Archive for the 'cookies & squares' Category

Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

monster cookies 4 585x825 Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Who needs a cookie? I do.

Apparently it’s September. I dunno.

monster cookies 3 Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Honestly, I love fall. It’s my favourite time of year – the warm sun, crunchy leaves, longer nights (besides food, sleep is my favourite), explosion of fruits and veggies, and then the parade of festivities – Thanksgiving, a round of birthdays (including mine), Halloween and Christmas. The only problem with fall is when you realize it’s September first tomorrow and the huge list of things you were sure you’d get done over the expanse of summer that stretched so indulgently before you back in June still remain undone. Especially when that to-do list involved a new kitchen.

monster cookies 2 Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I made these out in Tofino this summer, when we had a house full of hungry kids, no flour, very little butter and only one egg. They’re similar to monster cookies, which are traditionally made with peanut butter and oats but no flour (which makes them thin and chewy), and generally topped with Smarties or M&Ms or some such, which would totally be appropriate here if you’re into that sort of thing. I had a big bar of chocolate I had brought up to test some unrelated recipes with, and I knew if I packed it to come back home it would either be eaten in the car or melt en route, or both.

monster cookies Collage Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I realize that it’s the eve of back-to-school, and while I’m thinking that W’s lunches will provide a perfect excuse for me to bake batches of these, most kids aren’t allowed to bring nuts to school. (We have no allergies at our school – or haven’t since W was in kindergarten – so I can send all the PB&Js I want – if you can’t use peanuts, almond butter should work fine, or one of those nut-free butters, like Wowbutter or No Nuts Golden Pea Butter, which in my experience works as well as peanut butter.

monster cookies 1 Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

As I’ve been typing this Mike came in with Snickers, and it occurred to me that they’re similarly chewy/chocolatey/peanutty, and that chopping one into the batter would likely be a Very Good Idea. I’ll give it a go tomorrow morning (I have an office to bring them to this week!) and report back.

Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut or almond butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups old-fashioned (large flake) oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2-1 cup chocolate chunks, chips, or M&Ms

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, beat or stir together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until creamy and smooth; beat in the egg, vanilla and salt.

Stir in the oats and baking soda, then the chocolate chunks. Drop by the spoonful onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them well apart (they spread out pretty thin), and bake for 15 minutes, or until spread out and golden. Let them cool for a bit on the baking sheet, then remove them with a thin spatula. Eat them warm.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

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September 01 2014 | cookies & squares | 19 Comments »

Apricot-Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

Kidney bean biscotti 4 Apricot Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

Our basement has become a virtual coffee maker museum. If you were to go down to my basement storage room, you’d find among the spiderwebs a French press, a vintage percolator I rescued from an about-to-be-torn-down house, a standard drip, a Chemex and an Aeropress, half a dozen bags of good beans and still I can’t make a decent cup of coffee. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I must rely on baristas to make them for me on a regular basis, and that yes, if I saved all the money I spent and put it in a jar I could go on a fabulous vacation every year, but I’d rather have all that good coffee.

kidney bean biscotti 2 585x875 Apricot Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

I’m also coming to terms with the fact that I really like something carby to go with. Generally I like my cookies chewy, with a crisp edge; dry, hard biscotti isn’t my thing, but it turns out crisp, dunkable-in-coffee biscotti totally is. I may even sneak a few in my laptop bag to the coffice.

Kidney bean biscotti Collage Apricot Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

These biscotti are made with beans, giving them a bit of a protein boost that alleviates some of the guilt associated with eating cookies for breakfast. And if I hadn’t told you, and you hadn’t seen the recipe, you’d never know – beans don’t have a particularly strong flavour, and so they’ll go along with whatever you want them to. Generally I use white kidney beans for aesthetic reasons, but I gave red ones a go out of curiosity and they turned out a lovely pecan colour. I’ll draw the line at black beans.

Related: my kitchen is still intact. But it’s getting close! These home renos are more work than I thought, particularly with a 100 year old house. Oy. Updates soon!

Apricot-Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or any combination of all-purpose and whole wheat)
1 cup oats
3/4 cup sugar (white or brown)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup canned red or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained (half a 19 oz/540 mL can)
1/4 cup orange juice or milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt; pulse until the oats are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse to blend. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.

Put the beans, juice, oil, egg and vanilla into the food processor and pulse until smooth; add to the dry ingredients along with the almonds and apricots, or whatever additions you would like to add. Stir just until the dough comes together.

Shape the dough into a log on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray (the dough will be a bit sticky-dampening your hands helps), flattening it so that it’s about 15 inches long and 4 inches wide. (Divide the dough into two if it doesn’t fit on your cookie sheet, or make longer, thinner logs for smaller biscotti.) If you like, sprinkle the top with coarse sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then cut on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices using a serrated knife. Stand the biscotti upright on the baking sheet, spacing them about half an inch apart, and bake for another 30 minutes, until crisp and dry.

Makes about 2 dozen biscotti.

pixel Apricot Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti
button print gry20 Apricot Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

May 29 2014 | breakfast and cookies & squares | 8 Comments »

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