking: Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies (with Chocolate Chips)

I’m starting to have gotten all those fresh cranberries.  I’m at the last stretch to try and finish it before it gets too ripe to make anything.  In heart of making cranberry scones, somehow I changed my plan as I was flipping through recipes and decides to make oatmeal cookies instead.

I adapted this recipe from Butter’s Baked Goods  by Rosie Daykins.  This originally was with pecans and white chocolate chips.  I removed the pecans from the recipe below but if you ever want to use it, just ask and I’ll send you the full recipe 🙂

Note that I made two different ones.  In the first dozen, I made it with just cranberries and in the second one, for my boyfriend, I added in chocolate chips.

Oatmeal cranberries cookies

Just Cranberries

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Ingredients

Makes 24 cookies

*2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
*1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
*1 tsp pure vanilla
1 1/2 cups large-flake rolled oats
*2/3 cup white chocolate chips
*2/3 cup dried cranberries
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

With Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt  Set aside.

3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat briefly after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat again to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients and the oats and mix until combined.  Add the white chocolate chips and cranberries and mix again to fully distribute.

6 Use the ice cream scoop to drop 24 equally sized portions of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Use the palm of your hand to press down lightly on the top of each cookie to flatten slightly.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges and slightly soft in the center.

8. Remove from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

patmeal cranberries cookies

Lets start with modifications, as usual:

  • Omit baking powder and vanilla.  I really should remember to buy them when I do groceries…
  • Gluten-free flour instead of regular all-purpose flour
  • Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips instead of white chocolate chips
  • Fresh cranberries instead of dried cranberries (I added about 1 cup instead of the 2/3 cup)

I haven’t made oatmeal cookies in so long that I forgot how delicious they were.  Plus, it is one of the simplest things to make.  These were perfect.  Plus, the whole fresh cranberries adds this tart taste to it which balances out the flavors a little.  My boyfriend isn’t a cranberry fan but the chocolate chips were great.  Next modification will be making a batch with just chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

The only change I would make is to add some nuts in.  I’m sure it would add an even better texture to it 🙂

Any oatmeal cookie fans? Any suggestions for what to make with fresh cranberries? 

Peanut Butter Granola Clusters!

I got back into the kitchen and baked! I’m super proud of myself…not that proud since it took me two weeks but I had work to blame.  I worked for 12 days straight and today due to an extra early morning drive to the airport, I ended up having to get half a day off from work because I was just drained.  It was all dizzy and fuzzy and concentration was shot.  Anyways, that aside, I napped, ate, rested and even watched the 2nd NHL playoff game for Montreal Canadiens and then decided to bake! I gave my boyfriend the choice of these granola clusters or cinnamon rolls. Guess which one won 😉

P1210841This recipe is from my Looneyspoons book by Janet and Greta Podelski.  This is called GOODY TWO CHEWS!

Makes 12 clusters

Ingredients

1/3 cup light peanut butter

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 egg whites

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 1/2 cup low-fat granola

3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

How to make them:

1. Preheat oven to 250F.  Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, beat together peanut butter and maple syrup on medium speed of electric mixer.  Add egg whites and pumpkin pie spice and beat again until smooth.

3. Stir in granola and cranberries.  Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven to cool completely on wire rack before removing clusters from pan.  Store in an airtight container

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Fresh out of the oven! They look absolutely wonderful and filled the house with peanut butter smell.

Just for a few modifications:

– I misread the peanut butter quantity and put more around 1/2 cup…

– I have no idea where to buy pumpkin pie spice but the books gives you a little tip as to combining 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg.  It was from earlier in the book, so now I’m wondering if the quantities were in proportion…

– I only used granola because I had bought one with fruits in it and the book recommends one with pumpkin flax. I obviously didn’t read it beforehand.  In turn, I eliminated the dried cranberries since the granola mix already had it.  This was the one I bought:

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After it cooled down and I had pried it out of the muffin tins, I gave it a whirl to see what it taste like.  Suffice to say, I’ve never eaten any clusters before.  This seemed like a healthier choice too. It works well with the whole staying fit 😉 This tasted AMAZING! I had this really interesting texture.  On the top is was crunchy a bit and near the bottom, it felt like the bottom of a muffin type of chewy.  Not dry just a bit fluffy and chewy.  I don’t really know how to describe it but it was so great 🙂

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The fruits gave a little sweet taste and then it mixed well with the peanut butter and maple syrup mix 🙂

