Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cranberries, Miniature Chocolate Chips and a Hint of Ginger
For the sake of my health and my waistline not all of my food endeavors involve eating. Not all at once anyways.
This past weekend we headed up to Whole Foods after we caught word that they carried a few varieties of compost (Thanks Sue!). Ideally, I would have liked to have been able to scoop some up from a bin at a local farm, but I wasn’t making any headway on that front and the time for planting the garden was quickly approaching.
As the nearest Whole Foods is about forty five minutes away, it isn’t exactly our go-to spot for grocery shopping. But it sure is fun to stock up on some items that I know are typically hard to come by… think, frozen organic mango. Had anyone told my younger, less nutritionally-focused self that I would think of visiting a certain grocery store as a treat, I would have surely been the first to give them a strange and unforgiving look.
When applying to the dietetic internships I was challenged to do a bit of self reflection into why I was so interested in food and nutrition. Now and again I revisit this topic as I often find more clues along the way than I would have expected.
One of those moments was a mandatory lecture I attended one night during my sophomore year of college. It was a lecture on sustainability. I am rather embarrassed to admit, it was the first time I really understood the meaning of sustainability. It was a topic brought to life by the famers and guest speakers that fueled the discussion panel.
The following year, I attended the gathering, this time on my own will, seeking more information. One of the speakers was Amy McCoy, a local blogger, farmer and new author of the cookbook, Poor Girl Gourmet. I started to seek out produce from farmer’s markets, I developed an appreciation for the farm stand supplying our corn in the summer and began to question the origins of my food, but I never did pick up her cook book. Looking back, it would have been the ideal time to do so, with limited funds and excessive assignments to complete, cooking up some of her recipes would have been a great outlet for me without busting my bank account.
I’d like to write this off as a “better late than never” endeavor of sorts. With the help of my father, and the local book store, I can finally say that I have my very own copy of Amy’s cookbook in my kitchen.
The first recipe I attempted was oatmeal cookies with dried cranberries and crystallized ginger. Well, sort of. I wasn’t about to return to the grocery store as I had just been over the weekend, so of course some substitutions did occur. I also was feeling like I needed a bit of chocolate in my life, hence the addition of some miniature chocolate chips. The other motivating factor to baking these was an opportunity to use my brand new SILPAT baking liner. No more parchment paper. Hooray for less waste!
Here is the recipe, barely modified from Amy’s book, Poor Girl Gourmet. You can visit her fantastic and hilarious blog here.
Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cranberries, Miniature Chocolate Chips and a Hint of Ginger (try saying that with a mouthful of these cookies)
Makes about 40 (As Amy suggested, I took half of the dough, formed a log and tossed it in the freezer. A brilliant idea.)
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached, all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 sticks (16 TBSP) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned oats (not, I repeat not, quick-cooking oats)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Whisk to distribute ingredients equally.
In a stand mixture, fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars at medium speed, about three minutes until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix again to combine.
Slowly add flour mixture and mix just until combined and moist throughout. Using a wooden spoon, mix in oats, cranberries and chocolate chips.
Form dough into one inch balls and place on a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time.
Amy recommends baking for 8 to 10 minutes but I like my cookies with a little extra brownness (word?) and crunch, hence the additional baking time.