Groomsmen Cookies – Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

IMG_5140Wedding is tomorrow!  So, I can’t help myself but to bake.  I am making some cookies to take over for the groomsmen.  Tonight is the rehearsal dinner.  It should be lots of fun!  Everyone is just relaxing at the Chapman house.  The neighbours sent over some beautiful flowers, so I will share the picture.

Currently, Jonathan is on the road from Windsor.  I called him last night to make sure that he packed the wedding rings!  They are (kind of) important.  I am so excited to be marrying my best friend.  He makes me happy each and every day.  He is the kindest, most generous, loving and smart person I know!  All of the wedding planning has been done, and now we just relax and enjoy.  It is going to be a beautiful day.  I can’t wait to put on my wedding dress, and see all of my bridesmaids in the deep eggplant purple dresses.IMG_5143IMG_5139

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup sugar

1 egg

¼ cup maple syrup

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oats.

In your mixer bowl beat the sugar and butter.  Then add egg, vanilla extract and maple syrup.  Slowly add in flour and oat mixture until combined.  Add chocolate chips til just combined.

Use a 1 inch cookie scoop and place cookies on baking sheet.  Flatten slightly with your fingers.  Bake for 9 minutes until they are just slightly golden around the edges.  Let cool.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Cookies – New Recipe!

One of my favourite cookies is the classic oatmeal cookie.  There are many different variations and ways to modify this recipe, I was browsing through the Martha Stewart website for ideas, but then I decided on my own recipe.  My tips and added touches to the classic oatmeal cookie are to add cinnamon, honey and butter!  The recipe makes about two dozen medium sized cookies or three dozen smaller cookies.  Really, two dozen is a perfect amount, and they will last about a week at room temperature in an air-tight container – if you don’t eat them first.  The best part about baking cookies versus store bought is that there are no preservatives and I know exactly what is in them (which is good when you have severe food allergies).

Freshly baked cookies have given the condo a warm delightful smell.  Baking is really what makes a place home – so now that I have made cookies in this condo, it is officially home.  Jonathan and I have many new kitchen utensils and a fancy toaster from Williams Food Equipment in Windsor.  The sign in front of the store says “The Candy Store for Cooks,” and it really lives up to its name.  I look forward to building a collection of even more kitchen gadgets and utensils.  For now, I have all the cooking tools I need and I am very excited to make Christmas cookies and many more recipes.

Jonathan and I are settled into the new condo and even the mantle is looking more like home, with a Christmas decoration, an engagement gift and some cards.  There are many Christmas decorations out in the stores and it makes it feel like there is not long before Christmas.  Jonathan’s parents gave us the reindeer and sleigh decoration, which is from Timeless Treasures in Windsor, next to Vito’s Pizzeria.  We had a wonderful lunch at Vito’s Pizzeria when my parents and Jonathan’s parents visited last weekend.  It was exciting to show off the new condo and some of the great restaurants in Windsor that we have discovered so far.

*Fun fact: Windsor Table Salt is from Windsor, Ontario (my new home!)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Windsor salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour,
    baking powder, baking soda,
    cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt
    into a bowl. Beat butter and
    sugars until pale and fluffy. Mix
    in egg, vanilla, and honey, then flour
    mixture. Mix in oats.
  2. Using a 1 1/4-inch ice cream
    scoop (or 1 tablespoon), drop
    dough onto parchment-lined
    baking sheets, spacing each
    scoop about 2 inches apart. Bake
    until edges are golden, about
    12-14 minutes. (Mine took 13min)
  3. Let cookies cool on a wire rack.

Decadent White Chocolate Chip Cookies

This week I visited Jonathan in Waterloo.  He was doing research for his M.A thesis and I did some baking! When these cookies came out of the oven Jonathan said they were like a white chocolate version of the President’s Choice “The Decadent” Chocolate Chip Cookies (which is a good thing).  Cookies are wonderful brain food for writers.  Many famous and brilliant thinkers would not have accomplished their great works had it not been for nourishing food and delicious cookies, I’m sure!

