Saturday, 13 April 2013
Lately I have been on a slight cookie bender. I think the people in my lab find this quite exciting. What happens most of the time is that I throw random things together and hope for the best. Generally this works really well (at least according to Torsten and Gina who I share an office with). Sometimes we learn things the hard way. Like that replacing all the granulated sugar in your cookie recipe with rapadura sugar is a stupid idea. Or that leftover peppermint bark pieces added to chocolate chip cookies is like my least favourite flavour of all times. Oh well.
Anyhow…a few weeks ago I made the granola cookies Todd and Diane wrote about on White on Rice Couple. And then I made them again. And again. And whenever someone in the lab hears the telltale rattling of my super awesome royal-wedding cookie tin they ask whether I have made the granola cookies again.
So, what else can I tell you about these cookies. I think they are best still slightly warm. Depending on how long you bake them they are either still chewy or really nice and crispy. Because you soak the dried fruit in booze before you make them I have never managed to bake them so they were actually 'dry' (and I went for something resembling a member of the Jersey Shore cast in one batch because I completely forgot that I was actually baking cookies). The original recipe calls for rum or kaluha. I don't like kaluha for anything other than white russians and I didn't have any rum in the house so the first time I used bourbon and it was really really nice. A few batches later I moved onto southern comfort and I think that is what I'll keep using - the spices work really well with the dried fruit and give the cookies a bit of a kick.
Oh, and instead of apricots I'm using dates (cos dried apricots are evil and vile and gross…and I'm that grown-up…) and raisins but I have been thinking about using dried cherries for a while. I think they would be really nice.
Are you convinced yet?
Make some cookies! :)
Granola Cookies (adapted from Porter & Chu)
70g dried, pitted Dates
Enough Bourbon, Southern Comfort, Rum, or whatever else you like to cover the fruit
1/2 tsp Salt
180g steel-cut Oats
170g Butter, at room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
125g dark Chocolate Chips
125g white Chocolate Chips
Preheat your oven to 175˚C.
Cut the dates into 1cm pieces, put them into a small bowl with the raisins and cover them with booze.
Toast the nuts until they are starting to brown and your kitchen smells amazing.
In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, bicarb, salt and oats and set aside.
Don't forget about the oven - take the nuts out of the oven and allow them to cool before you either chop them coarsely or simply crush them a bit using your fingers (you can probably guess which approach I favour).
Take out a larger mixing bowl or your fancy kitchen aid mixer bowl and beat the butter for a minute or so until it starts to fluff up a bit, add the sugar and keep beating for another two minutes or so. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and give things another 4 minutes or so. What all of this does is incorporate more air into the mixture and bond the sugar and butter together (at least that's what I'm told). Irrespective of how this whole thing works, what it does is give your cookies a certain lightness while also giving you crispy edges and an amazingly chewy centre. So ignore the fact that you are probably dying from boredom, listen to one of those new super long Justin Timberlake songs and you will barely notice all that waiting :)
Ideally the butter-mixture should have nearly doubled in size and will look a lot paler than before.
Switch to a spatula or wooden spoon so you don't overmix in the next few steps.
Stir in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Then add the chocolate chips, nuts, and boozy fruit (without the remaining liquid - save that to make a drink or dip the cookies into it later or whatnot).
Scoop two tablespoons of dough (what I do is use my tablespoon measure and scoop up enough dough so it forms a dome on top of the filled spoon that is the same size) per cookie onto a cookie sheet, leaving about 3cm between them. I can normally fit 18 cookies onto my full-size baking sheet if that helps with the spacing between the cookies at all.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until the cookies are starting to brown.
Don't even think about letting the cookies cool completely, give them a few minutes before you transfer some of them onto a wire-rack, then eat the others while they are still warm on the inside.
I hope you have a fantastic rest of your weekend!
You could make some cookies :)