Sunday, August 4, 2013

Jammin' Oatmeal Cookies (A Musical #SundaySupper)

Do you like oatmeal cookies? Growing up I would only eat them if they met a set of criteria: they had to be chewy but not fally-aparty and they had to have chocolate in them. They'd get bonus points if there was an icing face smiling up at me, which meant that they had come from the bakery around the corner from my school and were guaranteed to have the former two elements as well. Oatmeal-raisin didn't overly excite me, although when my grandma made them with us after school she'd always chuck in a few chocolate chips with the "healthier" fruit so I would eat them!

Over the years, I've come to like oatmeal cookies with peanut butter, with bananas, with raisins alone, and even those with a mix of fruit, although chocolate will always be my main squeeze. But for some reason I never thought to try a combination of peanut butter, oatmeal and jam! After all, I love PB & J on oatmeal bread, so why not make it a sweet after-school snack?

Obviously, simply adding jam straight out of the jar would mess with the wet-dry balance of the dough. But then I realized that fruit leather is really just a semi-dried jam, really, so why wouldn't that work in the recipe? Looking in my pantry, though, I discovered I had no jam (obviously we needed groceries), but I did find a long-neglected can of cranberry sauce that a well-meaning guest had brought last Christmas. I pureed the can with some leftover applesauce and a pinch of sugar, spread it out fairly thick (well, thick for fruit leather) and popped it into the oven for most of the day. What I wound up with were delicious bites of jam-like flavour almost like the bits from King Arthur Flour (which I can't get here) and prime for cookie-ing.

The rest of the cookie mixture is a mess of good flavours too - rich, natural peanut butter is the only fat source, built up with brown and powdered sugars, a dash of maple syrup, whole grain flours and oats. They come out of the oven everything an oatmeal cookie should be in my eyes - and even though they bake up wonderfully right after mixing, if you let the dough chill in the fridge a few hours (or overnight), they're even better.

This week's SundaySupper is all about music-inspired eats. With the obsession with adding jam to the cookie books, is it any surprise that I couldn't get Bob Marley's Jammin' out of my head the entire day? Here's what the rest of our band has put together, and thanks to Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen for hosting!

Prelude (Beverages):

Overture (Appetizers):

Intermezzo (Entrees & Sides):

Finale (Desserts):
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Got Yer' Cookie in My Oatmeal Cookies

Jammin' Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 30

Jammy Bits:
1 ½ cups whole-berry cranberry sauce (or your favourite all-fruit jam)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp sugar
granulated sugar to coat (if not using immediately)
  1. Preheat oven to 170F. Line a small rimmed baking sheet or square pan with parchment (I used a 6" square pan, I've also had luck with a toaster oven pan).
  2. In a blender, puree the cranberry sauce, applesauce and sugar. Spread evenly in the pan.
  3. Bake for 5-6 hours, then check to see if it is set (slightly firmer than "Gummi Bear" consistency). If not, return to the oven for another hour or two, checking every 30 minutes.
  4. If firm, remove from the oven and cool completely on the pan, then chill before cutting into squares.
  5. Use immediately or roll in granulated sugar and store in the fridge.

Sugar Coated Chewy

Cookies:
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
1 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup triticale flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
½ cup oat flour
1 tbsp maca powder (optional but tasty)
3 cups quick (not instant) oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Jammy bits (see above) or 1 cup dried fruit
  1. Heat the oven to 350F and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone (do not grease).
  2. Whisk the almond milk with the lemon juice and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the peanut butter, sugars, maple syrup and vanilla.
  4. Add the almond milk, then beat in the flours, maca, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Fold in the jammy bits or dried fruit.
  6. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the dough up to 24 hours if desired
  7. Scoop onto the sheets (no more than 8 per sheet - they spread).
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 218.4
Total Fat: 7.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 149.7 mg
Total Carbs: 32.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.9 g
Protein: 5.5 g