Monday, May 9, 2011

Chewy-Crunchy Oat, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Cookies

My little guy has a couple favorite cookies from Grandma's house.  Unfortunately, they are now off-limits since they aren't gluten or sugar free.   I've promised him that I will try to recreate them in a way that he can eat them.
Tonight, I got two thumbs up from both of My Guys on this favorite.  An oatmeal cookie with cranberries, white chocolate chips, and toasted walnuts.    There is a bit of refined sugar in these, with the white chocolate chips, but I consider that minimal sugar.    I'm okay with that.  If you're not, then it would be easy to leave the chips out - just add more cranberries and walnuts....or possibly add in some coconut too.   Actually, this recipe would also be good as just a plain oatmeal cookie, or with chocolate or carob chips too.
I used Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix to make these.   That mix has baking soda, baking powder, and salt already in it, so I didn't need to add those to the cookie mix.

Now that I know they like them, next time, I will do the work of soaking and drying the oats before baking with them.   I didn't want to waste all of that time and energy until I knew I had a winner!

Now - if I could just nail the Raisin Filled Cookie that the little guy keeps asking me to make.

Chewy-Crunchy Oat, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Cookies
1 cup butter (I used a lightly salted Kerrygold Irish butter, but an unsalted butter would work just fine too, I'm sure)
1 1/4 cup Coconut Palm Sugar
2 large eggs  - mine were pretty large, pastured eggs.  Bigger than most large eggs I would think.  If your dough seems a bit dry, you might need to add a third egg.
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups Pamela's Baking Mix
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups Gluten Free Oats
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with a mixer at medium speed. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Gradually add the baking mix and cinnamon and mix on low until smooth.
Stir in the oats, white chocolate, walnuts, and cranberries until evenly distributed. 

Using a two tablespoon cookie scoop,  scoop dough out onto cookie sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes.
You will need to let them cool before eating them - these (like most gluten-free cookies) will be crumbly until they've cooled.  Then they become nice and chewy.
 This post has been shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, hosted by Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Breakfast For Dinner...again.

We had breakfast for dinner again last night.  I admit it - I'm slightly obsessed with breakfast foods for dinner.  Or as my husband said - "breakfast for dinner, and dinner for breakfast.".    He's right.   I'm odd like that.   I love traditionally dinner type foods for breakfast.  This morning, I had a fruit smoothie and slices of smoked turkey.   That made me very happy!    But back to breakfast for dinner....

I knew yesterday that we would need a quick dinner, and breakfast for me is so easy to whip up, and can be done at a moments notice (like the minute the Big Guy walks in the door from work), so yesterday morning I took some rolled oats (gluten free) and a little bit of flour, and started soaking it in a cultured buttermilk.   Okay - another sidetrack.   I can get the most wonderful, organic, cultured, (think like with cultures similar to yogurt or kefir) cream-line buttermilk at Harvest Health Foods.   LOVE that!

Anyway, I let that all sit together on the counter for the day, while I went about my business.  Really, making food from scratch doesn't have to take a long time, it just needs a tiny bit of planning ahead.   The other thing I did was take a jar of applesauce out of the freezer.   Last Fall, I froze about 30 pints of applesauce.   Why did I freeze it instead of canning it?   Well, because I could!   I had limited time, and 2 bushels of apples, and freezing it was much less labor intensive than canning.    So, my applesauce is out of the freezer, and my oats are soaking.   Soaking the oats in a fermenting agent like buttermilk helps to reduce the phytic acid in the grain, and makes it much more digestible.  And as I discovered, it also made from some incredibly light, fluffy pancakes too!

When it came time to actually make dinner, I had the rest of the ingredients for pancakes ready to go and mixed up in about 5 minutes.  Then, while flipping pancakes, I made fried eggs for us (sunny side up for The Big Guy, and over easy for me.  The Little Guy still refuses to eat eggs this way - more later on how he eats an egg every morning without knowing it!), and heated the jar of applesauce in a pan of water on the stove.   Pancakes, eggs, and applesauce.   That was dinner.    I know - not a green vegetable in sight.   We might have one tonight with dinner though. :)

Soaked Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

1 1/4 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/4 cup gluten free oat flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
2 Tablespoons raw, local honey (or your sweetener of choice)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum  (although next time, I may try without, and add an extra egg for more binding power)
2 Cups Cultured Buttermilk (or one cup plain yogurt and one cup whole milk) - separated.
2 large eggs - lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

8-10 Hours ahead of time (so evening if you'll be making these for breakfast, and morning if making then for dinner)  Combine the Oats, Oat Flour, and Almond Flour in a large bowl, and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the Buttermilk.  Cover and let sit.  (I just push mine back into a corner of the counter).

To mix up batter - sprinkle the baking soda, sea salt, and xanthan gum over the top of the oat mixture and stir into batter, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine.  (don't forget the last 1/2 cup of buttermilk!)  If you like thinner pancakes, you might want to add a little bit extra liquid (buttermilk or milk) to thin it out.  I like thick fluffy pancakes, so the thick batter is fine with me.  :)

Grease a large skillet - I use my wonderful, fabulous double burner griddle for this - and heat on medium.   I use coconut oil and just plop a couple tablespoons on the griddle and let it slide around and melt.   Also - NO MORE than medium heat.  I heat mine to medium and then turn it down to medium low.   These are not quicky pancakes - you want them to cook slowly, because they are thick and dense, and if you try to cook them too quickly, they'll be burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. Unless of course, that's the way you like your pancakes...
Scoop your pancake batter onto the heated griddle.   I use a 1/4 cup cookie scoop.  It makes the perfect sized pancake for us, and I use the back of the scoop to flatten out and spread the pancake on the griddle.   Let the pancake cook until it looks like the edges are dried.  These won't bubble so much, so what you're looking for is for the pancake to be done around the edges.  They are a little delicate, and if you try to flip before the edges are done, you'll probably have a mess.   Be patient!    After flipping, let them cook for a couple more minutes, then transfer to a plate and serve.  

I like mine double stacked, with butter on both cakes, and maple syrup in the middle, and then I heap applesauce over the top.    Oh, and with 2 over easy fried eggs on the side.   YUM!