Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Healthy Cookies?

What's the point? If I'm going to eat a cookie, it should be good- full of butter and chocolate not light in calories and good for you. But this one is a little of both. Don't believe me? Try it yourself.

I discovered this recipe because I was looking for a low sugar/sugar free cookie for a little boy that I take care of. His parents don't eat a lot of sugar (one is diabetic) and I know they don't want him to either. I made a cookie - if you want to call it that- it was more like a saucer- from a healthy cookbook of theirs, but they only had whole wheat flour, date sugar, and margarine. If you bake at all you know those are not the greatest of ingredients to work with, especially if you're wanting it to taste good. I searched the web and found Sugarless Oatmeal Banana Cookies. They're not exactly "sugarless" though because bananas, raisins and milk all have sugar. I guess you could call them "No Sugar Added Oatmeal Banana Cookies" but that makes for a really long name. And besides I added chocolate chips to mine, so I added sugar. Oh, well.

Oatmeal Banana Cookies
  • 1/3 c. butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 2 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Let stand for 5-10 minutes allowing the oats to soak up all the milk. Drop by tablespoon full onto a cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees*. Allow to cool. Makes 2-3 dozen.

*NOTE: I baked the first batch at 350 for 15-20 minutes, but they didn't seem cooked all the way through, but they were getting too dark on the bottom. I did the next 2 batches at 325 for 25 minutes and they were much better. I would suggest this temp, but all ovens vary, so you'll just have to keep an eye them.

These are not your typical "cookies". They don't contain flour or leavening, so they won't rise or spread. They taste very much like banana bread. Even the texture is the same. I was pleasantly surprised by these "healthy" cookies. The family loved them.

Other additions (add 1/4 c of any of these to batter):

  • mini chocolate chips
  • chopped nuts
  • dried chopped fruit (cranberries, apricots, cherries)
  • shredded coconut

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Race Day Must Have

Kentucky Derby Pie is trademarked by the Kerns Company. You can't technically call a pie a Kentucky Derby Pie, unless it is from this company, but it is what it is. Call it what you want, but most recipes like this are all relatively similar. They contain pecans or walnuts, chocolate chips and bourbon in a custard-like filling in a single pie crust. This recipe is from Martha Stewart and she calls it Run For The Roses Pie- I call it good. It's like chocolate chip pecan pie but with a kick! A huge hit with my husband :-) Kentucky Bourbon Pie
  • 1/2 recipe (1 crust) pie dough
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 round of pie dough into a 12-inch round. Dust off any excess flour and carefully lay dough into a 9-inch pie plate, pressing it into the edges. Trim excess dough allowing a 1-inch overhang all around. Fold dough underneath the edges, making for a neat edge then crimp edge as desired. Cover with plastic wrap and chill pie shell until firm- approximately 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Line with parchment paper, leaving at least a 1-inch overhang, (so you can grab the edges when it comes out of the oven). Fill the pie with pie weights or dried beans to weight down the pie so it does puff up in the oven. Bake until the edges of the crust are just beginning to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Remove parchment paper and the pie weights or beans. Put the crust back in the oven and continue baking until golden all over, about 5 more minutes. Transfer pie shell to a wire cooling rack and allow pie crust to cool slightly (about 10 minutes).

In a large bowl, mix together eggs and melted, cooled butter. Add sugar and flour. Mix until well combined. Stir in pecans, chocolate chips, and bourbon. Pour into baked and slightly cooled pie shell. Place pie back in the oven and bake until filling is set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely before serving.

NOTE: If you choose not to make your own pie crust, you can use a frozen pie crust and prebake it til lightly golden, then add the filling, or you can use refrigerated pie crust and follow the instructions above. I prefer the refrigerated, but use what you like.

I used walnuts instead of pecans, because that's what I had on hand, but use what you like. And if you don't have bourbon on hand, you can buy tiny bottles (like the ones on airplanes) from the liquor store, without having to purchase a full size bottle. I used Maker's Mark whiskey, but you can use Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Knob Creek or whatever you like (or in my case, what my husband drinks). Keep in mind that JD is sour mash whiskey and that may affect the final result giving it a more "sour" taste.

Congrats Big Brown and rest in peace Eight Belles!

ETA: I didn't like the original picture of the pie slice, so I took another. And I forgot the bourbon- what was I thinking?

Easy As Pie

An easy, flaky, no-fail recipe for pie crust. Great for double-crust chicken pot pies or single-crust gooey pecan pies for the holidays.
Pie Crust Dough by Martha Stewart
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. coarse salt
    • 1 tbsp. sugar
    • 1 c. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

    Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the cubed, cold butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube, just until the dough holds together. As soon as dough starts to fall from the sides, stop processing. Do not process for more than 20 seconds.

    Turn the dough out onto a clean surface. Divide into two halves and place on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten, and shape into two discs. Wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using or freeze for up to 3 months making sure dough is well wrapped.

    Makes two 9-inch single-crust pies or one 9-inch double-crust pie.
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