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

Cowboy Cookies

Can I just say oh-my-goodness YUM!  Let me start by pointing out that I am a huge fan of cookies of all kinds.  The dry and crumbly shortbread, the chewy molasses spice, the sweet and chunky almond-blueberry, the cocoa-rich chocolate sugar cookie, the tart and creamy lemon ricotta cookie,   the colon-cleansing Rocky cookie– I love many cookies of quality.  Upon a recent visit to one of my favorite artisan coffee roasters I spied in their pastry case a cookie by the name of “cowboy”.  This piqued my interest.  A few days later one of my favorite cookbook authors posted a recipe for this cookie.  I couldn’t not try it.  It’s like a chocolate chunk cookie on steroids: a rich and dark sugar profile, chunks of bittersweet chocolate, hints of espresso, and bits of crunchy, salty pretzel.

the cowboy cookie

Ingredients:

1¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp sea salt
2 cups rolled, old-fashioned oats
14 Tbsp butter ( 1¾ sticks) at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg and one yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp espresso
12 oz.  bittersweet chocolate chunks
¾ cup crumbled pretzels, divided

Directions:

  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and espresso. Add the oats and stir.  Set aside

dry ingredients

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy

super-creamy butter & sugars

  • Add the egg and egg yolk, beating until the mixture looks light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla, and beat again

beautiful, local brown eggs

  • Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and fold in the chocolate chunks and ½ cup of the pretzel pieces

12 ounces of chunked bittersweet chocolate

  • Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate the dough for a few hours or overnight
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper
  • Measure out dough in two-tablespoon-size balls and press each ball into a dish of remaining crushed pretzel pieces
  • Place the dough balls on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart and use the palm of your hand to press the dough down lightly; just enough to slightly flatten the ball and push the pretzel pieces into the dough
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown or just begin to darken
  • Set the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool

cooling on the baking sheet

  • Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely

cooling on the wire rack

I’m thinking that these are great for folks who can’t have nuts ’cause you get the crunch profile without the nut-issues 😉

J

Recipe adapted from a post on Jonesing For…