Friday, April 30, 2010

Super Easy & Terrific Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My mouth is saturated with the aftertaste of cinnamon, honey and molasses. I am still savoring little bits of sticky cranberries and raisins in my molars. The cookie I just baked is amazing. It is so simple and perfect. Thanks to Jamison Studio for this delicious oatmeal cookie recipe.

Rule #58 in Michael Pollan's book, Food Rules says, "Do all your eating at a table." I am breaking that rule right now as I type this post with a plate of hot cookies to my left. I pray I have the willpower to stop at two.

I am so happy with these cookies because a) I experimented by using brown rice flour b) they are so easy to make it's ridiculous c) I used less sweetener than is called for in the original recipe and they are still incredibly sweet. Not only are they sweet, they have a perfect texture. I worry a little about using applesauce in cookie recipes because sometimes the cookie ends up dense and rubbery. Not these. These little gems are perfect. If you would like to see the original recipe, click on the blog above. Otherwise, what I provide below is the exact recipe I used, with all my fudging arounds. As with any recipe, substitute to your liking. Try different flours, dried fruit, spices, sweeteners, etc. The following is what I consider the perfect oatmeal cookie.

Super Easy & Terrific Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1/2 C. white whole wheat flour
1/2 C. brown rice flour
1 C. whole oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 C. raisins
1 handful dried, apple juice-sweetened cranberries
1/4 C. raw honey*
1/4 C. oil**
1/4 C. applesauce
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 egg***
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 335 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients in a separate bowl and then combine. Add in nuts, dried fruits, etc. Drop spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden colored.

*I found a jar of raw Wee Bee Honey at TJ Max, of all places. It is an east coast, raw honey all completely pesticide free. I tasted it before adding it to my recipe and it is the sweetest honey I have ever tasted. Fragrant, too. I recommend this stuff.

**You can use 1/2 C. applesauce instead of any oil, but I wanted to try using both this time.

***Jamison used 1/2 a banana instead of an egg and she said it turned out great.


Now that I'm done writing this, I realized I stopped at 3 cookies. I was hoping for only two but at least I didn't get into that over-indulging state of mind that would have beckoned me to happily have more than 3.


Brian H said...

Looks delicious. Do you find that using unrefined sweeteners prevent the bingeing that often comes with white sugar? I've never really taken the time to try to make healthier equivalents to some of the sweeter foods that I like, but it is something I would like to consider.

My Year Without said...

Hi Brian-Great question, and one I've been asked a lot recently. For me, the answer is yes and no. I don't eat entire boxes of cookies or pints of ice cream at once like I used to, but I still find myself once in a while eating more than I ought to. It's really not as bad, though, as it was with white sugar. I'd say for the most part going without white sugar DOES prevent bingeing, but that habit seems to be more psychological than anything else.

The two books that really attack that subject are "Mindless Eating" and "The End of Overeating".

Does this answer your question? I plan to write an article soon about this very subject, because it's not black and white.

Thanks for writing!

Kati said...

Those look delicious!! I'm a sucker for oatmeal raisin ;>

Ames said...

What brand of molasses do you use/recommend?

Brian H said...

Thank you for the response, that does answer my question :) I think making making healthier alternatives may for me be good practice in trying balance instead of going to extremes.

I still have not picked up those books, I'm in the middle of a few others at the moment, but I'm particularly interested in "The End of Overeating".

I look forward to reading your article on the topic.


Aubrey said...

i found your blog a little while ago and love it! I am definitly going to try these cookies!
I wondered what your take on raw unrefined cane sugar is? Do you avoid all cane and beet sugars or just refined sugars? I've also seen white crystaline fructose, but it seems like that is as refined as table sugar is so i've not tried it.

My Year Without said...

Thanks Kati!

Ames-I use anything that's blackstrap molasses and organic. Here's a great explanation of blackstrap, which I found on wikipedia:

"The third boiling of the sugar syrup makes blackstrap molasses. The majority of sucrose from the original juice has been crystallized, but blackstrap molasses is still mostly sugar by calories. However, unlike refined sugars, it contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. Blackstrap molasses is a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron; one tablespoon provides up to 20% of the daily value of each of those nutrients."

Aubrey-Great questions. I do not eat any cane or beet products except molasses. Even the "unrefined" cane sugars seem unnaturally refined to me. "Raw" is another marketing trick to get people to buy sugar. It's still basically nutrition-less sugar. I don't use fructose by itself at all, and basically my rule of thumb is that if something (sugar, flour, stevia, etc.) is a white powder, it's been refined and processed and probably most of the good stuff about the original plant has been taken out. So I avoid them. I am not an expert, but this is what I've gathered in my research.

Bri, Lanny, Ben, Jeff , Lukey & Henry said...

this marks my two-months of refined sugar free life! thanks for all your ideas. every sunday i try a new baking recipe to satisfy my Sunday dessert craving. i was wondering where you find your cranberries sweetened with apple juice, i miss the tangy taste. thanks again
ps i made the pineapple upside down cake with apples and baked in the oven in a regular cake pan and it was wonderful. i just added all the spices i use for pumpkin pie and it was fantastic!

MJ said...

Where did you find apple-juice sweetened dried cranberries?! The regular ones are just so sticky sweet as to be unrecognizable.

My Year Without said...

Depending on where you live, it can be rather difficult to find apple-juice sweetened dried cranberries. In Portland, I got them at People's Food Co-op in bulk, but now that I'm in the Arlington/DC area, I get them at MOM's health food store. Unfortunately, I have not ever found them at Whole Foods or TJ's.

My Year Without said...

I found this link where you can order the cranberries from, if all else fails:

MJ said...

Too funny, I live in Alexandria and am moving to Arlington in a couple of months! (and a couple of years ago almost moved to Portland) I'm very close to WF and TJ's right now, haven't been to a MOM. I'll have to go looking for one. Thanks for the link in the meantime!

My Year Without said...

MJ-That is funny. Since you live in Alexandria, I believe the closest MOM's is on Mt. Vernon between Del Ray and Chirilagua. The naturally-sweetened dried fruit is worth the trip! MOM's also carries other fantastic naturally-sweetened items. They have the best selection of sugar-free ice cream goods, too, in my opinion.

Leah and Mike said...

I made these for a party, I've been off refined sugar for a month now and wanted to make sure there was something at the event I could eat. I made the vegan version and had several people call me the next day for the recipe, I promptly referred them to your blog. Thanks so much for the recipes and tips, you are helping a lot of people who want to eat healthier but are too lazy to do the research themselves. I'm not much of a baker, but these were super easy.
My two year old LOVED the cookies also.