Tag-Archive for ◊ oatmeal ◊

11 Feb 2013 Crunchy Oat Clusters / Granola Bars

oat clusters

Sometimes, I don’t want to cook in the morning.  Sometimes I don’t even want to make toast.  I just want a lovely latte (I am always willing to make a latte) and  something on the side, while I casually drink my coffee and read the newspaper in my recliner. Sometimes that “something on the side” is a graham cracker, sometimes a cookie, sometimes  it’s something even more sinful. For a couple of years now, I’ve been thinking I should figure out a breakfast that works with my morning routine. You are probably thinking, fruit, eat fruit! No. Apples and oranges, pears and bananas do NOT go with coffee.  Dried fruit does, but that causes me to…ummm…make rude noises on a frequent basis, so dried fruit is out, too.  Last year I made a lot of granola.  I like granola.  I made some good ones, but eating granola  while balancing coffee and a newspaper is  inconvenient and messy.  I couldn’t get my granola to clump, and I needed clumps, big clumps, clumps like the size of a graham cracker.  Paring it down even more: I. want. crunchy. oat. clumps.  Now there’s a challenge!  Try running “Crunchy Oat Clumps” through a search engine and see what you get.  Not encouraging.

So! I have figured it out myself!  It took a couple of tries, and I pared down a lot of recipes, to get just want I wanted. And, tada! I have them now! Sweet, crunchy oat clumps, sort of like a Nature’s Valley Granola Bar.  My oats are tossed with a bit of butter, a bit of oil, some honey and some corn syrup, all necessary to get the large, crisp clumps and I added in some vanilla and a bit of cinnamon, too, so these oat clumps taste GOOD! They have none of those nasty additives, no preservatives and none of the excessive packaging that processed granola bars have. Score!

Crunchy Oat Clusters

  • 4 cups Old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup corn syrup
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup canola oil (or coconut oil, or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Stir to combine.
  2. In a small sauce pan combine honey, corn syrup, butter and oil.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. While sauce is simmering, line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  4. Remove sauce from heat and pour over the oat mixture.
  5. Pour oat mixture onto a parchment lined baking pan.
  6. With spatula or offset knife, spread oat mixture to an even thickness, and press down slightly.
  7. Place tray into preheated 300° oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Open and turn off oven.  Let oats stay in oven for another hour or so, or until oats and oven are cool.
  9. Remove oats from oven and when completely cool break into pieces.
  10. Store in an airtight container.
  11. Eat whenever.  My son snacks on them after swim practice.  I like them in the morning, with a latte while I read the newspaper, in my recliner 🙂

In am sure these Crunchy Oat Clusters can be gussied up a bit.  You could add some coconut, chopped nuts, dried fruit…, make them yours!  You could probably also substitute real maple syrup for the honey, if you wanted.  You have to keep the corn syrup though (don’t worry too much, the corn syrup you buy at the store is not high fructose corn syrup). As for me, I like them just like this.  Simple, slightly sweet, very crunchy, and full of those good-for-you breakfast oats.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today and have a wonderful morning!

17 Jan 2011 Cowboy Cookies (Coconut-Oatmeal Cookies)

Why these cookies are called Cowboy Cookies I have absolutely no idea.  I have spent considerable seconds trying to figure it out. Coconut + oats + Rice Krispies = Cowboy Cookies? Really? What cowboy eats coconut?  A Polynesian cowboy?  That makes no sense. I’ve never heard of a Polynesian cowboy.  Soooo…, any other ideas? This conundrum aside, I am pretty pleased with my picture!  I think the picture says Cowboy Cookies, even if the recipe doesn’t!

The recipe I have was cut out of a newspaper years ago.  Unfortunately I don’t know which newspaper (but probably from either the San Diego Union Tribune or the San Jose Mercury News).  Nor do I know which decade I clipped the recipe.  Probably sometime in the 80’s, 90’s or 2000’s!  I just have the recipe, no intro, no hint as to why this cookie has such an inexplicable name.  The original recipe called for a cup of shortening.  I use half butter and half shortening.   I haven’t tried them with all butter, but let me know how they turn out if you decide to give it a go.

