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

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…

Apple-Cinnamon Oat Squares

This recipe is reminiscent of fall with the use of fresh apples and cinnamon, but hearty for winter with those steel-cut oats. It’s not too sweet at all, just the sweetness of the apples & raisins, really.  I think that the recipe would do grandly with the addition of walnuts or pecans as well.

Me, I ate it just-cooled from the oven with a small scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt on the night that I made it.  The next day I had it cold from the fridge as a breakfast.  And the day after that, at room temp with tea for a snack.

Ingredients

2 cups non-fat milk

1 1/2 cups steel cut oats

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup ground flax seeds (not whole flax seeds)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 (about 1 pound) Granny Smith apples, cored and grated

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Transfer the thick batter to a parchment paper-lined 9-inch square baking pan, press down and smooth out the top and bake until firm and golden brown, about 1 hour.
  • Let cool in pan; cut into 16 equal squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

J

’tis the fruity season

I absolutely love the summer for fresh fruits.  We have cantaloupes and strawberries, blueberries, peaches and nectarines.  So many farms in the area allow for picking your own too.  I grabbed a few things from the farmer’s market, and a few from the grocery store, and threw together a luscious fruit salad this week.

Fruit SaladTopped with a splash of plain yogurt, and then a bit of that homemade granola, this has kept me going every morning this week.  Sweet, crunchy, rich in fiber.  Yum!

J