food amongst family and friends

The Perfect Not so Guilty Treat – Bean Cookies January 17, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Breakfast,Cookies,Make Ahead,Quick and easy,Thrifty — blisteringlydrunk @ 12:06 pm
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There will be a theme in my next few posts, of me trying to come up with good, healthy, energy providing snacks that my children will eat. Harder than it sounds, trust me, but this is a tried and true recipe from Meagan that has lots of good for you whole grains, beans, nuts, and fruit. So far, something my children would eat for dinner if I made them, but harder to get down as a quick, energy providing snack on the way to swimming, which is where the chocolate and, in my case, smarties, not to mention the cookie factor, come into play. Suddenly it’s something they love and I love feeding them and eating myself (especially as a post work out snack – why does running always make me want chocolate?). Feel free to play around with whatever kinds of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and chocolate/candy you want; this is the sort of recipe that changes every time for me depending on what I have in the cupboard at the moment. Also, keep in mind that these are soft cookies that are at their best when fresh – I freeze mine in groups of 3 or 4 to take out on days we need a good to-go snack. Makes 24 big cookies or 36 smaller ones.

2 cups oatmeal $0.80

1/2 cup each, all purpose and spelt flours $0.05 and $0.20, respectively

1 tsp baking soda $0.05

1/2 tsp cinnamon (I do mine heaping because I LOVE cinnamon) $0.03

1/4 tsp salt $0.01 (and that was rounding way up)

1, 19 oz can white kidney beans, well rinsed and drained $1.00

1/4 cup butter, softened $0.38

1 cup packed dark brown sugar $0.89

1 egg $0.25

1 tsp vanilla $0.08

3/4 cup chocolate chips (or a combo of chocolate chips and smarties left over from halloween and haunting your cupboard) $1.18

1/2 cup dried fruit (I used dried cherries, but raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots, or dates would all work fine – feel free to use more than one kind) $1.08

1/2 cup each, chopped nuts and seeds (I used chopped almonds and pepitas) $0.84 and $0.47, respectively

2 Tbsp Flax meal (I’ve had this forever and couldn’t find/remember the price, so I’m guessing high) $0.35

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line your cookie sheets with silicone or parchment.  Place oatmeal in food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground. Add flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and pulse until well blended. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Add beans, butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla to food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a couple times.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until almost combined, then add the remaining ingredients. Stir until just combined.

4. Drop by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheets a few inches apart. bake 14-16 minutes, or until just starting to brown at the edges. Cool on wire rack.

Total cost $8.06

Cost per cookie (at 24 cookies) $0.34

And just to put that in perspective, the cost of a single cheese string style snack at Costco pricing is $0.21, provides only one food group (as opposed to 3), is very processed, and is way smaller.




Trail mix cookies November 23, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies — blisteringlydrunk @ 12:09 pm
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I can’t believe this hasn’t been posted yet. Easily my all time favourite cookie recipe, plus the only one I can truly claim as my own. I’ve made it and tweaked it and made it and tweaked it what feels like thousands of times, but I think the recipe has finally reached its pinnacle. I made them this time in an effort to use up some Halloween candy (they’re not usually this colorful), so they are a little less healthy than usual, but mostly, these are cookies, but not terrible for you cookies. Plus they have a long shelf life; they will be fine in a cookie jar on the counter for a couple of weeks, which is a nice change from the cookies that need to be eaten or frozen within 12 hours of coming out of the oven. These are always a hit with adults and children alike and please personalize the trail mix part of the cookie to suit your preferences, that’s what really makes the cookie.

Makes 3 dozen good sized cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter or tahini (for a nut free version)

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 cups oats (or 2 1/2 cups oats and 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ)

1/3 cup coconut (toasted or not, to your preference)

1/2 cup dried fruit (cherries or cranberries are my favourite)

1/2 cup seeds or nuts of your choice (I usually use pepitas, walnuts, or pecans)

1 heaping cup of chocolate chunks or smarties or a combination of both

1. Preheat oven to 325 and line your cookie sheets with parchment or silicone.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together (I use my electric mixer) butter and peanut butter/tahini until smooth and slightly fluffy. Beat in sugars until fluffy again, then beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.

3. In a small bowl, stir together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture, stirring with a large wooden spoon now. Stir in oats, coconut, fruit, seeds, and chocolate.

