Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chocolate, Oatmeal or Peanut Butter

I cannot believe this is my first post on cookies but it definitely is. So to make up for the delay, I'm presenting three cookie recipes. The first recipe was adapted from the back of an oatmeal canister which I've managed to make my own by changing a few of the ingredients which is a good thing since I don't really remember what brand of oatmeal this recipe came from. The second offering is a cookie I first baked for a friend and I have loved it since then. The recipe is actually from Dave Liebovitz's blog, My Life in Paris so I'll leave most of the details to him, him being a pastry chef. Last but not least is a gluten free cookie taken from the Food Magazine cookbook from back home. This flourless cookie defies all odds in terms of taste and texture you will be amazed at how simple it is to make them.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Oatmeal cookies are I think one of the most versatile cookies ever discovered and that is a good thing. I have a friend, Fatima or was it Maribel, who makes the best oatmeal cookies when I was in high school. It was a treat to get one from them by just being persistent (read: begging like hell). I never asked for the recipe nor will they have parted with it come to think of it now that the discovery of this innocuous recipe at the back of the oatmeal canister I bought a long time ago seemed like a godsend. For those who do not like raisins, you can easily swap it out with chocolate chips, nuts or almost anything you like.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisin

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and milk.
    Mix well.

3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add to the  
    butter mixture. Mix well.

4. Stir in oatmeal and raisins.

5. Using rounded tablespoons, spoon drops of dough onto prepared  
    cookie sheet, placing them 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 -10 minutes  
    or until edges are light brown. Do not overbake.

6. Let it stand for 5 minutes on the baking pan before removing to wire
    racks to cool.

As an alternative, you can substitute the raisins with 1 cup chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or 1 cup raisins and 1 cup chopped nuts of choice. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Back in the early 90s, Chips Ahoy! became the new toast in town that everyone who was anyone had a bag of Chips Ahoy! in their person much like carrying a tiny dog as a status symbol in Hollywood at the preset time. For me who was on a fixed allowance, I had to save up for a couple of weeks before I could even splurge on one bag and boy were they good. Or was is just a matter of convincing myself that anything imported must be good! When I went to the US for graduate school, I got over them really quickly as they were just everywhere and the novelty value I had for them just went away. Poof!

I seldom bake chocolate chip cookies and the most fun I had with them was watching an episode of Friends when they tried to recreate a recipe that was found in the back of the Nestle Toll House packet, unbeknownst to them. Then along came Dave Liebovitz and I finally found a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I'm actually not adverse to making for myself. This cookie is just delicious!

*Peanut Butter Cookies - Adapted

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
The last offering in the cookie post is a gluten free cookie. Made only with peanut butter, eggs, sugar and nuts, it is amazing how this cookie actually does not fall apart in your hands. It reminds me of M&M's' mantra, "Melts in your mouth, not your hands." Word of caution though, cool the dough prior to baking. It tends to get too wet when warm so a cold cookie dough keeps them from turning into a pancake in the oven. The cooling process after baking is also essential so it is best if you have two baking pans for this cookie. 

2 c creamy peanut butter
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped peanuts (or walnuts)

1. Preheat oven at 350°F

2. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar and eggs. Mix well  
    using a wooden spoon until smooth and well blended.

3. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

4. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls, two inches apart on a lined cookie  
    sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Let 
    cool on the cookie sheet for five minutes before transferring to a 
    wire rack. Let cool completely.

5. Store in airtight containers to keep from getting soggy.

Note: Cookies look soggy coming out from the oven. Allow to set for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. A wooden cutting board also works well for these soft cookies.  

* Best of Food Magazine, ABS-CBN Publishing, 2001

Addendum: The peanut butter cookies in the post look raw but they are perfectly baked. I used an organic peanut butter so it was a lot wetter than I anticipated. I've made this with Jiff peanut butter and it came out perfectly. I'll rebake a small batch soon to allay any concerns you may have.  

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