Best Made Plans

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Yesterday morning I rose early to head to the grocery store before dawn, before my girls woke up, and before my “To Do List” really got moving.  I returned home at 6:30 am, with arms full of groceries, and two little girls with pink eye. How quickly all those plans on my “To Do List” were put on hold, and a new (much better, I must say) plan developed.  Cookie-Baking Day.

The girls felt great, but still unable to attend school, dance class, and tumbling lessons, so we just stayed close to home and had ourselves a wonderful little day.  It’s these moments spent with my little ones in the warm embrace of our home that I will remember most as the years move on.  I will never forget their baking experiments with flour strewn all about the kitchen, their voices in the play room as my seven year old reads fairy tales to her little sister, or the tiny fists full of cookies being shoved as quickly as possible into their smiling mouths.

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Cowboy Cookies

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The constant rain of this past week brought water into our basement, as well as water leaking into our family room from the ceiling.  With water coming from the top and bottom, I felt the need to indulge in some chocolate.  I mean really, is there any better way to reduce stress?  Nope…I don’t believe there is.

So, today I bring you last week’s chocolate fix:  Cowboy Cookies.  These cookies are filled with all kinds of sweet goodness, sure to lift anyone out of whatever summer slump you may be in.  Enjoy!

Cowboy Cookies

In an electric stand mixer, add 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup peanut butter.  Mix until smooth.

Add 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup brown sugar.  Mix until sugars and butters are well creamed.

Next add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the blended mixture.

Then add 2 cups rolled oats, 2 cups coconut, 1/2 chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup health bits.  Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

Roll the dough into golf ball-sized balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.

Enjoy!

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*A note about all my recipes:  I use all organic ingredients, local when available.  I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified.  All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.

Honey-Sweetened Oatmeal Cookies

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Again, in an attempt to lighten our refined sugar load, I have been playing around in the kitchen a bit to find some alternatives to our favorite dessert recipes.  Replacing the granulated and brown sugars in traditional oatmeal cookies with local honey, created a wonderful cake-like cookie.  The floral taste of the honey, paired with the nuttiness of these local oats, makes this cookie one you just must try!

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Honey-Sweetened Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup butter (softened)

1 cup local honey

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 cups rolled oats

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and honey.  Then add the ingredients to the mixer in the order listed, being sure each ingredients is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Scoop out the dough by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.  Enjoy!

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*A note about all my recipes:  I use all organic ingredients, local when available.  I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified.  All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.

Grandpa Dit’s Molasses Cookies with a Twist

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I don’t know about you, but I can’t quite think of anything better on a Monday morning than cookies.  So today, I bring you another of my Grandpa Dit’s recipes:  Molasses Cookies.

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(I just love showing pictures of my Grandpa’s recipe box…Doesn’t it just look like the type of recipe box a man would have…Made out of steel, splattered with rust marks?  Love it 🙂 )  I played around a bit with his recipe, to sub out the shortening he called for, with a combination of butter and coconut oil.  After some experimentation, and trial and error, I’ve come up with what I think is a really tasty molasses cookie that is bit different than the traditional molasses-filled treat.

Grandpa Dit’s Molasses Cookies

Step 1.  Cream together the following with an electric mixer:

1/4 cup softened butter

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 cup sugar

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Step 2.  Once creamed, add:

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Step 3.  Continuing with the electric mixer, add:

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup molasses

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Step 4.  Using a wooden spoon, mix in:

2 cups all-purpuse flour

3/4 cups rolled oats

Step 5.  Using a cookie scoop, drop the cookie dough on a greased cookie sheet.  Then use the back of a tablespoon and make a depression in each dropped cookie.  Sprinkle with sugar.

Step 6.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

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*A note about all my recipes:  I use all organic ingredients, local when available.  I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified.  All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.

Hearty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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I am constantly testing out recipes in my kitchen, attempting to incorporate local organic ingredients to amp up the healthiness of the goodies we love to eat, while also keeping them super yummy.  I still had some locally-grown rolled oats in my fridge from this farmer and whole wheat flour from this farming family, so I created this recipe to highlight those hearty grains and their lovely earthy, nutty flavors.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

1/2 cup granulated cane sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 baking soda

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)

4-6 oz. high quality milk chocolate chopped into chunks (I love using Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate in all my baking.)

Cream the butter, coconut oil, and both sugars using a hand blender or stand mixer.  Then blend in the eggs and the vanilla.  After all of these ingredients have been well incorporated, add the baking soda, followed by both flours.  Now, mixing by hand, add the oats and chocolate.

Scoop the dough out (about 2 tablespoon-size) and bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes, depending on whether you like chewy oatmeal cookies or crunchy ones.

*A note about all my recipes:  I use all organic ingredients, local when available.  I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified.  All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.

Chocolate Anyone?

Two years ago, a small group of students, a co-worker and I conducted research on local farmsteads that were over one hundred years old.  While visiting one of these farms, the wife of the farmer invited us to join her inside for coffee and chocolate chip cookies.  Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that there are two things that I never turn down:  coffee and sweets.  So I was more than pleased to partake in this fabulous activity.

Once we got settled at the hand-crafted wooden table nestled against one wall in her century old kitchen, she brought out piping hot cups of coffee and the BEST chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted!  After eating three of those scrumptious things, I asked her if I could have a copy of the recipe.  She quickly pulled out an old note card that had yellowed around the edges and had been opened, closed and folded so many times that I could scarcely make out the script on the card.  But by golly, I really wanted that recipe!  So I slid my chair right next to this elderly woman, whom I had just met, and had her read the recipe aloud to me while I quickly jotted it down on a piece of loose leaf from one of my student’s notebooks.

I have been using this recipe ever since.  Everyone in my family agrees that this is the greatest recipe on earth.  So when Valentine’s Day came along this week, my husband and I decided to make a special treat for the girls…chocolate chip cookie sundaes!  We all thoroughly enjoyed, and had to be rolled away from the table J

Here is the recipe:  (Something you should know about all of my recipes:   I use all organic ingredients, local flour when it is available, pasture butter and non-homogenized milk.  I think it makes a huge difference in the end product.  Just an fyi.)

1 cup butter

1 cup coconut oil (The original recipe called for shortening, but I replace all shortening in my baking recipes with coconut oil.  Be sure to use the coconut oil in its solid state when measuring the 1 cup.)

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

Cream well.

Add: 1 egg, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda

Add: 3 ¾ cups flour

Add: 1 bag of chocolate chips

Bake at 375 degrees for 9 minutes.

Enjoy!