joyeux cuisine

a blog about good food, family, friends, and life.

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

An update:
I’m doing better. I read a whole book yesterday. I’m rediscovering my love for knitting. I’m starting to like playing and practicing oboe again. I looked at grad schools again. I’m making progress.

I also made cookies. It helped…a lot. My roommates and I are still eating them. Normal.

It seems like cookies are either amazingly delicious or not. At least that’s how it goes for me. Let’s talk about the basics of cookies. Sometimes you just need to take it back there.

Butter: Softened. Not melting or rock hard. This can be a relative term because sometimes you never know. I usually let my butter sit out for about 45 minutes to an hour. It should sink in a little bit when you push on it, but not melty. That’s no good. You can put butter in the microwave for about 10 seconds to soften it, but I usually only use this as a last resort.
Unsalted. You never know the amount of salt that companies use in salted butter. This can effect the way your cookies taste. It’s better for you to control the salt in your cookies.

Sugar: Brown or white/granulated? Brown sugar gives cookies a lot of flavor. It also keeps the cookie a lot more moist because of the molasses in the sugar. White sugar is also great it cookies but creates a lot flatter, more crisp cookie. I like to do half brown-half white sugar, but even doing more of the brown sugar is totally okay in my book.

Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract. Use it. Love it. I grew up using Mexican vanilla because that’s what my mom always got, but it’s totally preference. Be you. Some recipes say to add vanilla near the end of the mixing process but at that point it’s harder to mix in to everything. Solution? Add the vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar. This allows it to permeate that part of the dough and you get lots of vanilla flavor. Amazing.

After you get the basics down all you do is dump and mix. Well…that’s basically it.

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Make some cookies. Eat too much candy corn. Read The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury. Remember to smile.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted slightly from Betty Crocker

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips (I use milk chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg and mix until well combined. Stir in all the dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes and then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container or on the cooling rack for easy access.

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homemade granola.

I’m watching the opening ceremony for the Olympics right now. Are you watching it? I guess the question right now would be: did you watch them last night too? Even though it just started, I am in awe. (People! Queen Elizabeth just jumped out of a helicopter. Well…at least her stunt double did. Still, awesome.) I love everything about the Olympics so I am in heaven right now. I downloaded the NBC app to keep up with all the coverage and I even went crazy and got the TV Guide app so I’ll know when everything is on. I’m crazy. But I think we all knew that by now.

I’ve been trying to make some healthy things to eat recently. Maybe to combat the fact that I bought a bag of mini Reese’s at Walmart today and then proceeded to eat half the bag. I have no self control when it comes to those. I’m really testing myself with the 10 dozen frozen cookie dough balls in my freezer right now. That number will reach about 17-18 dozen before too long. Hopefully that many will get baked too…we’ll see about that.

(Mary Poppins just destroyed some nightmares. I always knew she was the best nanny ever.)

Are you seeing every delicious thing right now? I’ll spell it out for you. Oats, coconut, pecans, walnuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Oh man. This is awesome. These are good things. Not only for making granola but also for you. Walnuts and pecans are full of protein and fiber. Both are really good for you. Unlike the Reese’s I’m eating right now…oh well. You can pretty much put anything you want into granola. Dried fruit, chocolate chips, anything. Make it your own! That’s the beauty.

All that goodness gets drizzled with honey and butter for a sweet topping. Bake that up and it gets golden brown and some parts stick together and get super crunchy. The coconut gets toasted and the flavors meld together beautifully. The cinnamon and nutmeg get even more fragrant in the oven. This granola is perfect for a late morning or early afternoon snack. You can even enjoy it with some milk for breakfast. So make some granola, watch some Olympic coverage, and cheer for your favorite athletes.

Homemade Granola

4 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Place honey and butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Place oats, nuts, and coconut in a large bowl. Stir together and then mix in the spices making sure everything is dusted lightly. When butter is melted, drizzle half of the mixture over the oats. Stir to combine well. Divide the mixture between the 2 cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and divide the remaining butter mixture between the two pans granola. Drizzle each and stir again. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes until toasted. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Eat it alone, serve with milk, or even over ice cream.

Store your granola in an airtight container at room temperature.

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peanut butter oatmeal cookies.

I’m the type of person that will leave a little extra cookie dough in the bowl when I’m done making them just to eat it. Not the small amount normal people leave in after scraping down the sides. I will intentionally leave enough dough for at least one cookie on the spatula so I can eat it. There’s the whole salmonella thing, but I’m not all that worried about it. There are, however, only certain kinds of cookie dough I do this with. Chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies, s’mores cookies, moose tracks cookies (don’t worry, I’ll share that recipe later), and oatmeal cookies. Especially when they involve peanut butter.

I have some friends going on a family vacation and I wanted to make them a little snack to take along. My mom always used to make chocolate chip oatmeal cookies when we went on vacation so there was a little bit of inspiration. We’d always do a double batch and share them with all our family. It was awesome. These aren’t quite those cookies, but they’re still super delicious. I’m also trying to make some healthier things, and I don’t know if this counts or not, but oatmeal is good for you so I say it does. I’ll learn to make healthy things someday…maybe.

Peanut butter is one of my most favorite things. Cookies are also pretty high up there as well. Right under my cat and music. I’ve always said: if you like cookies, we’ll get along just fine.

Oh, I added some chocolate chips to the last bit of batter before I baked them. Yeah, it was still delicious. They aren’t totally necessary though. There is a lot of sweet going on in these, but there’s a kick of cinnamon that adds are really rich depth to the cookies. If you don’t put cinnamon in cookies you need to start. Like, now. Please?

These are good cookies for sharing. Just keep that in mind. You’ll make a lot of friends.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

adapted from Pillsbury

makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder and set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together brown sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. Add in egg, vanilla, and peanut butter. Beat until well combined. Add half the dry ingredients and beat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until everything is incorporated. Fold the oats in with a spatula. The dough will be a little bit wet and sticky, but it’s okay. That means they’ll spread well in the oven. Drop onto lined baking sheets and bake for 7-9 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet until they’re set enough to move to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

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