4. At this point I usually grab a big hunk of dough and make a ‘snake’ with it, then break off in chunks (about 1 Tbsp each) to put on the cookie sheet. Flatten slightly.

5. Bake for about 13 minutes or until just starting to get golden on the bottom edge of the cookie. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.




Walnut Gorgonzola shortbread November 17, 2011

Filed under: Appetizers,Baking,Cookies,Make Ahead — blisteringlydrunk @ 10:28 am
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Simple, easy, delicious, pairs perfectly with red wine; need I say more?

Oh, and you can freeze the dough to take out, slice and bake whenever you feel like it.


1/2 cup butter, room temp

1 cup crumbled gorgonzola (or other blue cheese of your choice)

1 cup flour (I think you could do half spelt, half all purpose here, though I tried it with all AP. Just depends on how rich you want it)

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (again, feel free to mix it up with the nuts)

1. Beat butter and cheese together until well blended, but lumps of cheese are good, so don’t go for perfectly smooth. Stir in flour and nuts.

2. Shape into a log, then wrap in plastic and put in fridge for an hour or so to firm up, or place log in a ziploc and freeze it.

3. Slice log into 1/4 inch slices and bake on parchment lined cookie sheets at 350 for 10 minutes or until the bottom edge of the cookies are just starting to turn golden. If you have frozen the log, you are going to want to thaw it a bit before slicing.




Cookie Friday! Vegan Oatmeal Fruit and Seed Cookies September 30, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Quick and easy,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 1:03 pm
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OK, I don’t know if cookie Friday is actually a thing, but it should be. I’ve been actively resisting baking for a couple weeks now, since I’m the one who usually ends up eating most of it, but I broke down yesterday and gave this recipe a shot.  I’ve had this page open on my computer screen since she posted it on August 30, so I feel that, since I waited for a whole month, my willpower has been proven and it’s OK to eat the whole batch. These are great cookies, with too much oil in the recipe, so I am posting them the way I will make them next time. And I will make them again; the flavour and texture are bang on if you can ignore the oil seeping out the bottom and you like things soft and chewy with a crunch to the edge, plus they took no time to throw together, and I love the use of natural sugars (brown and maple syrup) instead of refined ones. Also, because there are no eggs or butter, I’m likely to be able to make some version of these, regardless of how recently I’ve been to the grocery store. If you are a chocolate fiend, you could happily throw in some chunks or smarties here to go for a trail mix style cookie as well. Happy baking!

1 cup oats

3/4 cup flour (I used all purpose, but spelt would work well here)

1/3 cup dark brown sugar (loosely packed)

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of nutmeg

1/4 cup each, dried cherries (or cranberries), pepitas, and unsweetened coconut

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicone.

2. Stir together dry ingredients (everything but the syrup, oil and vanilla) in a large bowl.

3. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.

4. Roll into Tbsp sized balls for BIG cookies, or half that for a more normal sized cookie. Place 2 ” apart on cookie sheets and bake for 9-12 minutes, or until golden around the edges but still soft in the middle. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 giant cookies or 18 normal sized ones.





Sesame Snack Cookies June 6, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Make Ahead,Quick and easy,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 8:14 am
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It’s my turn to host bookclub this month and I have been planning on trying some new snacks. Since I didn’t have to cook dinner yesterday (due to a brother who loves to barbeque), I thought I would get a jump start on some cooking. I was tempted to call these a cracker, since I think we will be eating them more like a cracker than a cookie, but they have the unmistakable richness of a cookie. I found the recipe here, but had to adjust it based on ingredient availability. I have not actually kid tested this one, as I am saving these for the grown ups, but my instinct tells me they might be a little rich for my children anyway. That said, if you like sesame or tahini, you will like these. I think ideally they should be paired with something light; fresh herbed goat cheese or raita would be lovely, although I have something else in mind (coming soon to a post near you).


1/3 cup tahini

1/2 cup spelt flour

1 (scant) tsp of salt

5 tsp sesame seeds

1 egg

2-3 Tbsp water

1. Stir together flour, salt and sesame seeds. Pour in tahini and use a fork to work everything together. Add the egg and combine thoroughly. At this point, my dough was still not coming together into a ball, so I added about 2 tsp of water. This allowed me to get it to hold together in a ball, however, next time I think I will add a bit more water, as it was still a little to crumbly at the slicing stage.