Anyway, this is a wonderful cookie.  It’s crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and delicately flavored.  More of a Princess cookie than a cowboy cookie.  A Polynesian Princess Cookie!  A much better name.  If you are setting cookies out, this is a nice alternative to the usual chocolate chip, peanut butter and sugar cookies.  Hey, I could open a cookie counter!  I’d feature this cookie, the Abby’s Peanut Butter Blossoms, my Chocolate Chip Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Louise’s Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies, the King Arthur Flour’s Chocolate-Caramel cookies and the Better Homes and Gardens Ginger Cookies, which I still have to post.  Scoot on over, Mrs. Fields, make room for Granny Polly!

Cowboy Cookies

(which really, really need another name… Coconut-Oatmeal Princess Polly Cookies, maybe?!)

½ cup butter

½ cup shortening

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups quick-cooking oats (not that instant stuff)

2 cups Rice Krispies

1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325º. Beat the butter and shortening together for a minute or so.  Add in the sugars and beat for 5 minutes with an electric mixer.  Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter-sugar-egg mixture.  Stir in oatmeal, Rice Krispies and coconut.  Drop by tablespoons-ful onto cookie sheet.  Roll dough into a ball, then flatten slightly with finger or palm of hand.  Bake in preheated 325º oven for 12-14 minutes.  Cookies will have a very light tan tinge when done.  Don’t overbake. Remove cookies from oven and cool on racks. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

You are going to love these cookies.  They are delicious, and they keep well.  Maybe THAT’S why they are called cowboy cookies! They last long enough to be taken on a cattle drive…, in Polynesia…!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

01 Nov 2010 White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

I love cooking seasonally.  There’s always something to thoroughly enjoy, and always something to look forward to. Now Halloween is behind us, it’s time to think Thanksgiving.  Turkey.  Sweet Potatoes. Cranberries.  Now is not the time to bake Chocolate Chip cookies.  Now is the time to bake  White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies.

This recipe is from the 1999 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication “Christmas Cookies”.  I love that yearly magazine.  I have every edition since 1995.  The first, and only, edition I have been disappointed in? This year’s, 2010.  I found it uninspiring.  I didn’t fold down a single corner and I have no plans to try any of the recipes this year.  What’s up with that?  Pass me another White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies.  I’ll just have to console myself with this cookie until the 2011 edition comes out…

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup old fashioned or 5 minute oats (not instant)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2-3 teaspoons finely grated tangerine or orange peel

1/3 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice, orange juice OR orange juice concentrate

2 tsp vanilla (OR 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon orange extract if you’d like a  stronger orange flavor)

1 cup white chocolate chips (Ghiradelli or Guittard, Nestle is pretty bad)

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat butter and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. In another bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, and zest.  Beat flour-oat mixture into the butter sugar mixture. Stir in juice and extracts and beat until combined. Stir in chips, cranberries and nuts.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoonsful onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 12-14 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.

Cool one minute on trays and then transfer to wire racks to cool.

Makes approx 3 dozen cookies.

Enjoy!  Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.

Polly

18 Oct 2010 Pear Crisp

Ahhh, fall comfort food!  I love baked pears and I love an oatmeal rich crisp topping.  This is a basic Pear Crisp recipe, if you want something fancier, check out my Drunken Pear Crisp with Cherries recipe.  I cut this recipe from a Cooking Light magazine years ago.  I’ve fooled with it quite a bit, more spices, more oatmeal, more pears… LOL!  The quantities here fit nicely into a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan.  If you have a lot more pears, just up the quantities by by 50% and bake in a 9 inch by 13 inch pan.

Ummm, true confession time.  We like this best at room temperature, for breakfast.  Hey! It’s oatmeal! It’s fruit!

A few years ago I asked my son to type the recipe out for me, with my changes. He did, but he embellished it a bit. I have retyped his version here, edited just a bit for clarity.  He was young at the time, not the big hunk of 19 year old masculinity he is now… Nevertheless, he’s going to crawl into a cave and hibernate when he finds out his mom published this on her blog. Oohhhhhhh, the embarrassment of it all! Don’t anyone tell him about this, puleeeeeese!