The texture of these cookies is similar to shortbread with a rich buttery flavour.   The brown sugar added depth and richness and the white chocolate chips gave a sense of fun.  My younger Sarah sister claims that white chocolate is a waste of time and not real chocolate, however, I think even she would enjoy these cookies.

In other news, Jonathan and I went to a restaurant yesterday for a date night in Kitchener and were very disappointed.  It was a new Italian restaurant that boasted in-house made pasta.  Unfortunately, just because it’s made in house, doesn’t mean it’s going to be good – the pasta was chewy and dry.  I will not even post a picture of the dinner or name the restaurant.  What I will tell you is that the Oliver and Bonacini Cafe Grill in Waterloo continues to be my favourite restaurant for pasta and pizza.  Below see a photo of my favourite dish from Oliver and Bonacini.  It is a scrumptious smoked salmon penne alla vodka.  This dish is seriously heavenly and I hope to recreate it in my kitchen sometime soon!

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups white chocolate chips

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.

3. Beat in the vanilla until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.

4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time (for giant cookies) or a tablespoon at a time (for smaller cookies) onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

5. Bake larger cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, or 10 to 12 minutes for smaller ones (check your cookies before they’re done; depending on your scoop size, your baking time will vary) in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies (Vegan!)

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently discovered the blog 101 Cookbooks.  After yesterday’s great success, I decided to try the carrot oatmeal cookie recipe this morning.  It has many ingredients that I love (carrots, oats, and maple syrup) so I felt I couldn’t go wrong.  I don’t want to over exaggerate, but this recipe is truly amazing! I could eat a million of these – okay a little bit of hyperbole – but they are just so flavourful with a perfect cookie texture.  It is definitely one of my new top five favourite cookies.

I feel like these could also be considered a breakfast cookie because they have the light sugary flavour from the maple syrup, relaxing oats, and always delicious carrots.  Perhaps they could be considered healthy-ish.  Adding carrots makes everything healthier right?  Also – no eggs – which makes them vegan!  The cookies went perfectly with a cup of tea and I have eaten four already.

The recipe makes the perfect amount of small cookies (about two dozen) and not that much mess.  One bowl to clean up, which is not bad, considering the major messes I have made in the kitchen in the past.  Jonathan and my Mom will attest to some of my huge kitchen chaos moments.

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour (you could use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats (I was bad and used quick oats, but they seemed to work out)
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup real maple syrup, room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil (the original recipe calls for coconut oil)
½ teaspoon of ground ginger and ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and oats. Add the shredded carrots.  Measure out the maple syrup and canola oil and then add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Drop onto prepared baking sheets, one level tablespoonful at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on top and bottom.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Austrian Jam Cookies

I was craving cookies, so I found this recipe on the AllRecipes.com website.  As always I made a few minor changes to the recipe.  The cookies turned out very well; they weren’t overly sweet and they were nice and soft.  The black raspberry preserve that I used gave a delightful and sweet flavour to the cookies.  It makes a small batch of cookies, so if you want more than 15-16 cookies you should double the recipe.

These cookies are traditionally Christmas cookies, but I think they are delicious for any time of the year.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • tiny pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup chopped almonds (I didn’t add these, but you can, if you like almonds)
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam (I used a Seedless black raspberry preserve from Abbott Farms, but you can use any jam.)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, tiny pinch of salt and egg yolk; mix until fluffy. Stir in the flour, and refrigerate dough for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease cookie sheets.
  3. Measure out the dough with a small spoon, and roll into balls. Dip the balls into chopped almonds and set on the prepared cookie sheet 1 inch apart.  (I didn’t use almonds here, but if you like almonds add them.)
  4. With a finger, make an indention in each cookie and fill the indention up with jam using a teaspoon.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, cookies should be golden brown. Remove from pan after baking to cool on a wire rack.
  6. This recipe makes about 16 small cookies, so double it, if you want more.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodles are a fluffy, delightful, cinnamon cookie that is good for any time of the year.   My sister Sarah originally thought there were Snickers bars in these cookies – but no such luck, they are nut and chocolate free.  Perfect for me!

