Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recipe: Oatmeal Berry Blend Cookies

I have a real live cookie monster in my house. He is in the form of a four year old. This boy has it bad for cookies and I have to constantly keep his love for them under control. I assume some of the responsibility though... I can make a pretty mean cookie.  One of the food rules we follow is making our treats, not buying them. This helps not only to control the ingredients but it also makes it a more enjoyable experience. My boys get to help make them and the reward is always worth the work and wait. Additionally, it naturally controls the frequency. Boxed or bagged cookies? No way, totally not worth it for this family.

Inspired by a craving I had for oatmeal raisin cookies, I came up with a little tweak on a traditional oatmeal raisin cookie. Oatmeal Berry Blend Cookies. This cookie was another hit. I am going to go as far as suggesting it as a totally acceptable breakfast choice. It's sweetened only by honey and the mix of dried berries, cherries and raisins. I used a mix called "Golden Berry Blend" from Trader Joe's in place of just raisins. But this cookie can be made with any dried fruit you like. Keep in mind, this cookie is not sugary sweet. It doesn't have that unique brown sugar taste traditional oatmeal raisin cookies usually have. Don't let that deter you though. It's got eye appeal, a hearty texture and you can feel good about the ingredients residing inside. And I feel strongly that if the kids dig it, it's gotta be good, especially when it comes to treats. They're certainly my biggest critics.

Oatmeal Berry Blend Cookies

1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Large Egg
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour or Whole Wheat Cake Flour
2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Mix of Dried Cranberries, Golden Raisins, Blueberries and Cherries (or just one fruit)

1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Place the butter and honey in a bowl and beat for 1 minute.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat for another minute or until smooth.
4. In a separate bowl, mix to combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix to incorporate.
6. Stir in the dried fruit then scoop 1/4 cup of dough (I use a two inch scoop) for each cookie onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
7. Bake for 15 minutes. Start checking at 12 minutes. Don't over bake!
8. Cool and serve.

Please note: I make large cookies. I only got nine cookies out of this recipe. If you prefer, use a traditional size cookie scoop or tablespoon and adjust cook time. You'll get at least double the amount of cookies. Enjoy!

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