Thursday, February 01, 2007

Some cookies for the sweet tooth

Last Friday I baked a batch of chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies with some new twists for a special guest. Unfortunately, the inner shopaholic had gotten the better of him, and he ended up lugging more than what he was allowed on a long haul flight, and decided to leave the full batch of cookies behind....

I remember the last time I baked these cookies, I made them huge, using the 1/4 cup as a guide. This time however, I wanted to make them small. So small that they can be squeezed into the festive containers, and passed around during Chinese New Year (I opted to use the teaspoon as a guide in the end).Yes, I have developed a serious craving for new year goodies after our friend passed us some that she brought back from Singapore. I would have been making pineapple tarts or peanut cookies, if I had the necessary ingredients. But I digress. I was thinking of making these small cookies as goodies for new year. So this batch was actually an experiment. To give it a festive flair, I added the colourful kisses on the little mossels. For some, I added the Andes peppermint pieces on top; which you can't see from the photos above, unfortunately.

Both types with the new size turned out well. I have even took the liberty to reduce the amount of sugar and added in some milk chocolate chunks. With so many modifications, maybe I can claim it as my own recipe. Maybe not. I shall wait until others have tried, and give their approval. Then I will casually add that it's my own recipe. If not, I will say it's OCT who made them. Sounds like a plan!

Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (6 1/4 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/4 cups rolled oats , old-fashioned, (3 1/2 ounces)
1 cup toasted walnut(4 ounces), chopped
1 cup dried cranberries(5 ounces), chopped coarse
1/2 cup chopped 72% chocolate

1/4 cup chopped milk chocolate
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool
1 cup plus 2 tbsp packed brown sugar, preferably dark
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Andes Creme De Menthes Baking Chips
Hershey Kisses

1. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, stir together oats, walnuts, cranberries, and chocolate.

3. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until no sugar lumps remain, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl; with mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture; mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oat/nut mixture; mix until just incorporated. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.

4. Use teaspoon as a guide to scope out dough and place them on2 baking sheets, spacing them 1.5 inches apart.Press one kisses onto each cookie dough, or a few pieces of Creme De Menthes. Bake for 6 minutes, rotate them front to back and top to bottom, then continue to bake until cookies are medium brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will seem underdone and will appear raw, wet, and shiny in cracks), 5 to 8 more minutes longer. Do not overbake. (the baking time is just a guideline, check your cookies often for your desired doneness.)

5. Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire rack 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

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