The cookies look delicate and delicious on a fancy plate.  I have photographed them here on an antique plate that has little feet.  As a small child, furniture and cake plates with little feet always seemed amusing.  I fully understand why adults adore them.  While I was at it, I brought out tea cups because tea and coffee tastes better in a fancy cup.  This is the reason why most people have a favourite mug or tea cup in their cupboard – something constant and cheery.

P.S: Jonathan – we are going to have lots of tea cups and antique plates in our future home for afternoon tea or when my Mom or sisters drop by.  You can tell by my Pinterest page that I have thought about our future home, and what I will bake in the future.

Ingredients

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

½ tsp cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Coating:

1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated white sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 to 3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. If the dough is soft, cover and refrigerate until firm (about one to two hours).

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Shape the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) round balls.

5. In a large shallow bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

6. Roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar and place on the prepared pan, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

7. Bake the cookies for about 8 – 10 minutes, or until they are light golden brown and firm around the edges.

8. The centers of the cookies will still be a little soft. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Can store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for about 10 days.  Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies are one of my favourites.  Since I’m allergic to chocolate, it is always disappointing to see oatmeal cookies at a party and find that they are actually oatmeal chocolate chip.  I searched the internet for a new recipe and I found this wonderful one from the blog Smitten Kitchen.

These cookies were nice and chunky and had the perfect amount of raisins.  The recipe makes a half batch, so about 2 dozen small oatmeal cookies, which is perfect for Jonathan and I.  The recipe can be doubled if you need a mountain of cookies or if you are going to freeze half of the dough.  Most cookie dough can be frozen for up to a month.  Should you chose to freeze them, form the dough into cookie sized balls and freeze them in a freezer bag.

Whenever oats are mentioned around Jonathan, he always pipes up that the Quaker Oats factory is located in Peterborough, Ontario – where he is from. He loves to tell people how in the summer, the downtown core always smells quite yummy. Maybe Peterborough is on to something – something delicious!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (large flake oats, not instant!)
3/4 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together.  Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture.
  4. Then stir in the oats, and raisins.
  5. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.  Chilling the cookie dough will ensure the cookies are chunky and don’t turn thin in the oven.
  6. Form the cookies to your desired size, place cookies approximately 2 inches apart, and then bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges.
  7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes after they come out of the oven.
  8. Then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

Gingersnaps

When it comes to cookies, ginger snaps have to be the best.  I was looking around the web for healthy cookies and came across this recipe.  Three modifications from the original recipe were made: I did not use turbinado sugar or whole-wheat pastry flour and I added ¼ tsp of black pepper.  The canola oil makes these cookies lighter, but they still have a delightful crunch.  When you make these yourself, they aren’t as processed and tough like a store bought ginger snap.  Overall, the cookies were simple to make and turned out amazingly.  They are perfect for afternoon tea or as an afternoon snack.

Jonathan is coming to Aurora for the weekend to celebrate my birthday, so I thought it would be nice to have some cookies.  He is looking forward to the benefits of having a food blogger as a fiancée.  In the freezer there are lemon squares and a daisy cupcake that I have frozen for him.  These treats haven’t been in the freezer long, so they will hold up perfectly.

After all of the baking I have been doing, my Mom said she was going to make me a fresh fruit platter instead of cake.  Fruit kabobs are delicious, but I will wait and see what she makes.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine and whisk together the dry ingredients.  In a separate smaller bowl mix the oil, egg, and molasses.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well until it forms a dough.
  3. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in white sugar before placing 2 inches apart on a non-stick baking sheet. Do not flatten.
  4. Bake the cookies until set, but still soft when gently touched, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.