Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ralph's Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Now that we've featured a recipe that my mom created, it's time to celebrate one from Lynn, my mother-in-law. But first it requires a little background on the father-in-law, Ralph.

Ralph loves a good oatmeal. And what, might you ask, is a good oatmeal? I must say mine goes something like apples, cinnamon, honey, walnuts, and milk. Fairly conventional. But Ralph's oatmeal is the most unique kind I've heard of. Not to sweet, full of healthy nuts and seeds, and entirely his own.

So his wife decided to try creating a cookie that had all the elements of his oatmeal. And the result is not only unique but absolutely delicious! Featuring sunflower seeds, raisins, peanut butter, and flax seed, it's one you don't want to miss.

Ralph's Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
(adapted from here)
Note: I'm not a fan of raisins, so I tried doing half with raisins and half with chocolate chips. To my amazement, not only did I like the version with raisins, but I thought it was significantly better! Go figure.

In a medium bowl, mix together:
2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (reduce if using salted sunflower seeds)
2 Tbl ground flaxseed (optional but highly recommended)

In another bowl, mix at medium speed until smooth:
1 cup creamy peanut butter (both peanut only and the Skippy kind work)
3/4 cup butter

Beat in:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar

Then beat in:
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Stir in the flour mixture, then add:
1-2 cups raisins
1/2 cup unsalted toasted sunflower seeds

Chill dough until it can be shaped into 1" balls (about 1-1/2 hours). When ready, shape into 1" balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet; flatten slightly with a wet fork. Bake at 325 degrees for 8-12 minutes, until very lightly browned.

Yield: 5 dozen

Lynn's notes: A 1" cookie scoop works really well for making the balls of dough. It doesn't even have to be too firm. Ground flaxseed and toasted sunflower seeds can be found for a good price at Trader Joe's stores. They are the only place I have found toasted unsalted sunflower seeds.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This recipe comes courtesy of Martha Stewart herself. I found this on line the other day and decided to make the cookies as a welcome home treat for my co-worker who just returned from Greece. I am happy to report they received multiple stamps of approval!

- 1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup(s) whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon(s) coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
- 3/4 cup(s) (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup(s) packed light-brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup(s) (about 1 large) mashed ripe banana
- 1 cup(s) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 8 ounce(s) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup(s) (about 2 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts.

Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 2 days.