If you like to make clusters or enjoy granola, you should give this shot! Its quite delicious and super easy to make.  The baking time is a bit longer than my usual but its well worth the wait 🙂 If anything, the aroma that circulates around the house while its in the oven just starts making your mouth water..I know it did that for me!  Its perfect as snacks and I’m sure if you have little ones, they’ll probably enjoy it a lot too 🙂

Dried Cranberry Shortbread Hearts

I promised that I would get you some Valentine’s baking yesterday but something came up and I didn’t quite manage to get that up.  You know, life happens.  I guarantee it was nothing bad though.  Just some changes might or might not happen in life and if it does settle down, I’ll share it with everyone.  For now, let’s turn our focus to my first Valentine’s baking.  I know I know, Shortbread…again, right? To be honest, shortbread is starting to grow on me. And I can actually eat this and its easy to make.

Doesn’t this look cute and delicious?

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Right here is the recipe if you’d like to try it out.  Found this on the Martha Stewart site.

http://www.marthastewart.com/338922/dried-cranberry-shortbread-hearts?center=276967&gallery=874690&slide=338922

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This is a super easy one. Unless you can cut beautiful hearts out of a sheet, I’d recommend a cookie cutter.  That’s the reason why its taken me so long. I was going to make them into cupcakes.  You know its sweet to give someone you loved a cookie shaped in a cupcake, its like calling them that, right?

Other than being easy to make, this one had a wonderful texture.  Its probably one of the best shortbread recipes I’ve had.

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Just look at it. Its not too dry and crumbly but was balanced with a bit of nice slightly moist balance.  The dried cranberries really give it a nice little touch.

I managed to get 5 hearts out of this with a whole bunch of tidbits on the sides.  So far I haven’t found the heart to eat the beautiful shortbread hearts.

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 How could you right? They just look so nice!

10 days from Valentine’s day now! Any ideas what else I should bake?

I probably will be back with something else on Friday. The office is still a bit hectic and have a few sudden things resulting from what happened to take care of.  Lets hope I can still manage to keep up with my posts 🙂

Happy Monday everyone!

Raw Apple Muffins!

Ever since I saw this recipe earlier this year on a fellow blogger’s post, I’ve been wanting to make it.  I never actually had bought apples and when I did I always went and made the familiar pies.  It turns out my friends (and even myself) we’re not much of a muffin person.  Everyone always had other choices for apples, even if it meant just slicing it and eating it by itself.

Now, these muffins looked amazing.  They looked downright delicious.  Here is the link to her post on Raw Apple Muffins.

Recipe: http://saltandserenity.com/2012/05/28/raw-apple-muffins/

Last night, the initial plan was to make Pumpkin Spice Muffins, but I didn’t have time to head out to buy groceries after work.  So seeing as I had bought apples last week to make this and never got around to it, I thought it’d be the perfect time.  I have a gathering with my friends again.  I can’t believe its been a month (or so).  Remember last time, I made  Apple and Oat Scones, and before that it was Banana Gingerbread Slices? Other than dicing the apples took a crazy amount of time, this was a fun recipe.  I pretty much put on a movie and started chopping and mixing.

This recipe really suited my taste a lot.  I didn’t really have to change anything at all.  It turned out as promised to be moist and delicious from the apples.  I did have to make some little changes.  Salt and Serenity suggested to use Granny Smith and Macintosh apples.  I didn’t have those, so I used Cortland apples.  I think it didn’t make too much of a difference.  Second modification was that I replaced raisins with dried cranberries.  It added a little extra colour to each muffin and usually is a good replacement for raisins.

 

Wait before you go, there’s more.  There was one extra little part I had to change–the topping.  It was supposed to be dipped in melted butter than into the sugar.  I’m lactose intolerant for one and I had run out of butter and margarine.  So I just sprinkled the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the top.  Trust me, it still taste fantastic.  Honestly, I’m not sure melted margarine would’ve tasted the same as melted butter, maybe I’ll try it on one of them later on.

 

This was how they looked when they first got out of the oven.  Nice little muffins, eh?

I’d like to give a big thank you to Salt and Serenity for sharing this with everyone.  If you haven’t been to her blog, you definitely should, she has awesome recipes there.

So, just a little update: Those other muffins I talked about will be coming up soon.  As much as I’m not much of a muffin person, I think I’d prefer that over making a pumpkin pie or something.  Its going to be the first time I bake anything with pumpkin so, I’ll start it off in an easy fashion.

If you do have any suggestions for pumpkin recipes, I’d love to hear it.