Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy (Postponed) Valentine's Day!

My beloved and I and our child have been sick again. I must now be feeling better because I woke up at 4 this morning and decided to stay up.

I had been plotting all last week, attempting to find the most fabulously fabulous way to use a vanilla bean I have in my possession. But then I got sick. It must have been vanilla bean stress, because I have been pretty wound about them. They should be showcased. They should woo the eater into vanilla bliss in a similar manner in which chocolate woos. They should be made into something for Valentines Day to combat chocolate's slight superiority complex.

Alas, come Valentines Day, and no vanilla recipe to share. But, soon!

In a pathetic attempt to save the day of sweethearts (for, albeit a strange Hallmark construction, I get a kick out of any excuse to go out to a nice place, eat a lovely dessert, and buy, or receive, chocolates. It's fun. I mean, how fun is it to give your honey his favorite brand of pickles for a Valentine treat? Yeah, I did that.) I pronounced Valentine's Day postponed. I made sweets the day after.

This does not really help anyone reading this for Valentine's in particular. For that I apologize. But just think--if you are not the Valentine's Day sort, then you didn't miss anything. If you are, then you found something to make elsewhere. Today you get a loving reminder to love your lovies and bake for them on other days too. Maybe you can be a part of a revolution--the revolution of love your love the day after your supposed to!


Instead of the vanilla glory I had originally hoped for, I have happily complied with my former post's dedication to wholesome-ish delights. I have made cookies. These cookies were honestly difficult to get in the oven because the dough is so good.

The recipe is a mixture and a morphing of my usual chocolate chip cookie recipe (from the back of the chocolate chip bag a long time ago) and my mother's usual peanut butter cookie recipe (Joy of Cooking) and my new fondness for all things whole. The result is a cookie you want as an afternoon pick-me-up with a glass of milk or chai tea; it is nutty and whole-grained with little sweet crunchies from the demerara sugar, soft on the inside and slightly chewy on the bottoms and sides. It is full of goodness--two grains, two nuts.

Chocolate Nutty-Oat Cookies

The key to these cookies is letting them cool sufficiently. I tried to sneak a little cookie too soon one time and it puffed and disintegrated like saw dust, kind of. Wait for it. You'll be glad you did, because even when completely cooled they are very delicate. Also beware: they are filling!

1 cup butter
1 cup demerara sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt (course)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup pulverized almonds or store-bought almond flour
1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and peanut butter, stir gently until almost incorporated. Mix together salt, soda, almonds, and flour. Stir in until almost combined, then pour in the oats and chips. Make only as many strokes that you must to distribute evenly. Using a small ice cream scoop, measure cookie dough onto an ungreased baking sheet spaced two inches apart. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand and sprinkle with extra demerara sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set and slightly brown around the edges.

Let cool at least five minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool ten minutes more until firm. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Amanda, I remember when you gave Kevin those pickles... at Lassen!