Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Freshly Baked Cookies and Tea.

While traveling and tasting many sweets around Europe, one of my fondest memories wasn’t some visually stunning Viennese petit four, or some overly sweetened Marzipan cake. It was a cookie. And it wasn’t even European. It was good ol’ American.. Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin. The ingredients.. the Plugra sweet butter, the fragrant Cinnamon and the plump raisins may have been European, which always seems to make things taste better, but there was something else about this cookie that just hit the spot for me. It could have been that after months of trying many things unfamiliar, and many things downright strange, it was nice to just sink my teeth into something that tasted familiar, like home.
(and believe me, it was damn good.)

Our family friend, Beth, lives in a beautiful flat in seaside Portugal, with windows that open wide to let in stunning views of the ocean and gentle sea breezes. As we walked up to her flat on the third floor, wafting down to greet us was the sweet and warm smell of cinnamon and brown sugar. Here, she was even feeling under the weather, but she mustered up the energy to bake us cookies and brew us some strong black tea…the most welcome treat…

Today, as my second installment of Whisk, I wanted to try to recreate these cookies. This is hard to do, since I have no Butter or Eggs, and most of my favorite cookie recipes call for these ingredients. So, instead, I decided to go the Vegan route. (even though I am far from being Vegan myself) Using only what I have on hand, my wish was to recreate a good and hearty oatmeal cookie.

Ingredients that I have on hand: Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Banana, Thick Rolled Oats, Raisins, Vanilla, Kosher Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Vegetable Oil, Coconut

Recipe that I came up with:
Oatmeal, Raisin and Coconut Cookies..

2/3 c vegetable oil (or, be creative and try a more heart healthy oil..)
½ c brown sugar
½ c sugar
1 banana
½ teas vanilla extract

1 ½ c whole wheat pastry flour
½ teas baking soda
½ teas baking powder
½ teas kosher salt
½ teas cinnamon
2/3 c raisins
2/3 c thick rolled oats
1/3 c sweetened coconut

• Preheat Oven to 350
• With a hand mixer, mix the first five ingredients until a little thickened and thoroughly blended.
• In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients, then add to the wet mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined..
• Add the raisins, oats and coconut at the end, and mix just to combine.
• Place by heaping spoonful onto silpat and tray and bake for about 20 minutes, turning the sheets after the first 10 minutes, to ensure even browning…
• Yields around 24…

These actually turned out surprisingly good, especially warm out of the oven. There is a hint of banana flavor, so it helps if you like banana. Also, I would recommend trying a different kind of oil, something a little more heart healthy might be good, and this will make the cookies that much more healthy. I wonder if a nut oil might be good, especially walnut… I also think chocolate would be good, substituted for the raisins!

*Of course, I have to mention, since I was looking to recreate a cookie that was reminiscent of the wonderful cookies in Portugal.. although good, this vegan variation fell a little short of its Portuguese counterpart! looks like I wont be becoming a vegan anytime soon :)

1 comment:

amy said...

i wish i had me some Sara cookies right about now