Sunday, February 27, 2011

White Whole Wheat Apricot Muffins.

One of the biggest side effects of losing weight for me is that now I will basically click the "x" in Firefox if I see a recipe with more than a stick of butter.  This recipe is one of those that make me realize you don't need a lot of butter to make baked goods taste really amazing.  In fact, these muffins taste buttery!  With only 4 tablespoons of butter!  They don't require any silly "health food" ingredients either - real eggs, butter, sugar and flour. There's definitely a time and place for rich coffee cakes and danishes on the brunch and breakfast table, but if you can get rich-tasting goodies without the calories and fat, why not?

I followed the original recipe as-is, only substituting white whole wheat flour for the whole wheat called for.  I loved the apricots here, but next time I'm going to try a mix of dried fruit - dates, cherries, raisins, cranberries, etc.  Have fun!

White Whole Wheat Apricot Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Light
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (I used fat free)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup chopped dried apricots

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, zest, baking soda and salt and set aside.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, extract and egg.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, stirring until almost mixed, then add in the dried apricots and stir just until they're combined.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake until lightly golden on top, 12-15 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack and store at room temperature, up to 3 days.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Nutella and Toasted Coconut Bread.

I know, I know.  World Nutella Day was back on February 5th!  But to be honest, I didn't have any in the pantry at the time and there was a snow storm that day if I remember correctly.  But now that I had some, I wanted to do something different with it.  The website has a lot of great recipes listed, but I'd say 95% of them are way too decadent for what I had in mind.  I found this recipe suited my needs perfectly.  I was nervous that the lack of butter would create a rubbery loaf, but the fat in the Nutella must have prevented that from happening because this was so good!  Not moist like a cake or brownie, but not dry either, perfect for breakfast.  If you'd like to make things over-the-top, do toast it and spread with butter, jam, or more Nutella, but I found it perfect on its own with coffee or tea.  I baked mine in mini loaf pans (since my family eats smaller loaves more quickly, then froze the others), but this also works in a regular 9x5" loaf pan.

Nutella and Toasted Coconut Bread
Adapted from ShowFood Chef
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut, toasted and cooled
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and grease a 9x5" loaf pan, or 5 mini loaf pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and coconut together.  In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, Nutella, milk, egg and vanilla extract.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until everything just comes together and there are no dry spots left.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s), and bake until the bread is dry on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  The smaller loaves take about 20 minutes, a larger one could take up to 55 minutes to an hour.

Let cool completely on a wire rack, then store airtight for up to 3 days. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies with Dulce De Leche.

Last weekend I found 4 cans of sweetened condensed milk in the cupboards.  With one of the cans, I decided to make some dulce de leche.  It was super easy (just pour a can into a large microwave-safe bowl, zap for 10-15 minutes on 30% power, stirring every few minutes until it's golden), but left me with a jar of dulce de leche.  So last night I had this genius idea to make some brown butter cookies and sandwich them with the dulce de leche.  Sounds delicious, right?  They were!  However these cookies were almost TOO tender - they crumbled into pieces at the most gentle touch, so they were smashed into bits after this photo shoot and will hopefully make a super crust for something in the future.  I'm going to post the recipe here, maybe someone can tell me what I did wrong?

Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Blue Ridge Baker who adapted it from Flo Braker
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, browned and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Sift or whisk the flour, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside.  Transfer the browned butter to a medium bowl and add half the sugar, stirring until it's dissolved, then the other half, then the vanilla extract.  Stir the flour mixture into the butter until everything is combined, then let it rest for 10 minutes so the flour can absorb the butter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Form the dough into small circles or balls and bake until they're golden brown around the edges, 15-25 minutes, depending on how large or small you've made them.

Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

About Me.

Hello!  My name is Beth Hyzy and I've loved to bake for as long as I can remember.  There aren't many things better in this world than the warm scent of cinnamon bread baking in the oven or the sight of chocolate cupcakes being frosted with big gobs of swirly, fluffy buttercream.

In the fall of 2004, I attended a 2-year culinary arts associate's degree program at Erie Community College and worked in restaurant kitchens as well as bakeries.  Food preparation in a professional setting can teach you a lot about the process of cooking and how it can be manipulated to your advantage as well as applied to every day home cooking and baking, which is ultimately what I find most rewarding.  Providing delicious food for the people I love is one of my favorite things in the whole world.  (My sister-in-law Rachel has a wheat allergy, which is why you'll see a few gluten free recipes here from time to time.)

In December 2009, I began the process of losing about 100 pounds.  It was one of the most difficult and life-changing things I've ever done, but it's nice to know that after all that, there's still room in everyone's diet for sweets and carbohydrates.  Everything in moderation is repeated so often, but it is absolutely true.  If you don't think you have the willpower to bake a batch of cookies without eating all of them, I find that people rarely say no to a few in a Ziploc bag or plastic container and it makes their day that much sweeter :)

Thank you for stopping by my little blog!  Any other questions, please feel free to e-mail me at or  I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Go-To Gluten Free Chocolate Cake.

