Spiced Oat Cookies with Chocolate and Fruit

Cookies are the best. They're always a hit, they're easy to make, the options are endless, and did I mention, they're delicious! I'm always on the lookout for a new cookie to try even though I have plenty of good recipes in the archives. You never know when you'll stumble upon the best recipe ever. Recently I came across this recipe for Cardamom-Spice Oat Cookies from King Arthur Flour and they looked just different enough and tasty enough to try. 

Don't ask me how, but I managed to completely forget to add the cardamom to the cardamom-spice cookies so they became just plain "spiced" cookies, but that didn't seem to matter too much in the end. The final cookie was fantastic! Visually beautiful with a wonderful texture, slightly crisp on the edges yet nice and chewy in the center. I've had some trouble with oatmeal cookies in the past always being too soft for my liking but these were perfect. They baked up well, spread perfectly, not too flat, not too round, a smashing success. 

When I started to make these cookies I realized that my brown sugar was as hard as a rock and I didn't feel like dealing with trying to soften it up, so I just replaced it with white sugar and it was fine. I threw in some chocolate and dried fruit, prunes were what I had so in they went! Any dried fruit would do, I'm partial to chocolate cherry myself, but really anything will work. 

I halved the original recipe and didn't want to halve an egg so I just skipped it and added a little 1/2 and 1/2 for fat and liquid. Necessary? Probably not, but they turned out great, so whatever! I ended up getting 8 nice sized cookies out of this recipe, each cookie was about 50-55 grams of dough. I thought they were a perfect size in the end, not too big and not too small. All around delicious!

 
 

Spiced Oat Cookies with Chocolate and Fruit
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Ingredients

  • 5/8 cup (75 grams) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup (70 grams) butter
  • 1/3 cup (70 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (20 grams) maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) half and half
  • 1/4 cup (28 grams) chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (28 grams) prunes, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Directions
Line a baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and syrup together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the vanilla and half and half and beat at medium speed until smooth. Scrape the bowl once again.

Add the dry mixture and mix at low speed until just combined. Scrape the bowl and mix once more for 30 seconds. Add the chocolate and fruit and mix until well blended.

Place the dough and refrigerate at least a couple of hours, or overnight. When ready to bake, scoop out pin pong-sized balls of dough (I did 50 grams of dough each), and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Place in a preheated 350°F oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until just golden at the edges and have set in the center. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Yields: approximately 8 large cookies
Nutrition: approximately 180 calories per cookie

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Biscotti

I'm always looking for new ways to repurpose some of my favorite recipes. They're favorites for a reason, and wonderful as originally written, but it's still fun to try out new twists to see if you can come up with something even better. These biscotti fall into this category. The base recipe is one of my favorites from King Arthur Flour that I've posted about before, but I felt like changing it up a little this time. I've really been liking the cinnamon chocolate combo recently so decided to give it a go with some biscotti. The combination of a hint of warm cinnamon with the sweetness of mini chocolate chips was a winner in this recipe. Another favorite for the archives!

I took the original recipe and halved it because I didn't need to make a huge batch of biscotti. I also cut down on the sugar just a little bit. This didn't effect the flavor or texture at all that I noticed, but I believe it contributed to these cookies hardly spreading at all while baking. As you can see, I made some really tiny biscotti and that was partly due to the fact that they didn't spread like I expected them to during baking. But that was okay with me, they are still delicious, and I think they're cute this way!

For the cinnamon, I added just 1/4 teaspoon because I didn't want they to be overpoweringly cinnamon-y. I finished them with just a couple of tablespoons of the mini chocolate chips. It's not a ton of chocolate, but once again I didn't want them to be too chocolate-y either. I wanted a nice combination of a little cinnamon and a little chocolate. But if you'd like a little more chocolate, or a little more cinnamon for that matter, go ahead and add a little more. It won't be bad!

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) butter
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 tablespoons (about 1/8 of a cup, or 1 ounce) mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or a combo of all purpose and whole wheat

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large (about 18" x 13") baking sheet.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Beat in the egg; the batter may look slightly curdled. At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be a little sticky. Near the end of mixing, throw in the chocolate chips and mix until combined. 

