Monday, July 23, 2007

Oatmeal Cookies With Crystallized Ginger And Dried Cherries

As I've said elsewhere on this blog, several times I'm sure, I'm not the baker in my family. My mother was the baker extraordinaire, passing that gene along to both of my sisters. So I'm always surprised when I bake something and it turns out fairly tasty.

Like this afternoon. I suddenly got a hankering for something sweet to nibble with my tea. Searching around the kitchen, it became clear that if I wanted this sweet something, I was going to have to make it. Plus, it had to be low in sugar and high(er) in fiber than your average sweet something.

So here's what I came up with. It took less than an hour from taking the butter out of the fridge to taking the first bite. A pretty-good tea cookie that earned me Mr CC's Taster Seal of Approval.

You can use all butter and all sugar if you want. Or, these can be made vegan by using all Earth Balance and substituting 1 medium banana for each egg. A smart trick my daughter-in-law, Amy, shared with me. I decided to use the Splenda blends because I wanted a lower carb cookie and because cookies need some sugar in them to bake properly.

Oatmeal Cookies with Crystallized Ginger and Dried Cherries
Click here to print recipe
Christine's original recipe
1 cube Earth Balance Buttery Stick
1 cube unsalted butter
1/2 cup
Splenda/Brown Sugar Blend (or you can use 1 cup brown sugar)
1/2 cup
Splenda/Sugar Blend
(or you can use 1/2 cup sugar)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract

1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick cooking oats
3/4 cup organic dried bing cherries (cranberries or blueberries would work fine)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and place racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.
In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed until it's smooth and fluffy.
Add the sugars and continue to mix until incorporated.
Add the eggs, one at a time, plus the teaspoon vanilla, and mix until incorporated.
Lower the speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture. Mix until the dough is smooth and all the flour is incorporated.
Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the oats, dried fruit and crystallized ginger.
Drop the dough by tablespoonsful on ungreased cookie sheets.
Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, switching the cookie sheets halfway through the baking time.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before tranferring to a wire rack to cool. Repeat process with the rest of the cookie dough.

This recipe yielded about 40 2 1/2-in cookies. It probably would have yielded more, but I'm a cookie dough nibbler. Just can't help myself.

Dedicated to Di and Cynthia: Bakers extraordinaire.

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