Posts Tagged ‘oatmeal’

Blueberry Breakfast Porridge

Monday, December 28th, 2009

I have been pleasantly surprised recently to learn that I actually like oatmeal. It started with a specific kind of McCann’s Instant Oatmeal, and has sort of grown from there to include a few different varieties. 6 months ago, I don’t think I would’ve ever tried this porridge recipe from my Weight Watchers 150 Comfort Foods cookbook.

Rather than just oats, this porridge uses bulgur and barley, which adds a chewy texture and more nutty flavor. It’s slightly chewier/bulkier than steel cut oats, for comparison. I added extra blueberries to the mix, for more flavor, and I’d have to say, the recipe would be a little bland without them.

Blueberry Breakfast Porridge
Adapted from the Weight Watchers 150 Comfort Foods cookbook

  • 1 1/2 cups 1% milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking barley
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • pinch of ground cinnamon

1. Put the mlk and salt in a small pan and bring just to a boil. Stir in the barley, bulgur, and oats. Reduce the heat to simmer, stirring frequently until the milk is completely absorbed and the grains are tender, but chewy. This takes about 10 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, and stir in the blueberries. Spoon the porridge evenly into 2 bowls, sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon, and serve.

Note: The recipe was very tasty when it was fresh. Unfortunately, I like to eat oatmeal at my desk at work–I was hoping this would reheat well, but it doesn’t really. The reheated version is much chewier than it was originally. Even though it didn’t take too long, I’m not one for cooking in the mornings. Unless I was going to be eating breakfast at home, I don’t know if I’d make this one again. For two servings, it works out to 6 points, but I broke it into 4 servings for 3 points each.

Follow Up: The Ultimate Autumn Cookie?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
So, last week, Cara and I tried to bake an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie she’d had once–but all she knew was that the recipe had pumpkin in it. So I researched recipes, but then the store didn’t have pumpkin. You can see how that turned out here. Cara decided to try again, and has been kind enough to share the results here. I tried these “cookies” last night, and they were quite tasty, but at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the crispy cookies. These were soft, and fluffy–more like a muffin than a cookie.
Anyway, Cara’s here to tell you the story of her muffin-top cookies:

Ok, so that title is a little vague because I didn’t want anyone who doesn’t like pumpkin to not click. I generally don’t even like pumpkin myself! Or so I thought. But that was until I had these magnificent Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, introduced to me by an ex-boyfriend.

These puppies are meant to be soft and chewy, bordering on almost cake-like (but not quite) – in other words, the perfect cookie, IMO. Since the ex and I didn’t really stay ~friends~ (hahaha… wait, that’s not funny, is it?), I did some Googling to try to find a similar cookie recipe… and found several different ones. I ultimately ended up Frankensteining a few – perfect for Halloween, am I right?! – to create this delicious fall treat. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz.)  (Note: most recipes list 1 cup; I accidentally used the whole can, but they taste great!)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon (I used 1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon & 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice – whatever you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. milk
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • cream cheese icing (optional)

Yield: about 3 dozen

Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg in large bow. Mix well.
(Oil will separate; just re-stir before you need to add more ingredients later in the recipe.)

In another, smaller bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Dissolve baking soda with milk, then stir into flour mixture. Next stir in oats.

Mix together flour mixture with pumpkin, slowly adding more flour mix and stirring each time. Mixture will thicken. You should be able to stick your spoon in the middle and have it stand up on its own.

Add vanilla and chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 on a greased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes until tops of cookies are dry and spring back when touched lightly (I find 12 mins. on the nose is perfect). Remove from baking sheet and cool on racks.

If you like, while cookies are still slightly warm, ice them with the cream cheese icing (I used the Pillsbury whipped variety). The warm cookie and the melty icing is perfection. Seriously. I’ve never iced them all and then eaten the pre-iced cookies later, so I’m not sure how that would taste, but I have nuked a cook or two in the microwave for a little bit and then iced them to re-create that fresh-out-of-the-oven goodness. Works pretty well actually.

These “cookies” were so moist and crumbly they tasted like the top of a really delicious muffin. Definitely muffintop-ish.

Your turn! Hope you enjoy – let me know if you do!

pumpkin cookie
Thanks for stopping by, Cara. And extra thanks for bringing leftover cookies last night. Yum!

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Though I am generally a pretty good cook, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned. This is one of those times. Luckily, the results were tasty, just not quite what we had in mind. My friend Cara came over to bake something last weekend. She wasn’t too particular, but had an idea of a cookie she’d had once before, and I did my best to cooperate. Except first, I think my recipe wasn’t exactly what she had in mind, and then the grocery store was out of a key ingredient, so I had to make substitutions. The cookies we ended up with were so far from what we initially planned that it doesn’t make sense to talk about what we tried to make. Instead, here’s what we ended up with: buttery, crunchy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

When it comes to oatmeal cookies, I’m more of a raisin girl. I’m also a chewy fan. That doesn’t mean that these weren’t good cookies. Once we got over the initial disappointment, I realized that they were actually delicious. Awesome dunked in milk–kind of like a Chips Ahoy, but with oatmeal.

cookies

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats, uncooked
1 teaspoon baking Soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup applesauce
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease baking sheets. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside. Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and applesauce, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, until browned and crisp at the edges. Let rest on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes or so before removing to a metal cooling rack.

