If you follow this blog, you know that I’m a huge cookie fan. But more than that, I’m a chocolate fan. Combining the two make me the happiest pinup in the world.
I’ve been making chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies since I could hold a spatula but I’ve never combined the two. Sure, I’ve tasted chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, I’ve just never made them. Then about a month ago Liz Berg of That Skinny Chick Can Bake posted a recipe for Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. Her recipe wasn’t just loaded with oats and chocolate chips, but nuts and fruit as well. They sounded amazing and she said they were a big hit. So, I decided to try them. But before I did, I needed to make a few changes.
First, I live in a nut-free house since Hubs is deathly allergic to any and all nuts. Second, while I love cherries, we’re right in the middle of cranberry season. I love chocolate and fruit together so I thought rather than dried cherries, I’d go with dried cranberries. They’re a little more tart and would give the cookies a more festive, holiday feel. Sure these cookies will be great all year long, but they’re perfect for your holiday party.
So, thanks, Liz for a great recipe that inspired this holiday twist. They were yummy and I can’t wait to make them for my holiday party and many parties to come.
Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the butter and sugars, and mix until well combined, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined. Add the vanilla and beat for another minute.
- Chop the bittersweet chocolate into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Slowly add the flour mixture, mixing well. Add the rolled oats, followed by the chopped chocolate. Mix well. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips. Chill for about 15 minutes before scooping onto the baking sheet.
- Spoon the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake 12 minutes or until the cookies have set and are just starting to brown. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet and serve.
I look forward to Mother’s Day every year because it’s always fun to see what my boys have made me in class. These days, A’s presents are always a surprise because he makes them in his classes. But T is still too young to go to school. His classes are Mommy & Me classes. So the Mother’s Day presents or cards he makes are really cards that I make. Since I’m the one cutting, drawing and gluing while T plays, I pick whichever poem, colors or designs I like. Then I sign his name, date it and give it to Hubs to give to me on the big day. That way years later when my memory starts to fade, I’ll be able to remember what “T” made me.
This year was no different. And when I discovered one of the poem choices was a cookie recipe, I knew that was the one “T” was going to glue inside his card. I didn’t take a close look at the recipe, I just knew that as a mother who loves to cook, that was the one I wanted. It was only as I glued the recipe inside the card that I actually read it. This wasn’t your average cookie recipe. Then again, Mommy’s Cookies are never going to be average.
While the ingredients definitely make this a super yummy cookie choice, it’s actually the directions that make it “Mommy’s Cookies”. No, I’m not going to reveal the directions here. You’ll have to read the recipe below and make the cookies with your kiddies. I know at first glance the directions seem long and involved, but trust me they’re not. And please make sure you read each and every step. If you do, I guarantee a fun way to spend Mother’s Day that will bring quite a few giggles during the baking process.
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
- Tie daughter’s shoes.
- Mix sugar into the butter.
- Answer the phone.
- Get out two eggs while fixing a bottle of juice.
- Add the eggs one a time to the butter and sugar.
- Change the baby’s diaper, put your son on the counter to watch and give him some Cheerios to snack on. Wash your hands.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
- Answer the door.
- Mix together the egg mixture with the flour mixture.
- Measure out the oatmeal.
- Clean up the broken egg that fell on the floor. Find the recipe and tape it back together. Take son off the counter and give him some crayons and paper.
- Measure out the chocolate chips and the coconut.
- Take a minute or two to find your son by following the trail of crushed Cheerios. Set him in the pack & play with his favorite toys.
- Fold the oatmeal, chocolate chips and coconut into the dough. Chill the dough for 10-15 minutes.
- Clean the counters and the floor.
- Take the crayons out of the baby’s mouth. Tape the crayon drawing to the fridge. Wash your hands.
- Drop cookies by the spoonful on a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure you set the timer!
- Smile and pour the milk. Serve the cookies.
- Go take a nap with the kids and never forget how important all those “extra ingredients” were to make these very special cookies.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there.
Okay, I’m not gonna deny it. I didn’t make a Valentine’s-Day-specific dessert this year. Bad Kitchy Cooker. Bad. But while I was hanging my head in shame I realized I’ve made plenty of desserts for the blog and some of them have even been chocolate. (Who am I kidding? Most of them have been chocolate.) And since I’ve seen plenty of Valentine’s Day roundups this year, I thought why not do one of my own? I mean, I’ve always been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. And no, it’s not because of the cards… although getting cards and presents are always nice. It’s because of all the chocolate.
Yes, my name is Jennifer Richmond and I’m a chocoholic. So of course I live for the one holiday a year where it’s all about chocolate. The only thing that makes chocolate better? Why adding fruit to it of course. And if you can combine those two things while adding a splash of pink… oh my god, I’ll do whatever you say.
But if you’re not the chocolate fan that I am, I won’t hold it against you. There are plenty of Valentine dessert options out there that don’t have one ounce of chocolate in them. (I’ve even made a few. Please don’t tell anyone.) Below is a list of some of my favorite sweet treats perfect for the upcoming heart-shaped holiday. I even included one that isn’t chocolate but is just as tasty because I am trying to venture outside my comfort zone. Really… I swear.
