Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Oatmeal Cookies

DSC_0349Oatmeal cookies are comforting, classic, and versatile. Once you find a base recipe that you like, you can play around with different combinations of chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts to create all kinds of delicious cookies. This recipe is currently my favourite cookie recipe as I love the combination of dark chocolate, coconut, and oatmeal! These cookies are best enjoyed with a glass of low fat milk.

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Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Oatmeal Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 1-2 baking sheets.
  2. Place oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and mix together.
  3. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients With the mixer running, beating on low speed until just combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and shredded coconut.
  6. Drop the dough by tablespoons, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies about 15 minutes.
  7. Cool the cookies for about 2 minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/bevs_chocolate_chip_cookies.html

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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

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This is a fairly simple peanut butter cookie recipe. I like them because they are very low in sodium, contain protein and whole grains, and combine peanut butter and chocolate chips. To be honest it’s that last part that is my favourite. Delicious! For maximal enjoyment I recommend that you enjoy these cookies with a glass of cold milk.

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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup salt free margarine or butter

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/4  cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a baking sheet
  2. Cream together margarine, peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.
  3. Mix in whole wheat flour and baking soda.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips
  5. Scoop dough using a tablespoon, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Use a fork to flatten down the dough.
  6. Bake for 12-15minutes. Allow cookies to cool slight on the baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack. (They can be a bit crumbly when hot)

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Gingerbread Biscotti

DSC_0192I love baking over the holidays, but I find it’s really easy to over do it with too many sweet things. These gingerbread biscotti are a nice alternative to traditional Christmas baking as they are not overly sweet and contain some wholesome ingredients. I made these cookies with toasted hazelnuts and dark raisins, but you can substitute pecans or walnuts for the hazelnuts and dried cranberries for the raisins.

When baking these biscotti, make sure that you use large eggs. I tried this recipe a few times and accidentally used medium sized eggs on one occasion. The result was a very dry and crumbly dough that was difficult to form into a log.

These biscotti make nice mini gifts and they will keep for several weeks if stored in an air tight container. I gave a few packages out to friends and had great feedback. You can find food gift bags and festive ribbon at craft stores. I purchased mine at Michaels. ______________________________________________________________________________________

Ingredients:

3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1 cup rolled oats, divided

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 large eggs 

1/4 cup fancy molasses

2 tbsp canola oil

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup raisins

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until they begin to brown. Remove from oven, place the warm hazelnuts in a clean dish towel, roll it up, and leave for about five minutes. Briskly rub the nuts in the towel to remove most of their skins. Set aside to let the nuts cool and then coarsely chop.
  3. In a food processor, process 1/2 cup of the rolled oats until finely ground.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the 1/2 cup of finely ground oats, the remaining 1/2 cup of rolled oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses, oil, and vanilla extract.
  6. Slowly add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, and beat until combined. Mix in the chopped hazelnuts and raisins and beat just until incorporated.
  7. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Take each half of dough and form it into a log, about 30 cm long and 5 cm wide. Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. 
  10. Transfer the logs to a cutting board and cut into 2 cm slices, on the diagonal.  Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 6-8 minutes. The cookies should be dry and firm.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool.
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Chocolate Cut Out Cookies

Happy Halloween! Try these chewy chocolate cookies with a glass of milk this Halloween as a treat. If you are feeling creative decorate these cookies with royal icing (see recipe below). The white icing really stands out against the dark cookie, but feel free to use coloured icing. I made these dog bone shaped cookies for the opening of a friend’s doggie daycare, and they were a success. The dough can become quite sticky as you roll it out so make sure to use enough flour.

*Chocolate has been the focus of many studies this year, and the evidence suggests that a small amount of dark chocolate daily could be beneficial to both your physical and mental health : ) _______________________________________________________________________________________

Chocolate Cut Out Cookies
Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

Directions:

  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg.
  3. Gradually stir in the sifted ingredients to form a soft dough. Kneed dough a few times to create a ball. Divide dough into 2 pieces, flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375° F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one ball of dough at a time to 1/8 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  5. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-ever-chocolate-cutout-cookies/

Royal Icing (Optional)

Ingredients:

1 cup icing sugar

1 tbsp milk

1/4 tsp vanilla or almond extract

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, beat together icing sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in vanilla or almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more milk.

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