Little Debbie Style Oatmeal Cream Pies

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

My little  sister does not have very exacting tastes. She likes spaghetti, and cheeseburgers, and Skittles, and Diet Coke. And she likes Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies. Rather adorably, she pronounces them Oitmeal Cream Pies. (Oatmeal starts like Ointment in Liz’s world–no one knows why or how that started).

You might think from this story that Liz is about 7 years old. In reality, she’s 21. Though to be fair, her tastes haven’t changed too much since she was 7 years old. That’s just fine with me, for the most part. She likes what she likes, and she’s pretty straightforward about it.

Last weekend, my 21 year old sister took and passed the exam to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. Congratulations to her, right? Congratulations, indeed. To celebrate, I set about making her favorite treat. They turned out to be a delicious, delicious sucess.

oatmeal-pies

Little Debbie Style Oatmeal Cream Pies
Adapted from backtothecuttingboard.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats

Cream Filling

  • 2 tsp very hot water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 (7.5 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl.

2. In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars. Add in eggs, one at a time. Finally beat in molasses and vanilla.

3. Slowly add the flour mixture to creamed mixture and beat until just blended; mix in the oats with a wooden spoon.

4. Drop dough by tablespoons. I used a tablespoon sized cookie scoop to make sure that my cookies were the same size–important when you’re going to sandwich them together! Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, at 350 degrees (F) for 10-12 minutes, or until just starting to brown around the edges. They will look moist; do not overcook them. Let sit on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

5. While the cookies bake, prepare the cream filling. In a small bowl, dissolve the salt in the hot water.

6. Combine marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, salt water, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; mix on high until fluffy–about 3-4 minutes).

7. When cookies are completely cooled, spread filling on flat side of one cookie, press 2nd cookie on top.

8. Enjoy!

Note: I’d love to tell you how to store them, but I’ve made them twice now, and neither batch lasted longer than 24 hours. This recipe yields about 2 dozen sandwich cookies.

Peaches & Cream Steel Cut Oats

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

I’m not going to say that oatmeal is my favorite thing to eat for breakfast. And I’m not going to say that this recipe for steel cut oats has changed my life. I am, however, going to say that this recipe for steel cut oats has changed my opinion on oatmeal.

Steel cut oats are the less processed form of oatmeal. Old-fashioned oats or instant oatmeal are made from rolled oats, but steel cut oats are, as it sounds, cut instead. This changes the texture completely, from a soft, mushy cereal, to a nutty, slightly chewy bowl of oats. Really, steel cut oats remind me more of rice than they do the gross packets of oatmeal that I was used to.

This recipe is based on the flavors of those little packets of peaches & cream instant oatmeal, but is so much tastier!

peaches-cream-steel-cut-oats1

Peaches and Cream Steel Cut Oats
Adapted from Hannah is Hungry

  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned peaches, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peach juice (from the canned peaches)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons of whole milk or cream per bowl

1. In a medium pot bring 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats, 3 cups water and a couple pinches of salt to a boil.

2.  Turn down to a simmer and let it go for 25 minutes.

3. Add 1 cup chopped canned peaches and 1/2 cup of the peach juice. Continue cooking for 10 minutes or until it reaches your desired consistency.

4) Scoop into 4 bowls and top with chopped walnuts and and a little bit of whole milk or cream. You probably won’t need added sugar because the peaches sweeten it up.

Note: This oatmeal reheats well. We ate it just one serving at a time, and kept the leftovers in the fridge for about a week while we ate through the whole pot.

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Rasin Cookies

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Mmm. Oatmeal raisin cookies.

They might be my favorite  cookie of all time. They’re also something of a challenge for me to make.

When I was in college, long before I cooked with any skill or seriousness, I decided to bake cookies for David for his birthday. In some ways, I blame the equipment. My kitchen today is full of quality equipment that were unattainable luxuries to my college self: my KitchenAid mixer, my Calphalon baking sheets, my Wilton cooling racks, parchment paper, a working, full-sized oven. But I was in love, and I was determined.

So one Friday night, after waiting tables at the Olive Garden for about 6 hours, I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning baking oatmeal raisin cookies for David.

I’d been planning this for weeks. I was broke, and couldn’t afford a proper gift for his birthday, but I’d bought a Simpson’s Cookie Jar, and all the packing materials. I had plans to drop the cookies at the mail center on my way to work the next day. I just had to bake the cookies.

I followed the recipe on the Quaker Oats package. It seemed like a good plan at the time. The results tasted okay, technically, but the texture was all wrong. They were thin, and crunchy. Completely flat, not anything like the soft, chewy cookies that my grandmother makes. I wanted to cry.

In hindsight, I can tell you that the ingredients were too warm (the only thing that gets cold in a dorm-sized fridge is cheap beer), the leavening probably didn’t work, and the oven was probably too hot. Oh, and I mixed them by hand, which didn’t get any air into the dough at all. Knowing what I know now, those cookies were destined to be a failure.

Since then, I’ve searched for the perfect chewy oatmeal cookie recipe, and this one from Smitten Kitchen is very, very close. They’re crisp at the edges, but chewy at the middle. The recipe calls for chilling the dough, but I was impatient and skipped that step, so they weren’t quite as thick as they could have been. Still, they came out nearly perfectly. I’m pretty sure I’ve found my go-to oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.

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Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slightly less thick.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.