Friday, May 8, 2009

A Slow Day

Today has been one of total vacuity. Nothing has been done in the house (oh - I did empty the dishwasher... and I got dressed, albeit at 2PM) and frankly, I'm kind of glad. It's the first day in a while that I have had nothing to do. So, instead of being the industrious person I could have been and caught up with all my blogging, I hovered on Twitter for most of the day. If you'd like to keep up with me (I'm more industrious there than on Blogger) and you haven't followed me yet, you can here. I'm still looking for an answer to my in shell to shelled meat yield for mussels... my (pricey, btw) Book of Yields textbook is of no help!

Normally, being alone in the house and having nothing to do would leave me in an incredible fit of boredom... the type that breeds gratuitous baked goods... you know, like bagels and brownies and loaves of bread. But I couldn't do it. Not today. I don't know if it was that I woke up an hour late (I'm so not used to sleeping in!), or if the black clouds and humidity were the culprit, but I had no energy to do anything but read, occasionally Tweet, and watch TV. I didn't even have the energy to nap (yes, it does take energy, and effort, for me! Two prescription sleeping meds can't be wrong!). I did find plenty of things that I would adore making though, provided I had a willing, and hungry, audience. A certain Milk Chocolate Cherry Twist would be near the top, and the total die-hard chocoholic in me is calling for brownies.

Instead of giving some fresh-from-the-oven goodies to you today, I fear I'll have to resort to actually making a dent in the backlog of treats I've made thus far and haven't shared yet! I'm tripling up again, this time with three equally delicious, equally stuffed-full-of-bits cookies. The best part about these recipes is that you can either bake them off all at once, immediately, or opt to wrap and chill (or even freeze) the batter for later baking. If you're feeling really industrious you can even pre-portion the dough before freezing it, so you get the whole bake-as-needed portion control. Each of these recipes has something going for it nutrition wise, too... except for the fact that they're well, cookies, they could be health food!! Right?? *crickets chirping* Hello??

Before I proceed to the recipes, I'm looking for some feedback on a recipe idea I was passing around with @ceto on Twitter after they posed a "favourite ice cream flavour" question: a Chocolate Stout Cake (a la this recipe) ice cream with a cream cheese ribbon. Any ideas how to start concocting a recipe?? I'm thinking a dark chocolate / stout ice cream base with cake chunks and the cheese ribbon. I've never made ice cream before (not having a machine will do that) so I don't know where to start... but I'm game!

Okay, so cookies, here we go!
This batch features everything you could look for in a healthy snack: Nuts? Check. Fruit? Double-check. Seeds? Check. Whole Grains? Another double-check. And oh yeah, CHOCOLATE!

Chewy Checklist Cookies
Makes 64
10oz lite, firm silken tofu (good ol' Mori-Nu)
1 tablespoon vanilla
8 oz sugar
8 oz brown sugar
6.5 oz salted butter (room temp)
6 oz shortening
14 oz flour
4.5 oz whole-wheat flour
3.5 oz multi-grain cereal (I used Bob's Red Mill High-Fibre Hot Cereal with Flaxseed), or thick-cut rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
14 oz assorted add-ins (I used roughly equal amounts of chocolate chips, sultanas, craisins, pumpkin seeds and chopped pecans)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Puree tofu and vanilla in blender or processor until smooth, set aside.
Cream the sugars, butter and shortening until fluffy.
Add the pureed tofu to the creamed mixture, beating well.
In separate bowl, mix flours, cereal, baking soda and salt.
Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix until flour just disappears.
Fold in additions.
Make balls with the dough and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 11 - 12 minutes. Cool completely on sheets.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 139.7
Total Fat: 6.8 g
Cholesterol: 7.7 mg
Sodium: 29.3 mg
Total Carbs: 18.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 2.0 g

I found this next one on someone's blog, but now I can't find it again! I did find the same base recipe I used here. If you know what blog featured the recipe, please let me know! I used half / half butter and shortening for sturdiness, added brown sugar for flavour and decorated them with pepitas and a Craisin centre. I also watched these like a hawk in the oven - they can be finicky because they contain (gluten-free) chickpea flour as part of the batter and spread like crazy!

Indian Butter Biscuits
Makes 14
1 oz salted butter, room temperature
1 oz shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3.5 oz flour
1 oz chickpea flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 300F. Line or lightly grease a cookie sheet (I reccommend lining, especially with these as they can get greasy).
Cream together butter, shortenning and sugars very well, until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat smooth.
Whisk together flours and baking powder in another bowl.
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix in the dry ingredients gently.
Make dough into small (1-oz or so) balls and press down very slightly. Decorate if desired.
Bake for 10 minutes, cool completely on sheets.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 104.9
Total Fat: 3.8 g
Cholesterol: 5.4 mg
Sodium: 28.1 mg
Total Carbs: 17.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 1.1 g

A variation from a King Arthur Flour concoction, these are nutty, crunchy and chewy all at the same time, with a double hit of rich sweetness from dark honey and chocolate. Kasha is toasted buckwheat groats.

Buckwheat Honey - Chip Cookies
Makes 30
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 cup hot water
3 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp shortening
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp buckwheat honey
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup dark buckwheat flour
2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup Craisins
1/3 cup toasted buckwheat kernels (Kasha)

In a small dish, whisk together the flaxseed and water. Set aside.
Cream the butter, shortening, sugar and honey.
Add vanilla, vinegar and flax mixture,beating smooth.
Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl.
Beat into the creamed mixture.
Fold in the chocolate chips, Craisins and buckwheat, mixing JUST till combined.
Wrap dough well in plastic and refrigerate 8-24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Bake tablespoon-size cookies 11 minutes, until they’re starting to brown.
Cool 5 minutes on the sheet before transferring them to a rack to cool completely

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 118.7
Total Fat: 3.9 g
Cholesterol: 3.1 mg
Sodium: 12.0 mg
Total Carbs: 20.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
Protein: 1.7 g

Lastly, and I can't even believe I'm justifying this "news" with a thought process - must have been a slow news day, too. In proof that the world has nothing better to talk about... what's with the Dijon / Obama fiasco? God forbid I ask for extra ginger with my sushi plate then, or order my sub with honey mustard... Christ, it isn't like the man asked for his fries to be coated in Fleur de Sel and cooked in rendered duck fat before being served Grey Poupon with a mother of pearl spoon. So the next time I make breakfast, should I put some Aunt Jemima syrup on French toast - note FRENCH, not that weakling "patriot" crap... or is that too "elite"? Should I stick with a dry crust of Wonder Bread instead?

3 comments :

Tanya said...

recipes - yay - right in time for Mother's day :-) As for Obama and Dijon - good grief?! I can't believe that was worthy of reporting.

DaviMack said...

Iced cream is easy ... if you have a machine. I don't know about the ribbon, though - that seems a bit much work. ;)

Cookies look beautiful.

Heide M (TM) said...

Thanks for posting this.