 I used to really dislike gluten free recipes that called for a pre-made mixture of flours rather than the flours separately.  In general, I still prefer to use separate flours because I think they give gluten free baked goods a better texture.  Recently though, going through Bette Hagman's Deliciously Gluten Free, I thought of what a waste it was to have this book and never use any of the recipes because so many of them called for mixes.  So I got out a mixing bowl and put together Bette's Featherlight Mix for gluten free baked goods.

Although I haven't tried any recipes from the book using this mix yet, I plan on it, and it works wonders in cake recipes that call for a generic gluten free flour mix, like this chocolate cake.  I used it on my birthday a few weeks ago and yesterday to make little chocolate cakes for some adorable guests we had for Sunday dinner. 

A small complaint:  it seems like every gluten free website has their own set of mixes, which is unfortunate, because I'm not going to make a mix for every gluten free website I go to.  I realize everyone does what works for them, and that's fine.  For now, this is the one I'll use when it comes to cakes and pastries that call for a gluten free mix instead of separate flours.

Featherlight Mix
In a large bowl, whisk together until very well combined:
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon potato starch

Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups Featherlight Mix (or other gluten free flour mix)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
5 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and grease a 9" layer cake pan (or 8x8" or 9x9" square pan) with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda and xanthan gum together.  Stir in the oil, vinegar, extract and egg and whisk or stir with a spoon until everything is very well combined and there are no lumps.  Spoon into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, or until the cake springs back slightly when pressed with a finger.

Let cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Best Basic Biscotti.

 Normally I don't like to claim things are the best because I know and you know that I'll be posting more biscotti recipes down the line.  But this recipe is so perfect for adaptations - add any nut you'd like, toasted.  Add the zest of any citrus, add any dried fruit, add any spice or mixture of spices.  For this batch I added the zest of an orange to brighten up the dark wintery day (once again) and I loved it.

I tend to go back and forth between preferring biscotti recipes with fat and those without (supposedly more traditional).  I have to say these days I like the ones WITH it.  Although it means they're not "fat free," if you cut them thinly enough, the idea is that you don't feel guilty eating more than one anyway.  My trick is to try and get more than the original recipe yield, making me feel like there are fewer calories per cookie :D I find the biscotti that include some fat can be consumed without a beverage to dip them in, or if you just don't want crumbs in the bottom of your mug, making them a perfect treat to take along (in a purse or small container) with you wherever you go.

Basic Biscotti
Adapted from All Recipes
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup oil (I used half canola, half olive oil)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.  In a smaller bowl, combine the oil, granulated sugar, eggs and extract.  Pour the liquid mixture into the flour and mix well, forming a stiff dough.  Divide the dough in half, then form the halves into logs as long as the baking sheet (about 12") and flatten slightly.  Bake the logs until golden brown and firm, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the logs cool slightly, about a half hour.  Cut the logs into 1/4" slices and arrange them on the baking sheets and bake again for 10 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through, until they're golden brown around the edges.

Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Orange Poppy Seed Loaves.

Quick, just sweet enough and relatively healthy, these little poppy seed loaf cakes are super simple to put together and even easier to eat.  Along with a cup of tea or coffee, they made today seem less gray and wintery and taste like the beginning of spring.  Feel free to substitute lemon zest and juice if that's what you have - I never keep lemons around unless I buy them for a specific recipe.  On the other hand, I eat oranges like crazy this time of year and always keep them in the house.  Either way, slices of these little cakes make the perfect afternoon snack :)

Orange Poppy Seed Loaves
Adapted from Recipe Rumble

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted (1/2 stick)
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons orange juice
Finely grated zest of an orange

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and spray 3 miniature loaf pans (or 1 9x5 loaf pan, or a 8x8 square cake pan) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, wisk together the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking powder and salt.  In a small bowl, mix the butter, egg whites, milk, vanilla, orange juice and zest.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well-mixed, but don't overmix.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the pans you've used, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack.  Loaves will keep in an airtight container or wrapped in foil for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Banana Cake with Cocoa Frosting.

Although I had been making heart-shaped things all last week, I didn't have anything for Valentine's Day proper.  We had 4 very black bananas on the counter, so naturally, banana cake!  This recipe translated very well to a 10" heart-shaped pan made by Wilton, but the original is baked in a 9x9 square.  The only thing I'd change next time is to either increase the amount of sugar in the batter or glaze the entire cake as it wasn't sweet enough for me.  If you don't have quite the sweet tooth I do, feel free to leave the amount as-is.

