Friday, January 26, 2007

What's more stereotypically pregnant than posting about food 2 times in a row?

Oh well....

My dessert of choice is always and has always been a cookie. Crunchy packaged cookies need not apply. I'm talking about the soft, chewy goodness of a baked cookie.

My love of homemade cookies runs into two major issues every time. For starters, I inherited my mother's notion that a cookie isn't worth eating unless there are 4 more cookies to chase it with. Second, I hate excessive dish dirtying, hence why my family is rarely served a side dish. (It's pitiful, I know.)

While I have hardly mastered the first issue, with my usual technique being making cookies only occasionally, eating lots of them the first day, then insisting Pat take the remainder to work with him the next day.

The second issue of the dish dirtying is made better by any cookie recipe that doesn't require me to get the mixer out. That's two less dishes and one less appliance to wipe down when I'm done. Plus no bits of butter splattered on the wall, as I'm prone to do when creaming the butter and sugar together.

I've long been a fan of the ever so easy "Cake Cookie" recipe that a friend's mother gave to me in college. It is simply:

1 Box of your favorite cake mix (I like Funfetti)
1/3 cup of oil
2 eggs

You can mix this all with a wooden spoon, drop it on the cookie sheet, and bake them for 8-10 minutes. "Homemade" cookies for unexpected guests in less than 15 minutes and only a bowl and cookie sheet to clean-up. You can add in nuts, chocolate chips, etc and I'm sure they'd taste good with icing too.

Yesterday, when E wanted to surprise her dad with some cookies (code for "I want to stick my hand in the cookie dough when you're not looking, mom!") she suggested we make Oatmeal Raisin cookies in honor of her father's recent obsession with eating oatmeal every morning. A quick search on (my favorite recipe site), I found an Oatmeal Raisin recipe with a high rating that didn't require beaters...SCORE! And they were seemingly a bit more healthy than some of the other options...EXTRA POINT!

We only ended up making half a batch because of an unexpected oatmeal shortage (guess I better starting buying the BIG can), so we made a few modifications that still turned out well.

The Original Recipe

Our Modified Recipe for a Half Batch

* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup whole wheat white flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
* 1/2 cup wheat bran
* 1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, mix canola oil, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the oats, wheat bran, and raisins last. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

The half batch yielded 16 medium sized cookies. The right amount for E and I to ruin our lunch, have some for her dad and an unexpected visit from my mom and step-dad, with only 3 left to taunt us this morning. Perfect!

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