Tag Archives: oats

Kitchen Sink Cookies

3 Dec

Kitchen Sink Cookies

 

There aren’t a lot of things that I do extraordinarily well.

Driving a car with a manual transmission, cartwheels, wearing white without spilling something all over it, washboard abs…

Yeah, not so much.

I also never spell exercise, separate, or nauseous correctly either. The only reason those three words are spelled correctly now is because of spell check and its angry red lines.

What I can do well is bake. Which is cool because I reeeally like to eat.

This also would explain why I’ll never have those aforementioned abs. And that’s fine with me. Whoever said that “nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels” has obviously never had a patty melt with cheese fries and extra cheese sauce from Steak n’ Shake at 2 a.m. after a few cocktails… or microwaved a donut.

Getting back on track…

These cookies actually came to be because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to bake spice cookies, chocolate chip cookies, or oatmeal cookies.

All I knew is that I wanted a cookie.

Then I thought why should I have to choose?

I’m terribly indecisive anyway. Ask my husband – I’m the worst.

I basically never have an answer for ANYTHING.

So I just made a cookie that had everything I wanted in it.

I made… Frankencookie.

And it was Frankendelicious!

There were almost no cookies to photograph because I could not stop eating them.

They’re crispy on the edges but chewy on the inside (as they should be) and they’re just sweet enough with a hint of spice in the background.

They’re pretty much everything I want in a cookie.

And that’s saying a lot about a cookie that contains no dark chocolate or caramel.

Even the dough is delicious and I’m not a dough eater. I always taste a bit to make sure the flavor is right before I put it in the oven but I found myself going back for more over and over.

You certainly do not have to use all of the mix-ins that I used. I had a surplus of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds so I chopped them all up and tossed them in. Just use any combination of your favorite dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and chocolate chips.

 

Kitchen Sink Cookies

2 sticks of unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups old-fashioned oats

Mix-ins: I just threw in a few good-sized handfuls. If I had to guess, I’d say it was probably a cup and a half to two cups worth of the goods.

My mix-ins:

  • Dried Apples
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Dried Cherries
  • Dried Lingonberries
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • White Chocolate Chips

Directions

Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. Should take 2-3 minutes.

Beat the eggs in one at a time followed by the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda, salt, spices, and oats and whisk together to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and mix just until everything is incorporated.

Add your mix-ins and mix gently to combine or fold in with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Cover and chill the dough for an hour.

Line your cookie sheet with parchment or spray with non-stick spray.

Use a tablespoon measure to form dough balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 12-15 minutes.

The time they need to bake will depend on your oven. Cookies are done when they are golden brown around the edges and no longer look wet on top. You want to pull them out of the oven when they are just set so they stay chewy in the middle.

Allow the cookies to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely but be sure to eat a few while they’re still warm.

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Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookie & Bourbon Ice Cream Sandwiches… with Bacon!

4 Jul

 

I’ll bet you thought I was going to come at you today with some patriotic-themed, tri-colored dessert that was all hopped up on sprinkles and glitter to celebrate the holiday.

Nope.

The 4th of July just isn’t one of my favorite holidays.

Yes, I’m glad to be an American and to have my independence. I just don’t care to celebrate it fighting crowds of people to walk one mile to stand for 45 minutes all to watch about 10 minutes of fireworks and then fight that same crowd of people back a mile to my car so I can drive in traffic all the way home in the rain.

Every year people. Every year.

And can we talk about “those people” who are still lighting fireworks and making all kinds of noise at 2 in the morning as if no one in the neighborhood has to get up early for work the next day?

Newsflash people: The 4th is a holiday. The 5th is just another day.

Personally, I’d rather celebrate my independence in stretchy pants… and with bourbon!

I’d rather celebrate everything in stretchy pants and with bourbon if we’re being truthful here, and I think that we are.

So seeing as how it’s a holiday and everything, I figured, why not celebrate my way!

So I put on some stretchy pants, broke out the bourbon, and made us a treat.

Happy 4th!

bourbon bacon ice cream

Bourbon & Bacon Ice Cream:

2 cups heavy cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2-3 tbsp bourbon

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

2 to 3 strips of cooked, cooled, and crumbled bacon

Directions:

With a stand mixer, electric mixer or a whisk, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks.  Add the bourbon, vanilla, and slowly pour in the evaporated milk. Stir gently or fold until combined.

I usually use my stand mixer and just let it run on low while I add the sweetened condensed milk, then I crank it back up for a couple of seconds to make sure the peaks remain stiff.

Fold in the crumbled bacon.

Put mixture into a container with a tight-fitting lid and pop into the freezer for 6 hours or until frozen.

I usually separate the ice cream mixture so I can flavor half for my kids and the other half for us grown folk.

If you’re making an entire batch of bourbon ice cream, you may need more than 3 tablespoons. Just keep tasting as adding as you see fit. Be advised though that the more alcohol you add, the faster your ice cream will melt as it did in my pics.

