Be sure to “like” us on Facebook, and follow the photo trail on Twitter and Instagram.Admittedly, this is not quite the season for baking cookies. The thermometer shows a sneaking, creeping increase in the mercury level, so if you’re going to bake, get it done first thing in the morning. The earlier you start, the earlier you can eat cookies. That’s also a good thing. Another way to make morning baking easier to swallow is to throw in healthy ingredients like oats, ginger, dried fruits and nuts. If you disregard all the butter and sugar, it’s like having a nutritional breakfast bite. Or not. Either way, here is a cookie recipe that you can eat three ways, technically four, and they’re great for any time of the day.
The base for this cookie is brown butter, which has a nutty aroma and deeper flavor than butter straight from the package. Instead of using ground ginger, freshly grated ginger adds lightly potent spice that you can taste in each bite. Another interesting ingredient in the mix is spelt flour, which is high in fiber, vitamin B12, manganese and other nutrients. Once ground, the ancient spelt grain is a great substitute for wheat and white flours, although its low gluten content require proper ratios to create structure in baked goods. One-quarter of the flour in this recipe was replaced by spelt flour, adding another mildly nutty and sweet layer to the flavors of this cookie. Finally, there are the add-ins. If you are not a fan of nuts and dried fruits, bake the cookie dough as is. If you like crunchy, chewy additions to your cookies, try one of the three variations–almonds and dates, coconut and blueberries or pecans and raisins. The add-in quantities in the recipe are measured out for a full batch of cookie dough.
What are your favorite ingredients in oatmeal cookies?
- 3/4 pound unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, peeled
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- Optional additional ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped whole almonds and 1 1/2 cups chopped dates
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut and 1 1/2 cups dried wild blueberries
- 2 cups roughly chopped pecan halves and 1 cup raisins
- Place the butter into a medium saucepan over medium high flame. Melt completely, and allow the butter to lightly bubble and brown. Once it turns golden brown and smells nutty, after approximately 5-7 minutes, remove from heat. Pour the hot butter into the bowl of an electric mixer through a sieve to remove most of the solidified brown bits. Cool completely in the fridge until until the butter’s texture re-solidifies. Remove from the fridge, and bring to room temperature.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- To the butter, add both sugars and ginger. Beat until fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then add the vanilla and maple syrup.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to the wet ingredients until just combined, then stir in the oats. If desired, choose one of the optional ingredient combinations, and stir into the dough.* Chill the dough for at least four hours, or up to overnight.
- Scoop the dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet with a 1 3/4″ wide ice cream scoop or approximately rounded 1 1/2 tablespoons. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until browned, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Cool on wire racks.
- *If you want to try this cookie three ways, divide the dough into three equal parts (about 1 pound per batch). For each flavor combination, divide the respective ingredients by 1/3, then stir into the batter. Chill, and bake as directed.