Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

This is a recipe I adapted from an oatmeal cookie recipe on Weightwatchers.com.  Instead of the suggested raisins, I added dried cranberries and some orange zest.  They come together really fast and are easy to make  The best part is that you can eat two of them and only cost yourself 4 points!

NOTE: The recipe calls for softened butter.  If you’re like me the cookie-making urge strikes with little warning — certainly less than would be required for softening butter.  If you find yourself in this position, don’t melt the butter, it’ll completely change your cookies.  Just stick it in the microwave in a ramekin for about 15 seconds.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked quick oats
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ cut butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ tbsp fresh orange zest

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl. Place butter in a large bowl or in the bowl of a mixer and beat butter for a few seconds. Gradually add sugars and beat to combine.
  3. Add egg white to butter mixture and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients and beat to combine.
  4. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto 2 ungreased cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Bake until set and golden, about 11 to 14 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool. Yields 2 cookies per serving.
Advertisements

White Peach and Blueberry Buckle

White Peach and Blueberry Buckle

White Peach and Blueberry Buckle

In truth this comes out tasting very much like a coffee cake, but saying, “I’m making a buckle” is just so much more fun.

I adapted a recipe from Taste of Home to include white peaches and added a little more milk and vanilla to to the batter.

Served shortly after coming out of the oven with some vanilla ice cream, this is really tasty.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ milk (maybe more as needed)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup white peaches, peeled, and sliced into pieces

Topping

  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup cold butter, cubed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla.  Beat in egg, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.  Fold in fruit, pour into greased 9-in square baking pan.
  3. For topping, in a small bowl combine the sugar flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over batter.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Approx. 9 servings

Weight Watchers Points: 5 (excluding ice cream)

Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

We’ve always been big dessert fans in my family.  Growing up there was a baked good for every occassion (and quite a few non-occassions for that matter).   The tried and true classics never failed to make my day: Wheatie Cookies, Denver Sheet Cake, Scotcheroos, No Bake Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cake — the list goes on and on.  Nothing was ever from a mix and you could taste the love in every bite.  Every once in a while, though,  Mom would stray on to that rocky road less travelled.  What was for her, I’m sure, a way to keep things interesting and try something new, to me felt like cruelty.  The one that I remember most clearly was a chocolate sauerkraut cake.  Yes, that’s right.  Sauerkraut.  You don’t want that in cake, do you?   If I’d known who to call, I would have reported her for crimes against chocolate.

Though I’m still a staunch protector of chocolate, I’d like to think I’ve matured beyond fake gagging at the mere mention of cabbage in any form.  I have since gained a healthy appreciation for sauerkraut.  Enthusiasm even. So when I discovered this Weight Watchers recipe for chocolate cake with sauerkraut, it felt like destiny.  As it turns out, the flavor of sauerkraut is undetectable.  The cake is moist and delicious and only 6 points per slice.  Sorry, Mom.  Don’t you ever get tired of being right?

 

Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 spray cooking spray
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ⅓ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey special dark)
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • I add a capful of almond extract as well
  • 1 cup of sauerkraut rinsed, drained and pureed until smooth
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a Bundt pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and 2/3 cup of cocoa. Add melted butter, hot water and vanilla extract; mix well. Add sauerkraut and blend thoroughly.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake in center of oven until a tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Cool cake in pan for about 20 minutes and then turn out onto a baking rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder before slicing into 14 pieces. Yields 1 slice per serving.

Five-Spice Ice Cream and Almond Cookies

5 Spice Ice Cream and Almond Cookies

From last night’s Chinese dinner party, here are two of the recipes that I have.  The 5 spice ice cream is really tasty and works extremely well with Darlene’s gingerbread cake — I’ll work on getting that recipe too.  The almond cookies were the also-ran of the desserts last night, but I’m actually really enjoying them today.  They practically demand that you brew some tea.  They’re very bossy cookies.

I found the recipe for the ice cream from the food network from everyone’s favorite Chinese chef, Emeril Lagasse.  Go Figure.  The almond cookies came from about.com.

Five-Spice Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds scraped
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 whole egg yolks

Directions

Combine the half-and-half, five-spice, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds and salt in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, then immediately remove the saucepan from the heat.

In a large bowl add the sugar and egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add the half-and-half mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, to the beaten eggs and sugar, whisking after each addition. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Transfer the bowl to an ice bath and stir frequently until custard is completely cool. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Pour the filling into an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for churning time. Remove the ice cream from the machine and transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, about 8 hours.

Almond Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (can add up to 2 more tablespoons, if desired)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 30 whole, blanched almonds (one for each cookie)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter or margarine, shortening, and sugar. Add the egg and almond extract and beat until well blended. Add to the flour mixture and mix well. Note: The dough will be crumbly at this point, but don’t worry – that is what it’s supposed to be like.
  2. Use your fingers to form the mixture into a dough, and then form the dough into 2 rolls or logs that are 10 to 12 inches long. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours (this will make it easier to shape the dough into circles).
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  4. Take a log and lightly score the dough at 3/4 inch intervals so that you have 15 pieces and cut the dough. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a lightly greased cookie tray, approximately 1 1/2 inches apart. Place an almond in the center of each cookie and press down lightly. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Brush each cookie lightly with beaten egg before baking. Bake for 15 minutes to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and store in a sealed container.