Craisin & White Choc Oatmeal Cookies

I’ve had an urge to bake cookies this week – I think it’s the cold, rainy weather – far more than I’ve actually had an urge to eat cookies. Surely I’m not the only person that craves the cook more than the result sometimes? However, the result of this urge wasn’t exactly a hardship: chewy, soft cookies that are tart and just sweet enough. Better yet, the result was just that little bit different to a standard chocolate chip cookie (not that I would ever badmouth such a classic!), without being as indulgent as my Reeces snickerdoodles or blackforest cookies (neither of which have made it to my blog, but surely I won’t hold on you forever!), and therefore the perfect compromise.

At 130 calories per cookie, these are pretty standard in terms of your chocolate chip biscuit, which was reassuring, because some cookies hit double this without much increase in size or flavour, and really, you want your treats to be worth it. To me, I haven’t met a cookie worth nearly 300 calories, but I find 130 calories is easy to build into a reasonable day. And really, we’re all entitled to a little treat now and then. The more time I spend in this healthier lifestyle, the less I worry about numbers. It’s a liberating feeling, but I still like knowing what I’m eating, so I keep tabs on caloric values, even if I no longer count them like I used to.

Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 egg

1tsp vanilla extract

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup self raising flour

pinch of salt

3/4 cup craisins

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175C and line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat sugars and butter for 5 minutes, until pale and creamy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat to incorporate.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add to butter mixture a little at a time, mixing until completely combined.
  4. Roll tablespoonfuls into balls and place 8 on each tray, leaving a few centimetres for slight spreading.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes until firm and golden. Cool on tray for a few minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

NB from Master 12, Miss 9 and The Husband: apparently, they make a fantastic ice cream sandwich.

NB from Mac the dog:


“I am the goodest boy and didn’t eat the cookies, even though Mama left us together unsupervised. She should reward me. With cookies.”

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Pumpkin and Fruit Protein Cookies

It’s always great looking for fresh, new snacks that get me happy to be cooking and ready for the week ahead. Bliss balls, veggie muffins, any little thing I can munch on mid-morning to get me through the work day, that not just satisfies my hunger, but also my desire for yummy, interesting food. I’m a creature of habit, but don’t like eating the same thing over and over again.

Which brings me to these cookies whose deliciousness belies the nutritional punch that they pack in every bite. Crunchy, sweet, seedy, oaty, and just salty, they’re a fantastic work snack for only 90 calories apiece (for a yield of 30 cookies). Granted, they’re not very large, but one of these and a piece of fruit or veg, and you’ll be good to go for ages. You could also make them 1.5 times larger and cook them a few minutes longer, because 135 calories for a substantial snack is nothing too terrible, either. I just like them little and cute, I guess! I used Kodiak power cake mix, and highly recommend it for both flavour and added protein, but wholemeal flour works well, too.

Ingredients

225g raw pumpkin, chopped roughly

1tbs butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup sultanas

1/3 cup pepitas

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup rolled oats

2 cup Kodiak Power Cake mix or wholemeal flour

Method

  1. Steam pumpkin for 10 minutes, until very tender. Drain, and mash with butter until very smooth. Allow to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C and line baking trays with non stick baking paper.
  3. Add sugar, butter, egg and vanilla to pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.
  4. Stir in pepitas and sultanas.
  5. Combine Kodiak with rolled oats and fold into mixture to combine.
  6. Allow to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  7. Roll mixture into 30 balls and bake for 12 minutes or until firm.

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Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles

It’s a tragic truth that here in Australia, snickerdoodles are not readily available. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a store and seen a pack, or heard anyone casually speak of them. If not for the fact that American pop culture is ubiquitous, and the name sticks in your head (or, at least, it does if you have the sense of humour of a 12 year old boy), they’d be an unknown entity to me.

I remember once, when I was first trying my hand at cooking, making some sort of snickerdoodle slice recipe that I’d seen online, and by which I been thoroughly underwhelmed. Experience tells me now that I hadn’t completely cooked the flour out of the batter, which would account for the unpleasant aftertaste, but I still remained vehemently uncurious about these funnily named little snacks. I hadn’t thought about them for years, save for the occasional time they were mentioned in an American movie or show.

The day after Mother’s Day, I found I had a glut of cream cheese left over, and no inspiration for to do with it – not even a stale bagel, nothing. So, I figured I’d do some cream cheese cookies… because what’s life without a little naughtiness, right? It wasn’t until I’d made, eaten, and thoroughly enjoyed these cookies, adapted from This Silly Girl’s Kitchen, that I realised they were, essentially, a somewhat decadent snickerdoodle. Now I get the hype, because these are the best cookies I’ve ever eaten. They’re so fluffy and cake-like, they melt in your mouth, and are sweet without being too sweet. I could eat them all day. Of course, they’re 165 calories per (not huge) cookie, so they’re a special treat, but oh, my, what a treat they are!

This recipe yields 28 cookies.

Ingredients

1/2 cup  butter, softened

125g cream cheese, softened

1 & 1/2 cup icing sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Small pinch Maldon salt flakes

1 & 3/4 cup self raising flour

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Using a stand or electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar until combined.
  2. Add egg, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Mix to combine.
  3. Slowly incorporate flour, scraping the sides as needed. Refrigerate for one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Roll 2 teaspoons of dough into small balls, Roll each ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture to fully coat, and place on the trays about 5cm apart – they do spread a bit. Flatten slightly.
  7. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until just set. Be aware that these are a very blonde cookie, and won’t brown much, so don’t overcook. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes (if, after this, they still seem undercooked, place back in hot oven for another two minutes or so). Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
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