Fall is here and with it comes the chillier weather and the inevitable rain. When I have to pull out a light wool coat or start wearing boots, I know summer is officially gone. But autumn is my favourite seasons because of the clothing required. Knee-high boots. Jeans. Turtlenecks. Tights or leggings. Knee-length skirts. I’m all about being comfortable and cozy, so aside from the rain, I’m in heaven when fall comes. Monday was the first cold, rainy day of the season and there was no other option but to wear my favourite Mexx sweater, leggings, and one of my favourite pairs of knee-highs. One of my co-workers remarked that I looked very fall-like. Like I said, there was no other option.
When it was hot out, I didn’t really have any desire to bake – an oven makes any kitchen unbearbale in the summer. Unless I baked at 11pm. But now that the heat from the oven will be more tolerable, even welcome, I’m armed and ready with favourite recipes and those I want to try. And so the Alternative Baking Chronicles continue. 🙂
While my focus is primarily on baking healthy baked goods, this cookie would maybe get a 2.5 on the healthy scale. The recipe calls for shortening (read: lard) and butter, guess what? That’s what makes them taste good. They, like my beloved Mexx sweater, are a comfy, cozy part of life. They make you feel good to eat one. (Even when the roof of someone’s mouth almost burns because they won’t wait 5 minutes for cookies to cool down – you know who you are and I adore you all anyway despite and because of your cookie snatching skills.) The key thing is that there is a healthy sugar alternative: honey (as opposed to granulated sugar).
Honey has become a staple in my baking since I wanted to make oatmeal cookies a couple years ago and I didn’t have any brown sugar. Off to Google I went and found the below – absolute favourite – recipe. Tried and true – when I make these cookies, they disappear pretty quickly. And they always turn out fab. (Except when I gave the recipe to one our friends because he wanted to make them. The next time I saw him, he reported that they did not turn out well and what do I do that makes them so wonderful. My cheeky response was that I make my cookies with love, to which he responded “maybe that was my problem…” – I guess he wasn’t in a good mood when he made them or was distracted and missed something. I hope he tries again. Everyone deserves good oatmeal cookies!)
OATMEAL HONEY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour – all purpose is best but try using spelt or kamut flour as an alternative (makes for even more delicous, melt in your mouth cookies!)
- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream honey, shortening and butter in with a mixer until smooth.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, and add vanilla. Mix well. (For extra fluffy cookies, mix for at least two minutes.)
- In a separate, smaller bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, soda and salt; whisk to mix well.
- Add flour mixture to honey mixture; mix thoroughly.
- Stir in chocolate chips and (optional) nuts.
- Use an ice cream scoop, cookie dough scoop, or large spoon to drop by the heaping teaspoonful onto greased baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 16 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat for however many trays of cookies.