If bourbon isn’t your thing remember, the sky is the limit with this ice cream. You can pretty much add in anything before you pop it into the freezer so go nuts. Add fruit, nuts, chocolate, sprinkles, birthday cake, brownie pieces, candy, cookies, whatever!

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp apple pie spice (optional)

3 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup dehydrated apples

1 1/2  cups caramel pieces or chips (I used the individual wrapped caramels and cut them into smaller pieces)

Directions:

In the bowl of your stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat the butter until nice and fluffy. Then add both sugars and mix until combined. The mixture should be light in color and fluffy.

Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and apple pie spice.

Add to the wet mixture and stir until everything is barely incorporated. It’s important to not over mix or you’ll end up with tough cookies.

Fold in the oats, apples, and caramel pieces just until everything is incorporated.

Pop the mixture in the fridge for an hour. There’s a lot of butter in this dough and giving it a chance to chill will help to make sure that your cookies set up nicely in the oven.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and use a tablespoon measure to scoop out balls of dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat or lightly grease it and place your dough balls a couple of inches apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Do not over bake, you want these cookies to be soft.

Also, give the cookies a minute or two to set up once you pull them from the oven. Caramel turns to liquid when it’s heated and if you try to remove your cookies from the pan right out of the oven, they may fall apart.

Once the cookies have completely cooled, fill with ice cream and enjoy!

* I just wanted to add that this is my 200th post! Thanks to everyone who stops by my little space on the internet regularly to see what I’m up to. I’m sure there are plenty of other more important things that you could be doing with your day (like folding laundry) so the fact that you choose to avoid your responsibilities and visit here for a little while instead makes my heart happy.

3 Jun

soft and chewy spiced oat bars

 

It’s very very rare that I get a recipe just right on the first try.

This was an unusual exception.

I’m not talking about following an already established recipe. That, I can do.

What I’m gettin’ at here is coming up with an original recipe because as far as I know, none exist.

Normally the process takes time and numerous do-overs and eventually destroys my kitchen, my patience, and my ego before it’s all over.

But this time everything just worked.

 

Occasionally we get these in our Graze* box:

 

They’re called flapjacks and they’re fabulous! They’re also very small and you only get three, which is fine if your daughter doesn’t steal them all from you and shove them in her face like a chipmunk gathering nuts for the winter.

Flapjacks are lightly sweetened oat bars with dried fruit and a little spice. They’re somewhere between a chewy granola bar and a soft oatmeal cookie.

I them. So does my kid.

So naturally I knew that I needed to figure out how to make them myself just in case there is ever a flapjacks shortage some day or Graze discontinues them.

Since flapjacks aren’t technically granola bars, my usual granola bar recipe wouldn’t work here.

And since they’re not technically oatmeal cookies, my oatmeal cookie recipe wouldn’t work either.

So I checked the ingredients for all of the different flapjacks on the Graze website and did my best to recreate them.

The end result was pretty darn close.

If you’re a fan of flapjacks, I really think you’ll like these.

If not, I think you will be soon. 😉

 

Soft & Chewy Spiced Oat Bars

Ingredients:

1 stick of unsalted butter

1/4 cup of honey or golden syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

 

I also added these to my bars but you could use any dried fruit you prefer. Sweetened coconut, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, toffee chips, and mini-chocolate chips would be yummy as well.

 

Directions

Add the butter, honey or golden syrup, and brown sugar to a sauce pan and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture begins to bubble.

Stir the mixture slowly as it bubbles for 2-3 minutes and then take it off the heat. You don’t need to time it, you’re just looking for everything to become well incorporated. You shouldn’t feel any sugar granules when you stir.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, add the oats and any additional items you might want in your bars.

Add the caramel mixture to the oats and stir until the mixture comes together and everything is well incorporated.

Lightly spray an 8×8 pan with non-stick spray, or line with plastic wrap or parchment paper.

Dump the mixture into the pan and press it with your fingers to even it out. If things start to get too sticky, just dampen your hands a bit.

Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing.

 

Chewy Spiced Oat Bars

Store in an airtight container.

*Updated 9/5/15: After making these bars several times since the recipe was originally posted, I’ve been able to make a few changes that actually make this recipe much faster and easier than it was before.

I’ve listed a few additional alterations below. I hope you like this new and improved flapjack recipe as much as the original.

Rolled oats can be used instead of quick-cooking oats. Just give them a pulse or two in the food processor or blender first.

I sometimes toast my oats before adding them to the caramel mixture by spreading them onto a dry sheet pan and sliding them into a preheated 350° oven for 1-2 minutes.

For crispier bars: Press the mixture into an 8×8 pan and bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 10 minutes. I’ve actually gotten sidetracked and left them in the oven for up to 15 minutes and they were fine. Allow to cool completely before slicing into bars.

 

* Graze is a weekly snack subscription service.