Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cookie Heaven

I spent a good part of last weekend baking cookies for my friend Jonathan's birthday. He requested my Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Birthday Cookies which I was delighted to make. But I wasn't going to stop there so I baked up some Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies as well. A bit of a chocolate fest, so you know I was happy. I used my trinity flour mix in every batch I made, and NO WAY can you detect the ground oatmeal and whole wheat flour in these cookies. And, what's even better is that these recipes are no fuss, no fail and delicious.

Here are the proportions for the flour mixture again in case you missed it the first time.

Trinity Flour Mix

  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal ground in a food processor or spice mill
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

In large bowl combine ingredients. I don't sift or do anything besides use a whisk to incorporate. Then I pour the flour into a large re-sealable bag and it's ready when I'm ready. Okay... on to the cookies.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
This is a Giada recipe that I've been making for a few years now. She originally made these for a Halloween episode and rolled the uncooked dough in orange turbanado sugar. I have done this using plain old Sugar in the Raw and it's nice- offering great crunch and eye appeal. I didn't do it this time though.

3 1/2 cups trinity flour mix

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

2 sticks softened unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar (I used no calorie Splenda)

1 cup brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup Splenda Blend brown sugar for baking)

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup Nutella

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (my addition)

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. In medium size bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside. In large bowl cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix well. Then add the Nutella. When everything looks yummy and incorporated add the dry ingredients. I don't add it all at once, maybe in two or three stages. Now fold in the chocolate chips. Roll dough into 1 to 1-1/2 inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Leave a good few inches between cookies because these babies spread. Also-if you want to coat the cookies in raw sugar, do it before you bake them. Bake 10 minutes. The cookies might not look done at 10 minutes, but they are.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is an Ina recipe. What can I say? The woman rocks and hasn't led me astray yet. Her original recipe called for toasted pecans and raisins. I've made that. Delicious. But I'm a chocolate gal and took the walnut/chocolate route. I think I now use more brown sugar and less granulated than her original recipe, and the end result is chewy and crunchy and simply heaven. And by the way, this makes a lot of cookies. I think I got close to 4 dozen.

2 sticks softened butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I used 3/4 cup Splenda Blend brown sugar for baking)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used Splenda no calorie sugar)

2 eggs- Ina uses extra large eggs but I use large and I haven't had a problem- I guess either size will do

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups trinity flour mix

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp Kosher salt- Ina specified Kosher salt, so that's what I do. If you don't have any- use 3/4 tsp table salt (I'm guessing)

3 cups old fashioned oatmeal

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Now this next step may sound a bit unorthodox, but add baking powder, cinnamon and Kosher salt to the egg/sugar mixture and combine. These are not Ina's directions, but they're easy and they work just fine. Now add the trinity flour mixture in batches and mix. Stir in the oats. Add chips and walnuts. With a large spoon scoop out about 1 tablespoon of batter per cookie and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Ina says to flatten the cookies with damp fingers. I have forgotten to do this many times, and it hasn't made too much of a difference in the end result, so if you forget, you'll still be okay. Bake 12 to 14 minutes.

Happy Birthday Jonathan!

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