Transfer the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and roughly shape it into  9 1/2" x 2" logs, about 3/4" tall. Straighten the logs, and smooth their tops and sides; a wet spatula or wet bowl scraper works well here. Sprinkle with some more brown sugar sugar, if desired, pressing it in gently.

Bake the dough for 25 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Wait at least 5 minutes, then use a sharp chef's knife or serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1/2" to 3/4" slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, for fewer, longer biscotti. As you're slicing, be sure to cut straight up and down, perpendicular to the pan; if you cut unevenly, biscotti may be thicker at the top than the bottom, and they'll topple over during their second bake.

Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, until are beginning to turn golden (if they are browning too fast, reduce the temperature to 300 degrees after 15 minutes). They'll still feel a tiny bit moist in the very center, if you break off a piece; but they'll continue to dry out as they cool.

Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool. Store airtight at room temperature; they'll stay good for weeks.

Yield: 15 small biscotti

Nutrition Info: approximately 82 calories each

Salted Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies, always a winner and my go-to dessert when I'm stuck in a rut and can't decide what to make. Even though I think I have dozens of chocolate chip cookie recipes, and I think they are all delicious, it's always fun to try something new. When I saw these cookies they just called to me. The addition of a hint of espresso as well as some whole wheat flour sounded like the perfect combination of bitterness and nuttiness to help these cookies stand out. And I was right, another winner for my chocolate chip cookie collection. They turned out slightly soft and gooey in the center with a touch of crunch around the edge. I love the combination of espresso and chocolate that brings a bit of sophistication and complexity to a simple cookie. 

I didn't have a chance to chill the dough for these cookies before I baked them because I needed them quickly. Otherwise I always chill the dough which I think helps bring the flavor together and helps them bake up just a little bit nicer. No big deal if you don't have the time, but always a nice touch. It would probably make them bake up a bit puffier, not spread quite as much. But either way, they will be delicious!

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies

From 

Pastry Affair

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams, 1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (150 grams) brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (88 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Fleur de sel or flaked sea salt, for sprinkling (not table salt)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue beating until smooth. Gradually add the espresso powder, baking soda, salt, and flours, mixing until uniform. Stir in the chopped chocolate chunks.

Form cookies using 2 tablespoons of cookie dough (or 1 tablespoon for standard sized cookies). Drop onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow the cookies to rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Yields: 9 large (75 gram) cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Well, I've been busy at med school for about a month and I am loving it. It is a ton of work, but it's work I want to be doing so I don't mind it at all. You may have noticed however that I haven't been quite as busy on the blog. To be honest, I haven't had that much time to bake or cook. Hopefully now that I've gotten settled in to the routine of school I'll have a little more time to spend in the kitchen, but we'll see. Regardless, I'm still here and will put up some posts whenever I can.

I pulled this recipe from the archives of the summer. I never got around to posting it then, so here it is. If you like shortbread, chocolate and peanut butter you will love these. They may look like a regular chocolate chip cookie, but they have that wonderful, sandy shortbread texture, a texture I love!

The only trouble I had with this recipe involved cutting the cookies up. The chocolate chips kept getting in the way so it was hard to cut an even cookie. Because of this, the cookies weren't really very uniform in shape or thickness. This didn't seem to affect the taste at all however, they were still wonderfully delicious!

The dough, ready to chill

Rolled into a nice log and chilled, ready to cut

Onto the baking sheet

A delicious stack 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookiesa
From: The View From the Great Island
Ingredients

  • 1 stick, (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp 
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions
Cream the butter and the peanut butter together in a stand mixer, with a hand mixer, or a wooden spoon. Beat in the vanilla.

Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture. Mix until the dough comes together.

Stir in the chips, and turn the dough out onto a piece of waxed paper. Gently pull the dough together and form it into a log. If it is still crumbly, work it with your hands until it holds together smoothly. Roll it up in the paper, smoothing the shape as you go. Twist the ends securely and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

Slice the log into slices with a sharp knife. Not too thick, not too thin, about 1/3 inch. If a slice crumbles a bit, just smoosh the dough back together. These don't have to be perfect disks.

Bake on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet at 325 for about 12-14 minutes. The cookies will not be browned, and they may look undone, but don't over bake. One of the joys of shortbread cookies is that they fall apart and melt in your mouth. 

Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack.