We have a friend of Sheldon’s staying with us right now as his family makes the move from DFW to this part of the country. He’s a very nice guy and we’re enjoying his company although The Blueberry is under the impression that we invited him here to be her exclusive entertainment provider. How do I know? Well, this was the convo in her bedroom the other night:
“Blueberry-it’s time to get ready for bed.”
“Where are the boys mama? I want to go hang out with them.”
“Well, Daddy is outside putting up the animals for the night and Mr. C is downstairs.”
“What is Mr. C doing?”
“I don’t know-maybe talking to Mrs. C? Why?”
“Because I want him up here.”
“Blueberry..he is our guest, not our captive. We can’t make him do everything we want. It’s not polite.”
“Captive? What’s a captive?”
“Well, it’s someone who is held against his will and forced to do what the people holding him want him to do.”
“Mama…I think I’m a captive.”
So, begins day 3 of her captivity because of the ice storm. It’s not terribly bad here but if I don’t have to take her out on the roads, I just figure why bother. Sheldon went into work this morning and because we park our cars outside it took no joke-30 minutes of scraping to get all of the ice off his truck. I think it was between 1-2 inches thick. That is good times!
To pass the time, we have done some sledding down one of the hills (who needs snow when you have faster ice?!), we’ve played Kinect games and now we’re currently enjoying Mary Poppins…
…but in a few minutes we are going to begin making reduced fat oatmeal raisin cookies. These cookies are one of Sheldon’s very favorite and they always satisfy my need to bake when the weather gets cold like this:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4-1/2 cup applesauce (I give a broad range here because you just need to watch your mix. Start with the smaller measurement and add more if you notice the mix is too dry)
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons cinnamon (we are cinnamon junkies in this house)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups uncooked oats
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup raisins
Parts that I have riffed on:
I’ve made these many times omitting the butter completely. In that case, just increase your applesauce to one cup. The cookies will have more of a cakelike texture but they are still awesome.
I’ve also substituted 1 cup of dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, etc for the raisins
I’ve successfully included chia and/or flax seeds without any complaints from The Blueberry…In fact, I think we’ll be adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flax seeds today. Because I’m adding the flax seeds, I’ve decreased the oats by about 1/2 cup. If you haven’t yet discovered either of these seeds, I STRONGLY recommend that you check them out. The health benefits for these seeds are just phenomenal and they can be snuck into all kinds of baked goods. The chia seeds have a bit of a slimey texture in some wet applications, so I probably wouldn’t add them to eggs, but hiding them in cookies, cakes and crackers-super genius!
Preheat your oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugar until it looks fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time and then add vanilla-this becomes your wet mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix together your flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Then incorporate this into the wet mixture one cup at a time. You don’t want to overmix it because flour will begin to form gluten which can make cookies a bit too tough.
Once your flour mixture is in, mix in your oats and dried fruit by hand until incorporated. I then use the 2 spoon method to drop them on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat.
They don’t spread out, so pretty much how you plop them onto your sheet is how they come out. Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on oven. If you omit the butter, they won’t get terribly brown, so try a small first batch to see how long you really need to cook. Let cool on a rack and then stuff them in your face.
According to Calorie Count, it’s about 41 calories per cookie with sugars and fats both under 9 grams respectively (fat under 2 grams) Adding in the flax seeds adds some fat but it also adds a very nice amount of protein and fiber, so while it is not quite like eating a celery stick, it’s still healthier than eating a full fat cookie. At any rate, I can’t blog any more because I need both hands free to shove em in. Happy baking!