2. Form the dough into 2 logs (mine were roughly the size and shape of a mini cucumber), cover and place in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.

3. Preheat oven to 360 (I’m sure 350 would be fine if your oven is not this exact). Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicone and take out your logs. Slice into 1 cm thick rounds. This is where mine started to fall apart, so I had to stick them back together a bit. Hopefully, you will have used more water than me and you won’t have this problem. Place on cookie sheet (they don’t seem to spread at all) and bake for 14-15 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown.

4. Let cool completely on the pan before serving. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. I imagine you could also make the logs ahead of time and freeze them, so all you had to do was slice and bake them. This made 20 small cookies for me.




Garam Masala Cookies = WOW May 27, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Quick and easy,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 5:37 pm
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I have been baking way too much lately, and I had firmly resolved not to bake any more for at least a week, maybe more, until I saw this recipe on ELS, which blew away all of my good intentions. I immediately set about whipping up a batch of these cookies and I was not at all sad that I did. If you are a ginger snap person, you are going to love these. I think the key is having good quality, fresh spices. Also, next time I think I will make them into a slightly smaller cookie; more of a two biter to have with coffee or tea. These are crunchy, sugary, buttery, chewy, spicy goodness; basically all I’m asking for in a cookie that is definitely not good for me.

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour (I used white, but I think next time I will use spelt)

1 (generous) tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp each, salt and ground cardamom

1/2 tsp each, baking soda and cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cream together first 4 ingredients (through vanilla) in a large mixing bowl using your electric mixer.

2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and then add to the sugar mixture. Beat with mixer until everything is combined but crumbly.

3. Use your hands to form into balls (about a Tbsp of dough each). Place on lined cookie sheet and flatten slightly with your hands. Leave a bit of room, as they will spread slightly.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, maybe less if you decide on smaller cookies.



PS These can easily be vegan if you sub vegan margarine for the butter



Maple Quinoa Trail Mix cookies . . . That are good for you? May 21, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies — blisteringlydrunk @ 7:58 am
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Good for you being, of course, relative to the number of mini eggs you put in these. We are planning a big hike with the kids for the long weekend, so I have been experimenting all week with some energy packed, portable food. I know I’ll need it all summer anyway, so this seemed like a good time to perfect a few recipes. Consequently, I have done a ton of cooking, but no posting. So I thought I would start with this, because everyone likes cookies, but I will warn you now, there is a theme coming, and it is quinoa. It occurred to me last week that cooked quinoa would be fantastic in baked goods, due to its slightly sweet flavour, plus it packs a protein and whole grain punch that would increase the food value of pretty much anything, so I cooked up a bunch of it and have been putting it in everything I can think of. I’ve made these cookies twice now, and I think I hit the jackpot the second time around. Hope you enjoy them as much as I, my family, my neighbours, some out of town friends, and all the kids around my house did.


1/2 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup maple syrup (I think you could go half and half maple syrup and brown sugar if you wanted, just make sure to use real maple syrup)

1 tsp maple extract (again find a real one, artificial flavour here would be wrong; if you can’t find it, use vanilla instead, but look for it, because the maple is really nice with the quinoa)

2 eggs

Cream butter in a large bowl with electric mixer until fluffy. Add in maple syrup and beat until well blended and fluffy again. Beat in extract and eggs, one at a time, until everything fluffs up again.

Meanwhile, combine in a medium bowl:


1 1/4 cups spelt (or half whole wheat, half all purpose) flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Add to wet ingredients and stir just to combine. Preheat the oven to 325, then add:

All the goodies:

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (preferably cooled to at least room temperature, so as not to melt the butter)

2 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup wheat germ

3/4 cup pepitas (or nuts of your choice)

1/2 cup dried cherries, halved (dried cranberries would also work well here)

3/4 cup smashed mini eggs (I used mini eggs because they were on clearance, but the idea is the same as trail mix, so in the future, I will probably use smarties or reese’s pieces or something similar)

Stir until everything is evenly distributed. I then made rough ‘logs’, about 3 fingers thick and broke off 2″ hunks to put on parchment lined cookie sheets. I then flattened each cookie a little and pressed a mini egg into the top (optional).  You could also drop by spoonfuls, its just a little harder to control the size and shape.  Bake for about 14 minutes, or until browned and holding their shape.  Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.