Monday, September 5, 2011

Sweet Delights - Labor of Love this Holiday Weekend

With these cookies I could bake me up a husband!  
Well, one could dream :)  But, last time I made these cookies was a little over a year ago on the birthday celebration of my two lovely friends Cassy and Susan.  I took leftovers out to the bars and one guy actually professed he wanted to marry me after having one of my cookies.  I like to think it was my fine baking skills and not the late night alcohol munchies :)  Today the cycling group I've recently started riding with (Sound Cyclists) held their annual picnic in Greenwich.  It's  kind of an end of the summer celebration even though riding will still continue for the next few months.  We had to bring a side dish or dessert and after deliberating over these cookies and this Sweet & Sour Chocolate Bark I decided to go with the simple and delicious Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.  A) Because it was something I could easily whip up and B) when at Fresh Market looking for ingredients for option 2 I realized it was going to be too much of a $ investment for cookies I was giving away to people who were still semi strangers..  Maybe someday I'l give it a try and modify it based on what I have on hand.
These cookies are pretty simple.  Because they don't have any sugar (agave nectar instead) or butter (some almond butter) and only use 1 egg white per batch I wouldn't call these decadent cookies.  They are a clean eating freak's version of a chocolate oatmeal cookie.  But with the cinnamon and nutmeg and of course the DARK CHOCOLATE, these cookies are both tasty, light and versatile!  They use Whole Wheat Pastry Flour but I actually recommend Spelt because that's what I had to use for my second batch and I think they actually taste a little better..
The ingredient line up - can you tell who I think the star of the show  is?
This has got to be the simplest recipe ever.  It is especially shown by the fact that after making one batch I realized that it was going to be way too small so while the first batch was cooking I whipped up another batch before they were even done baking (about 9-10 minutes).
mmm the dry goods - spices, oats and flour

Whisk it good!
The hardest part of this whole process was NOT to nibble.  Are you shocked? WHY would you not take a little taste of that delicious chocolate??  Well, basically I knew I would be going to town "checking" my finished product that I wanted to make sure I had prepared the sufficient amount of room in my stomach.

I liked chopping the chocolate by hand because I think all the chocolate dust makes the cookies even more bold with dark chocolate goodness
Voila! Dark Chocolate lover's dream.  Note - always remember to spray your tin foil (oops) 
Well, I wouldn't say that my cookies were a hit...but they were a little over powered by all the other hefty strong man desserts at the picnic.  I did get a lot of comments..but when you are competing against fudge brownies, milky way cake and pecan really can't consider them in the same court. I would recommend them dipped in milk, hot tea or with some yogurt on top.  Or you could stick them in the microwave for a few seconds and make the chocolate all melty again.  Also, I added the nutmeg as a option..I think maybe next time I'll put a little less or skip it all kind of over powers the flavor.  Another option could be use honey or maple syrup with the Agave to give it more sweetness..just thoughts.

So there you have it, a quick recap of my culinary explorations this weekend.  But this weekend was delicious  in more ways than one.  Today began with a 30 mile ride with the group mentioned above through beautiful, scenic, historic roads in New York and northern Connecticut.  Rural here is a lot different from Arkansas.  Mostly because that is where you will find the super rich who manicure their massive tree filled yards and stone built walls.  But while I risked crashing to gawk at many a castle, the roads here really are beautiful in and of themselves...expect lots of pictures in the fall.  So many trees, winding roads and old historical tucked away houses and towns.  A cyclists heaven.  I think I saw more bikes than cars the first 2 hours of the morning.

Previously, on Sunday, I tried to take a trip to both get errands done and see some beautiful roads.  The result was I wasted my entire day, missed lunch and came home with hardly anything to show for it (except these flowers below)

Here I am Sunday (pre errand failure), fueled by my Soy Iced Chai, excited to adventure forth to explore!  (little windy..and I lost my sunglasses)
Also, I have found my second home - Mad Hatter Saloon.  I will be there for every Razorback game possible, where the bar will be overflowing with migrated Arkansans.  I've never been more thrilled to call the Hogs! :)

And finally, BREAKING NEWS!!!  To the limited group who reads this in AR, I look forward to seeing you Sept 30th-Oct 4th (Happy early Bday to me!)  So excited to come home during my favorite time of year and finally see my sister, who just got back from France and I haven't seen in 9 months.
Tonight, unless I find myself being called by the couch or the bar down the street, I will be attempting some Black Bean Soup!

1 comment:

  1. Loooooove those cookies. I like all of your action shots to go with them. Chopped pieces of dark chocolate seem so much more decadent than plain ol' chocolate chips for some reason. Can't wait to see you later this month!!!