My Lovely Mom’s Pear Crisp

6 cups sliced ripe pears (5 or 6 lbs)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
A tiny bit of hard work
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
A whole bunch of JOY
1/3 cup flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons chilled butter
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup chopped walnuts (if you must)
A pinch of happiness

Directions

Look around you.  Take in your surroundings.  Be thankful. Feel wonderful about yourself and those around you. {Laugh at your son. He’s so FUNNY!} Read the recipe and do what it says.

Preheat oven to 375º.

Combine peeled and sliced pears with the lemon juice, toss gently to coat and then place in baking dish.

In another bowl combine sugar, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Stir to combine.  Pour mixture over over pears and mix lightly.

Do one thing, every day, that you have never done before.

In the same bowl (because it’s empty now and who wants to wash another dish?) combine flour, brown sugar, another ½ teaspoon cinnamon and another ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.  Cut in 3 tablespoon cold butter or grate the butter into the flour mixture with a grater (that’s what my mom does) and combine until the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs.  Stir in oats and optional nuts.  Sprinkle mixture evenly over pear mixture in the baking pan.

Bake at 375º for 30-40 minutes or until pears are tender and topping is golden brown.  Cool at least 20 minutes before eating (hot pears in melted sugar burn).

Smile. You’re all done.

My son is home from college today.  I made this for our breakfast tomorrow.  He and I will enjoy some Pear Crisp and some lattes.  I’ll read the newspaper.  He’ll read something about American history…and then we will probably argue about something stupid.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today, hope you enjoyed the Pear Crisp!

22 Sep 2010 Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate and Cherries

This recipe has been floating around the internet quite a bit lately.  Everyone is making it! I found the recipe at My Baking Addiction. My verdict?  This is a good seasonal cookie.  The white chocolate and dried cherries do elevate it to something special, but neither the pumpkin flavor nor the oatmeal flavor is pronounced, which is a negative in my book (You might be able to enhance the pumpkin flavor by upping the pumpkin pie spice by 50% or so). This is a good seasonal cookie though, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just not the best pumpkin cookie nor the best oatmeal cookie. It is, however, a nice change.  I think you’ll get a lot of really positive comments if you were to show up to your next event with a plate of these :).

I found this dough to be softer than most cookie doughs, it was a bit like a very thick cake batter, but the cookies cooked up just fine.  My butter was a bit too soft, so that might have created a softer dough. These cookies don’t stack well. After a day or so they start to stick together.  To prevent this, if you do stack, put a piece of wax paper between each layer.  This recipe makes about 48 cookies, but, of course, that depends on the size of your scoop!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

with White Chocolate and Cherries

2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter; softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries; roughly chopped (I used dried sour cherries.  Certainly dried cranberries could be substituted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (this isn’t critical, but the cookies do seem to cook better when placed on parchment paper)

Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl and set aside.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy.  Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture; combine until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips and dried cherries.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

I love the flavors of fall.  Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.

02 May 2010 Strawberry Oatmeal Scones
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My daughter Abby insisted I post these.  She said they are delicious.  She’s a wonderful girl, but unfortunately suffering from dormfooditis.  Nevertheless, these scones are good, and they do look pretty.  They’d be good with a mother’s day cup of tea, don’t you think?

Scones are not supposed to be sweet, and not supposed to resemble a muffin, and these don’t.  They have the right texture for a true English scone. Next time though, I will put a bit more sugar in them, and a bit less nutmeg.  (I love nutmeg, so I was a bit overgenerous, and the scones ended up with a bit of an unappetizing yellow tinge.)

Here’s where I found this recipe… Adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Strawberry Oatmeal Scones

1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup sugar (next time I might use 1/2 cup)
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 T unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Whisk together the egg and buttermilk and set aside. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Add the cold butter pieces and cut in with a pastry blender or your hands, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in the chopped strawberries. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir with a fork until the mixture comes together in one hairy ball (be careful not to squish too many strawberries). Place the dough on an ungreased baking sheet and pat into a disk about the size of a dinner plate and  1 1/2 inches thick. Cut the dough, like a pie or a pizza, into about 8 or 12 wedges.  Pull wedges apart, so there is about 1 inch between each slice.

At this point scones can be refrigerated to bake later, or frozen to be baked much later.  Place in preheated 400 degree oven  and bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown (25 minutes if frozen–do not defrost before baking). Transfer to a wire rack to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Thanks for visiting!