Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal

It's kind of hard to get interested in dishes like stick-to-your-ribs oatmeal when the temperature is so balmy. Yesterday I went for a 5K run outside, which is the latest in the year I have ever run outside. Balmy weather notwithstanding, the temperature is definitely on its way down so this morning I decided it would be a good time to try out Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal, a recipe that caught my eye in The Essential New York Times Cookbook.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love a good chocolate chip cookie. As evidenced by my post Chocolate Chip Cookie Smackdown. In fact, everyone around here loves chocolate chip cookies. And since we consume so many of them I decided to try and make them a wee bit healthier. So one night while watching Modern Family, I did a bit of research to see what my options were in terms of making our favourite cookie healthy. (As an aside, can I just say that Modern Family is the best thing on TV right now? Aside from the BBC adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, but new episodes for that won't air until 2012.) Turns out lots of people who like chocolate chip cookies also like being healthy. Enter Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies. Whole wheat flour and ground flax seed make you feel a smidge better about eating a plateful of chocolate chip cookies after a long day. (Not that I've ever done that, of course.) These cookies are the real deal. There may be healthier recipes out there but for me, this recipe covers my must-haves for home made cookies, which is to say they contain butter and brown sugar. (You had me at butter.)

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies - from The Yummy Life

2-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, flax seed, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl (use stand or hand mixer), cream butter; add sugars and mix until creamy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. With mixer running, gradually add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time until completely mixed. Add chocolate chips and nuts (if using) and blend on low, just until mixed. (Note: The dough can be refrigerated at this point and baked later.) Use a scoop or spoon to form walnut size balls of cookie dough. Space 2" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet; flatten them slightly with your fingers. Bake 2 sheets at a time, rotating and switching pans half way through cooking time. Bake 12-14 minutes.

FREEZING TIP: Mix dough, form into flattened balls and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. When completely frozen, transfer to ziploc bag and return to freezer. To bake, arrange frozen dough balls on baking sheet and bake as described above, adding 2-3 minutes to cooking time.