Banana Cake with Cocoa Frosting
Adapted from Cooking Light
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and grease a 9x9" baking pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt.  In another bowl, combine the yogurt, mashed banana, oil, extract and egg.  Pour the liquid ingredients onto the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until everything is just mixed together.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cocoa Frosting
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Enough water to make desired frosting thickness

Whisk or sift the sugar and cocoa powder together and add the water.  You can make this thicker if you'd like to pipe it or thinner if you're going to glaze or drizzle the cake.

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Brownie Heart Roll-Out Cookies.

I wanted to make some heart-shaped chocolate cookies to give away for Valentine's Day and I found a great, unique recipe on Smitten Kitchen for brownie roll-out cookies. With all those comments reassuring me this was a delicious recipe, I had to go for it and indeed they were perfect!  Tender on the outside with a chewy bite, held their shape nicely in the oven, no puffing or spreading at all.  It was exactly what I had in mind, sprinkled with pink and red sugar to match the occasion.  I cut the recipe in half and it gave me about 50 2" heart cookies - plenty for gift-giving as well as afternoon snacks and after dinner treats!

Whether or not you think Valentine's Day is just a money-making ploy from card and candy companies, I hope you take the time today to let the people in your life know how much you love and appreciate them. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! :)

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's!)
Colored decorating sugars (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.  In a larger mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and cocoa powder until well combined, then add the flour mixture, stirring until a nice smooth dough forms.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When you're ready to roll out the dough, take it out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll the dough to 1/4" thick, cutting out your shapes and placing them on the baking sheets.  Sprinkle the raw cookies with sugar, if desired, and bake for 8-10 minutes, until set on the edges and slightly puffy in the middle.  Cool completely on wire racks and store airtight for up to a week.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Heart-Shaped Butterscotch Tarts.

 If, for whatever reason, you're looking for an alternative to chocolate this weekend, I present you with these adorable butterscotch tarts.  What's as romantic as cutting into a molten chocolate cake and watching that gooey chocolate lava pour out?  Using your fork or spoon to gently break a crisp, nutty tart shell and seeing creamy butterscotch ooze onto the plate.  This is the type of tart I like to make individually-sized since the filling doesn't set up as much as one that has been thickened with cornstarch or gelatin, allowing it to flow more freely since you don't have to worry about cutting into a larger one without it being too messy.

Obviously if you don't have heart-shaped tart pans, just use other sized mini tart pans or even mini cupcake or regular-sized cupcake pans.  Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides as much as you'd like, then par-bake.  Alternatively, this filling would be excellent on its own in pretty glasses with some crispy (preferably nutty) cookies on the side as well.

P.S. the cookies you see in these pictures were leftovers of similarly designed cookies I sent to my Valentine in North Carolina this past week.  I used this recipe for the chocolate cookies and added about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, these crunchy almond stars, adding cinnamon and nutmeg as well as the cardamom, and this recipe for butter cookies, which also helped provide me with some egg whites back in the freezer :)

Heart-Shaped Butterscotch Tarts
Adapted liberally from Sugar by Anna Olson
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
About 4-6 tablespoons cold water

Combine the flour, pecans, salt and brown sugar in a large bowl.  Cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles a streusel texture, then add the egg yolk and 4 tablespoons of cold water, stirring until it forms a crumbly dough, adding the other 2 tablespoons of water if necessary.

Take large pieces of dough and press them into the mini tart pans, making sure the dough isn't more than 1/4" thick.  Freeze the tart shells until very firm, at least 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  When the dough is frozen, use pieces of foil to cover each shape, then fill with raw rice or beans and bake until the edges are dry, about 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and rice or beans, and continue to bake until the entire shell is a light golden brown, another 5-10 minutes depending on how thick your dough is.  Let the crusts cool completely, then unmold from the pans.

The dough itself can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated, the dough can be pressed into the pans and frozen up to 2 months, and the baked crusts will keep for a week at cool room temperature.

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar and flour, crushing any large lumps of sugar with a whisk.  Stir in the milk and cook on medium-low heat to dissolve the sugar, then add the butter and cook, stirring almost constantly, for about 8 to 10 minutes, letting it boil and thicken.  Pour through a strainer into a clean bowl, then add the salt, vanilla and egg yolk, whisking until smooth.

At this point you can pour the filling into the cooled tart shells or refrigerate it up to 3 days.  The assembled tarts will keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or a day if you don't mind having a slightly non-crisp tart crust.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cranberry Cornmeal Heart Cookies.

As you may have noticed, my birthday cake used nearly 20 egg whites.  Some of these were already saved and stashed in the freezer, but I still needed a few more to make the frosting.  This left me with 4 egg yolks sitting in the refrigerator - egg whites are very easy to freeze, but egg yolks have a tendency to get very rubbery and change their texture unless you add liquid or sugar.  So before their time was up, I started finding some egg yolk-only recipes and loved the way the cookie recipe from Epicurious sounded and adapted it to my liking.  I doubled this recipe and substituted orange zest for lemon, dried cranberries for the golden raisins.

