Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I promise I've been eating reasonably healthy* but most of our dinners lately have been repeats or duds. But I've also been baking. This is the first in a series for my Christmas cookie trays and may be my favorite. DH really likes these and I think I might make an extra batch to bring down to my in-laws since it seems right up their alley too.

We debated cranberries versus cherries and I'm glad we went with cherries, they give a brighter, sweeter pop to the cookies. You could leave them whole if you went with a bigger cookie of course, but at the same time, chopped gives them a more consistent flavor.

This recipe opens up to a lot of variations - I've provided alterations for a vegan version as well as a non-vegan version (what most people expect from a cookie.) It's the mix-ins that make it. It's really just a variation on my Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies but adapted to make it Christmas-y ... and to use up the several cups of mint I have frozen in the freezer (I underestimated the yield of one bunch and so bought extra.) You'll notice a halved amount of fat. I left 1/4 cup out by accident and it worked so I went with it.

Christmas Chip Cookies
Yield: 2-3 dozen

You need:
1/4 C butter or butter substitute, cold
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 T ground flax in 3 T lukewarm water (or 1 large egg)
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C bread flour
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t baking powder
1 heart pinch salt
1 C semi-sweet chips or chunks
1 1/2 C old-fashioned rolled oats
6 T fresh mint, minced
1/2 C dried cherries, chopped

1. Cream butter and sugars
2. Add egg/flax and vanilla, do not completely mix in
3. Add flours, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder, thoroughly mix
4. Add in remaining ingredients
5. Cover and chill. The flavors are best if you let it age at least one day, no more than two but it is ready to bake after an hour.  Roll the dough in parchment paper and twist the ends shut to have slice and bake cookies, but you can freeze as a lump and just scoop out when you're ready to bake.
6. Preheat over to 350 F
7. Bake 1 oz. slices (or rounded tablespoons) on parchment lined baking sheets for 15 minutes, until slightly browned on the edges.

Note: I read somewhere that the best cookies are 4 ounces. These cookies were for cookie trays and I didn't think a giant cookie is what people need around Christmas.

*my new trainer is very into fit riders, which makes sense, but makes me self conscious about the fact I still collapse when things get hard, thankfully she likes that I try and I have soft aids, even they need to be turned up a lot with her schoolmaster.

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