- Maraschino Whoopie Pies
- Black Forest Brownies
- Chocolate-Port Cake
- Chocolate Potato Cake with Raspberry Frosting
- Blood Orange Valentines
- Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
If your curling your lip in disgust, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I did the exact same thing when my trainer told me about them. I mean why in the world would you put avocado and chocolate chips in the same cookie? One’s great for salads, dips and baby food and the other is the perfect dessert ingredient. They don’t seem to have anything in common and yet they make one of the best cookies I’ve ever tasted.
Not only are these chocolate chip cookies super yummy, they’re rich, chewy and super healthy. You may think avocados are fattening but it turns out that the fat in them is the good kind of fat that’s easily burned for energy. Wouldn’t it be great to have cookies that add energy rather than suck it like so many of the desserts we usually ingest? I think so.
Now you may be wondering how a whole avocado fits into a cookie. That’s easy. Since the avocado lacks a lot flavor it makes the ideal ingredient when it comes to desserts. This creamy fruit (yes, it’s a fruit because of its pit) actually makes the perfect substitute for butter or cream. And that’s exactly what I used it for. Instead of the standard cup of butter that usually goes into my chocolate chip cookies, I only used five tablespoons. Five tablespoons! That’s not even a whole stick. And you know what? I didn’t miss the butter in the cookies at all. They were still just as rich as they were when I made them the regular way with all butter and no avocados.
The one thing I wasn’t expecting with these cookies though, was that they didn’t expand while cooking. They maintained their spoon-like shape from when I put them on the cookie sheet. So, yes, the cookies were smaller than expected but they were still just as yummy. And since they were smaller and healthier, I could have three or four and not feel guilty. And isn’t that what we’ve all been searching for for decades anyway: a way to eat numerous cookies without the guilt? I know it’s something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember.
These avocado cookies got me thinking: what other vegetables could I use to make tasty desserts healthier? Kale inside brownies? Ancho chilis inside a chocolate cake? Why not? I mean, we already have carrot cake and zucchini bread. Who knows how many possibilities there are. I can tell you one thing for sure. I’m now on a mission to find out. Any suggestions?
Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2-1/4 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 of a large ripe avocado
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 (12 oz.) package chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Mix together the butter, avocado, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add in the vanilla and mix until combined.
- Gradually add in the flour mixture until just combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, oats and nuts.
- Using a large spoon, drop rounds onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack and serve.
You know what I love about this time of year? All the citrus available. I’m such a huge lemon and orange fan, I’d love to have a tree or two of my very own.
Actually we do have a lemon tree, but for some weird reason it’s never taken root. I don’t know why, we’ve tried everything from planting the tree in two different spots, to fertilizing it and pruning it back. But for whatever reason, the tree refuses to grow. So, I’m forced to do what most people do and buy my lemons, limes and oranges at the market.
Lucky for me, my farmer’s market is overflowing with citrus so I don’t have to suffer the long winter months without a daily dose of vitamin C. But what to do with all that citrus? Juicing is an option, however I prefer using these wonderful orange and yellow spheres in things I can eat. I don’t care if it’s an entrée like this blood orange beef stir fry or a dessert like these tangy lemon/lime bars.
Anyone who knows me though, knows I’m a baker first and that I especially love cookies and bars. So, when I saw a recipe for blood orange bars I thought why not make some of my own? It’s true they’re not nearly as tart as the lemon version but they’re just as tasty. And since the juice is a beautiful fuschia, I figured the bars would be a lovely pink – perfect for Valentine’s Day.
I was wrong.
I made two batches of these bars and both pans were nowhere near pink. They were orange, dark orange. Not to worry, though, a few drops of red food coloring made them the pretty salmon color you see in the photos.
Once I was done trouble-shooting the color, I had to decide how to cut them. If I were serving them at a Valentine’s Day party, I absolutely would have cut them into squares because you get a lot more bang for your buck. But it’s Valentine’s Day, and there’s nothing sweeter than a heart-shaped treat, especially if you want to do something extra special for your honey. Besides, taking that extra step guarantees your sweetie will be tickled… pink.
Blood Orange Valentines
For the Crust
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of flour
- pinch of salt
For the Filling
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 Tbsp blood orange zest
- 2-1/2 cups of blood orange juice.
- 1 cup of flour
- 4-6 drops of red food coloring
For the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until they’re a pale yellow. In a separate bowl combine the flour and salt. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until just combined.
- Press the dough into a 9×13 pan and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cook the crust for 15-20 minutes or until it’s light brown in color. Let crust cool, but leave the oven on.
For the Filling
- Whisk the eggs, sugar, zest, juice and flour together in a large bowl. Add the food coloring and stir until you reach the desired pink color. Strain through a mesh sieve, pour over the cooled crust and bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Dust with powdered sugar.
- Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut into hearts and serve.