This recipe is originally a slice-and-bake but I can never make the logs of dough perfectly round and they always become too misshapen, so I just rolled the dough out and cut heart shapes (of course), but I think it's completely understandable if slicing and baking is more your thing since I have a habit of making things much fussier and complicated than they need to be.  These cookies are extremely tender and a beautiful golden yellow color, due to the egg yolks and crunchy cornmeal in the dough.  They make a fantastic partner to a cup of hot tea :)

Cranberry Cornmeal Heart Cookies
Adapted from Epicurious
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
4 large egg yolks
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped, dried cranberries

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in the egg yolks and beat well to combine.  Add in the cornmeal, flour and salt and mix again until everything is almost incorporated, then stir in the dried cranberries.  Divide the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and take the dough out of the refrigerator to thaw slightly.  Roll out the dough to 1/4" inch thick and cut out desired shapes, placing on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake the cookies until very lightly golden around the edges and firm in the middle, 8-12 minutes.

Let cool on wire racks and store airtight for up to 1 week.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Almond Cookie Hearts.

These crispy on the outside, fudgy in the middle cookies are basically Almond Joys in cookie form and they're delicious!  I pressed the dough into some miniature heart-shaped tart pans, but these are originally drop cookies and obviously if you don't want to fuss around, just form into walnut-sized balls and flatten slightly before baking.  I'm using upcoming Valentine's Day as an excuse to make everything heart-shaped these days but these are perfect for the people you love any time of the year :)

Chocolate Coconut Almond Cookie Hearts
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1.5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate together and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  When the butter-chocolate mixture has cooled, stir in the sugars, egg and vanilla extract, then pour into the dry ingredients and stir until almost completely mixed, then add the almonds and coconut.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and spray tart pans or molds with cooking spray, then using about 2 tablespoons of dough per mold, press in the dough, coming up the sides just slightly.  Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on the size of the molds and how much dough you've used.  They should puff up in the middle and be just firm to the touch.

Let cool on wire racks, then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Friday, February 4, 2011


To go with some cozy chili for dinner, I made these adorable cornbread sticks.  The recipe comes from another book I picked up in North Carolina last month called "Making Do: How to Cook Like a Mountain MeMa," and you can imagine why I had to buy it!

It's filled with recipes like "Daddy's Hoecake," "Real Honest-to-Goodness Butter,""Roasted Possum," and even has a chapter called "For Medicinal Purposes - Really!"  It's definitely one of the most authentic southern cookbooks I own!  This cornbread recipe is called "Cornbread Cake" in the book and I theorize this is because it includes some sugar, therefore not making it regular cornbread.  But I've asked southerners before about putting sugar in their cornbread, and perhaps it's just because they're being nice, but they say if you want sugar, add sugar!  It doesn't make it any less of a "real" cornbread.

I used my cast iron cornbread stick pan for this recipe and got exactly 21 (3 batches), and the recipe doesn't state what size pan to use ("Pour into a greased skillet and bake at 475 degrees for 20 minutes.") but a 9x9, 8x8, any smallish baking pan would work just fine, and I imagine you could get about 12 regular-sized muffins out of this recipe.

Adapted from Making Do: How to Cook Like a Mountain MeMa
1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.  Grease a baking pan and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda and sugar.  In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and water.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated, but don't overmix.  Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake until the cornbread puffs up in the middle and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I won't admit to making these just so I could display them with an adorable new plate and mug my sister and mom gave me for my birthday but I won't admit to having a reason to make them, either :)  (Since it's February now, don't be surprised if every food picture I take has pink and hearts in the photo!) They're delicious little bites of vanilla-scented oatmeal dough and mini chocolate chips and they're even quite light.  I found this recipe from Cooking Light and although the original name is "chocolate-oatmeal hermits," I found they weren't nearly chocolatey enough (using chocolate first in the title to me implies a chocolate dough!) nor hermit-like (hermits have spices!) so I've renamed them to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies instead.

I loved these but next time I would add a teaspoon or so of cinnamon or a mixture of similar spices.  Perhaps then we could change the title to oatmeal chocolate chip hermit cookies? :) Refrigerating the dough isn't 100% necessary but I found the cookies I baked after refrigerating for a few hours were much more plump and tender so I highly recommend it!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Cooking Light
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, stir together the sugars, oil, extract and egg whites.  In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Pour the dry ingredients over the egg white mixture and stir until just almost combined, then stir in the chocolate chips until everything is well mixed.

Refrigerate for an hour or up to 2 days, covered.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Form small tablespoon-sized balls of dough and bake one sheet at a time until very light golden around the edges and tops of the cookies, 8-12 minutes.

Once cooled, store airtight for 5 days.