Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Adventures with Oatmeal

I'm on a quest, fellow readers... a quest for the perfect oatmeal cookie formula for my bakery. You see, I never really developed a foolproof recipe for these particular baked goods, and I need to get a good one down pat (especially since I want to re-enter this year's cookie contest at the Markham Fair!). I'm looking for something fairly specific:
  • Chewy
  • Fairly flat (i.e. not cakey/poofy)
  • Travels well
  • Doesn't use a ton of butter / shortening
  • No eggs

I don't even know if something like that exists, but I'm willing to look and try! At the very least, the family (and the Exxon crew) will be eating some more whole grains than they're used to, and hopefully enjoying it along the way!

These first ones were definitely interesting ones to make, and I can't really say I was disappointed with the results either. The molasses and cinnamon perfumed the house while they baked, and they were flat like I was looking for. My only complaint was that when I was bagging one for Andrew this morning (I baked them yesterday afternoon), I discovered it was hard as a rock. They may be more suited to ice-cream sandwich cookies (ooh, with a rum-raisin or a sticky toffee pudding flavour, or maybe this exotic one... divine!), though, since they'd soften a bit.

Rich Oatmeal - Molasses Raisin Cookies
Makes 12
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, and set it aside.
  2. Mix the flour, rolled oats baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Stir the molasses, brown sugar, canola oil, water, and vanilla extract well.
  4. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients along with the raisins. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Drop the dough by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Flatten each cookie lightly with the back of a wet spoon.
  7. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 109.6
Total Fat: 2.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 38.9 mg
Total Carbs: 21.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 1.3 g

Not overworking this particular cookie dough seems to be the trick with these next ones, but they hardly spread at all, leaving some fairly ugly cookie balls on the sheet. I definitely reccomend soaking the raisins though - I keep forgetting to, and always regret it. I gave the measurements in both volume and weight... weight is always more accurate (and I always use it for the bakery).

Chewy Bakery Cookies
Makes 48
1 1/2 cups flour (149g)
1 teaspoon baking soda (5g)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (5g)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening (220g)
1 cup packed brown sugar (201g)
1/2 cup sugar (95.82g)
2 tsp cornstarch egg replacers (10g)
1 teaspoon vanilla (5mL)
3 cups quick oats (241.3g)
3/4 cup raisins (113.6g)

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
  3. Beat together the shortening and sugars until creamy.
  4. Beat in the egg replacers and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Beat in the dry ingredients.
  6. Stir in the oats and raisins, stirring just until mixed.
  7. Drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake 12 minutes per batch.
  9. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 110.3
Total Fat: 5.4 g
Cholesterol: 2.4 mg
Sodium: 52.5 mg
Total Carbs: 14.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 1.3 g

I still have one more recipe to test out (thanks, Tippy!), but I got frustrated with cookies and decided to whip out a batch of muffins instead. These used up some of the leftover peaches from Sunday's fruit flan, and some of the almonds that are always kicking around our house (the family loves nuts). The shot of these (I'm actually getting quite proud of my foodie photos now, though I know they are nowhere near the ranks of most of you!) is being sent off to GreedyGourmet's event SnackShots #3: Muffin, to join the ranks of the others out there!

Peach - Oat Almond Muffins
Makes 12
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
½ cup low-fat plain soy milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp honey
2 medium peaches, peeled and diced
1/4 cup slivered almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and oats in a bowl.
  3. Separately, mix soy milk, applesauce, oil and honey.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into the dry mix until just moistened.
  5. Fold in peach bits and almonds gently.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes, until tests done.
  7. Remove from cups immediately and cool on wire racks.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 133.3
Total Fat: 5.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 72.5 mg
Total Carbs: 19.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g
Protein: 2.9 g

2 comments :

Veghead said...

This is seriously an AWESOME oatmeal cookie recipe, super duper simple, and vegan to boot.

http://dieflaschenpost.blogspot.com/2008/02/100-best-chewy-oatmeal-raisin-cookies.html

Make it! :P No, really, a batch comes together in no time flat and is scrumptious.

I like your blog, btw. :)

LisaRene said...

All three baked goods look delicious but my heart belongs to muffins, I just love them - particularly low calorie healthy ones!

Here is my thought on your quest for concocting your ideal oatmeal cookie; Google "Anzac recipe" and study the ingredients, particularly note that honey is used as part of the sweetener and no eggs are required as the honey acts as a binder (similar to your Rich Oatmeal recipe). In my experience I have found that butter makes a softer, chewier cookie and oil/shortening results in a crispier cookie.

I experimented by combining an Anzac recipe with a favorite "oatmeal krispy" recipe of my husbands and liked the results a lot. Check my experiment out, it may give you some ideas.

http://www.uniquelittlebits.com/ULB/Blog/Entries/2008/3/13_Granola_Cookies.html

Hope you concoct the perfect oatmeal cookie, let me know when you do!