The West Coast Hygge Project and Honey Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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The Little Book of Hygge!

Autumn is my favourite season because it’s when I get to pull out my cozy sweaters and wrap myself up in my blanket scarf. It also means the temperature has cooled down enough for me to properly bake again. (My favourite baking recipe is at the end of this post!) Autumn is also a season of change.

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100 and The Scent of a Cookie

WordPress informed me last week that I had posted my 99th post, and I went on the thought path of wondering what my 100th blog post should be about. It seemed daunting – ridiculous, I know. I had a few draft posts but they weren’t milestone worthy. After a couple days, I decided I was thinking about it too much and let the thought go. And then while I was baking cookies last night, that distinct aroma hit my nose and the lightbulb went off; this is what 100 should be about: COOKIES.

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A few years ago, I first posted this recipe and as it was then, it is still my go-to dessert recipe for potlucks, dinners, or just because. They disappear quickly which makes me happy because then I don’t eat them all!

Sean and I have an invisible ‘contract’ that stipulates certain things and one of his clauses is that as chief taste tester, he gets at least half a dozen cookies or equal to that of whatever baked goods are made. This was a clause added early in our relationship as whenever he brings baking to work, the crew snaps it up and he doesn’t necessarily get one or a piece, and that just won’t do. 😉

Sometimes the cookies turn out light and fluffy and sometimes they ‘flatten’ and become that perfect combination of ever so slightly crunchy, but chewy goodness. I haven’t figured out the why yet as the ingredients never change; but the ingredient brands occasionally do. Or it might be the room temperature or even the mood our oven is in. But they always turn out nicely so that will just have to be a project for a later time.

(*NOTE: Months later, I made these around Christmas time; and completely by accident, I figured it out! I was using the stand mixer for the wet ingredients and I got distracted opening a new bag of flour and dealing with the dry ingredients. The mixer had been going for a good couple minutes before I realized I needed to be paying attention again. But it gave the eggs and such a lot of air and made the best and most fluffy cookies. Mystery solved!)

Our condo is open concept so most of the place smelled like oatmeal chocolaty goodness. Falling asleep with the aroma of cookies lingering in the air is just heavenly. I rarely dream (or if I do, I never remember) but I would imagine they were sweet dreams.

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What is your favourite cookie?

OATMEAL HONEY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

  • Servings: Approx. 5 dozen small cookies
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream honey, shortening and butter in with a mixer until smooth.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and add vanilla. Mix well. (For extra fluffy cookies, mix for at least two minutes.)
  4. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, soda and salt; whisk to mix well.
  5. Add flour mixture to honey mixture; mix thoroughly.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and (optional) nuts.
  7. Use an ice cream scoop, cookie dough scoop, or large spoon to drop by the heaping teaspoonful onto greased baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 16 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat for however many trays of cookies.

Recipe adapted from the National Honey Board.

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Comfy cozy cookies

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

  • Servings: Approx. 5 dozen small cookies
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream honey, shortening and butter in with a mixer until smooth.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and add vanilla. Mix well. (For extra fluffy cookies, mix for at least two minutes.)
  4. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, soda and salt; whisk to mix well.
  5. Add flour mixture to honey mixture; mix thoroughly.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and (optional) nuts.
  7. Use an ice cream scoop, cookie dough scoop, or large spoon to drop by the heaping teaspoonful onto greased baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 16 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat for however many trays of cookies.