Rocky cookies

I have a dear friend named Roxanne.  Those who know her well call her Rocky.  Rocky is a giving and loving person, always there to listen to a friend, offer advice, lend her opinion.  Rocky also happens to be famous for her cookies, and I mean that.  She’s been asked to make them for parties at a salon, for people’s backyard shindigs, she’s made them for co-workers.  She willingly shares her recipe and I’ve used it over and over.  In fact I have a family member who swears that Rocky cookies helped her survive through a rough patch of menopause.  My weight-lifting friend asks me to make them as her cheat after competitions.  I’ve made them for constipated children who don’t get enough fiber in their diet, and for adults after surgery.  I make them for myself as a snack.  Unlike conventional cookies, they’re packed with healthy fats and fruits, nuts, and energy-supplying seeds.  No butter, no brown sugar, no white sugar- you get my drift.

This cookie is hearty.  It can be made with every ingredient in the list, or only a few of them.  You can play with combinations for flavor such as pumpkin and walnut, or chocolate and cherries, or sunflower and raisin.  Personally, I love to have a little bit of dark chocolate, lots of different fruits (prune, fig, raisin, cranberry), some wheat berries, a mixture of flours (barley and whole wheat)- a little bit of everything.

The recipe may confuse some as it calls for a handful of this and that ingredient.  It means that, literally.  The dough should not be terribly stiff when complete, but if it’s too runny just add a bit more flour to the mix.

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup steel cut oats

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (or oat or barley flour)

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon cinnamon (can also add a dash of cloves and/or nutmeg)

Sprinkle of sea salt

Handful of bittersweet chocolate chunks

Handful of raisins

Handful of dried cranberries

Handful of walnuts

Handful of wheat germ

Handful of flax seed meal

Handful of seeds if you like them (sunflower, pepitas, flax, sesame, etc.)

the dry ingredients

1 egg

¾ cup real maple syrup (or any variation of, honey, agave, and/or molasses)

¾ cup plain, unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup coconut or olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup canned pumpkin (or a well-ripened banana)

1 large scoop of peanut butter (or almond or cashew butter)

the wet ingredients

  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix

the mixture

  • Scoop the batter by the tablespoon onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (cookies will not spread)
  • Bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on your oven).  You want a finished cookie that is golden brown around the edges and a bit on top

the Rocky cookie

J

Carrot-Walnut Cookies

Are you a fan of the “morning glory” muffin?  They are the breakfast muffin with a little bit of everything in them- carrots, raisins, apple butter, wheat germ, nuts.  Well this cookie is similar to that.  Packed with fiber, servings of fruit and vegetable, whole grains, and warm spices this cookie has a lot going for it health-wise.  And it’s tasty too!

Ingredients:

1 cup raw, un-salted walnuts

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 carrots, grated

1 apple, grated

1 very ripe banana, peeled and mashed

1/4 cup apple juice

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Combine the walnuts, oats and raisins in a food processor and pulse until ground
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger

  • Add carrots, apples, banana and apple juice and mix until combined

  • Drop by tablespoons one inch apart on the baking sheet, making about 24 cookies
  • Press down on each cookie with the back of a fork to flatten them a bit (peanut butter cookie-style)
  • Bake until tops and bottoms are lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes

Inspired by this recipe by Whole Foods Market.

J

Lime crème fraiche cookies

I absolutely adore the lemon ricotta cookie.  It’s so zesty and tart, and sweet at the same time.  After the passage of Cinco de Mayo I had a lot of limes to use up- one girl and one boy can only drink so many margaritas you know.  So I embarked on a mission to use some of those  limes and make something a little different.  Success was mine.  These cookies were served at a Mother’s Day tea at my Gram’s and had rave reviews from several ladies.

Ingredients:

¼ cup crème fraiche

¼ cup butter, room temp

1 cup sugar

zest of 4 limes, divided

juice of 4 limes, divided

1 egg

2 cups flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  • Blend butter with crème fraiche until creamy and then add the juice & zest of 2 limes and mix well

  • Gradually add sugar until well blended and then add the egg. Mix very well

  • Slowly stir in flour, baking soda and salt

  • Drop onto a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. This makes about 2 dozen

  • Whisk together 1 cup confectioners sugar and the zest & juice of 2 limes. It will be syrupy. Glaze the cookies with this.  If you do it while they’re hot then it will ooze down and there will be a thin glaze.  If done while they’re cold, it will be thicker

Is it just me, or does anyone else think of that South Park episode now every time they hear the term crème fraiche?

J

Molasses Cookies

My favorite cookie of all time is the molasses cookie.  It’s rich in spice: cinnamon, ginger, clove.  It’s chewy and crackled on top, and has crunchy crystals of turbinado sugar sprinkled over it.  My Dad has always favored this cookie as well.  This past weekend my father, who has always lived within half an hour’s drive from me, packed all of his belongings into a U-Haul truck and left to begin a new chapter of his life in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.  Since he’d be on the road for several hours each day spanned over a three-day trip, I decided that a few dozen molasses cookies were in order.

Ingredients:

¾ Cup shortening

1 Cup sugar

1 Egg

¼ Cup molasses

2 Cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup turbinado sugar

the beautiful, large crystals of turbinado sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Cream the shortening and sugar together
  • Add in the egg, then molasses
  • In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger & cloves
  • Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until just mixed

the dough

  • Roll into walnut-sized balls and dip one side in sugar

dough balls all scooped out & dipped in sugar, ready for the oven

  • Bake sugar side up for 10 minutes

wonderfully crackled cookie tops

  • Let cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to complete

cooling cookies

This recipe comes to me from a family member (cousin Marie) three generations older than me and I’m not sure of its origin when she found it.    All I know is that my grandmother used to make them, as did my mother, and now I do as well.

J

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

lemon zest

Is it lemon season where you are and you have an abundance of those waxy, yellow beauties to zest and juice?  Maybe there’s this little bit of ricotta hanging out in your fridge that you really don’t want to just toss, yet how else will you use it?  Do you  love zesty, sweet cookies that are almost cake-like, they’re so dense?  If any or all of the above apply, then this is your lucky day.

This cookie can be made in whatever size you like.  If you use a teaspoon-sized scoop then you’ll have a bite-or-two sized cookie which is dainty and great for a tea party.  If you use a tablespoon-sized scoop then you have a larger cookie which is more biscuit-like and will be rather filling.  You can make the cookie without the confectioner’s glaze and it’s perfectly tasty, but the glaze is sooooooooo good that I can’t imagine why you’d leave it off (I tried that once, and still haven’t heard the end of it).

Ingredients:

¼ cup ricotta cheese

¼ cup butter, room temp

1 cup sugar

zest of 2 lemons, divided

juice of 2 lemons, divided

1 egg

2 cups flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

lemon juice

Directions:

  • Blend butter with ricotta until creamy and then add the lemon juice & zest and mix well
  • Gradually add sugar until well blended and then add the egg. Mix very well
  • Slowly stir in flour, baking soda and salt
  • Drop onto a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. This makes about 2 dozen

the baked cookies, pre-glaze

  • Whisk together 1 cup confectioners sugar and the zest & juice of 1 lemon. It will be syrupy. Glaze to the cookies with this.  If you do it while they’re hot then it will ooze down and there will be a thin glaze.  If done while they’re cold, it will be thicker.

lemon glaze concoction

the finished product

J