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oatmeal and edging

I baked cookies yesterday.

Ginger snaps, chocolate chip macadamia nut bars, and a new variation of oatmeal cookies.

And I learned something from each batch.

Ginger snaps: I'm right-handed, and I usually scoop the dough with my right hand. Yesterday, that was awkward because of the way I had things set up. So I took a very close look at the dough scoop, and realized that although it had a slight right-hand bias, it could probably be used left-handed without asking fingers to do things they were never meant to do.

And it worked.

Chocolate chip macadamia nut bars: I read the instructions. Seriously. I read the instructions for the bar cookies, and it finally registered that I am using the wrong size pan. The recipe calls for a 10" by 15" (25cm by 38cm) pan, and I was using a 9" by 13" (23cm by 33cm) pan. No wonder my cookies were taking longer to bake. And no wonder why, when I used an 11" by 17" (28cm by 43cm) pan, the dough didn't cover the bottom properly and got rather crispy around the edges.

I faked it this time, putting 2/3 of the dough into my usual pan, and the rest into a small casserole dish that had about the right area, but I'll be buying a new pan before the next batch!

Oatmeal cookies: Bran is good.

I saw a recipe for Chewy Oatmeal Cookies on the side of a box of wheat bran, and decided to try it.

When I make individual cookies, they tend to come out rather flat. (Something to do with the butter - either I let it get too warm or I don't beat it enough, or I beat it too much, or something. Haven't quite figured that one out. Anyway, this is one of the reasons I like bar cookies: if they're going to spread all over and fuse into one cookie, might as well plan for that to happen!)

I experimented a few weeks ago with a cookie that was loaded with bran. Tasty, and not flat at all, but it was cakier than I would like. So when I saw that these had some bran in them, I decided to try making these as cookies, to see how they would react.

Very nicely, as it turns out. The first tray was perfect. The second wasn't quite so good, since I stuck the tray in the fridge, and didn't account for bringing the chilled dough back up to temperature. (2 more minutes in the oven solved it.)

And the cookies aren't flat!

The recipe, as found at http://www.quakeroats.com/qfb_Recipes/recipe.cfm?recipeid=11508
 1-1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar 
     1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened 
   1/2 cup granulated sugar 
     2 eggs 
     2 teaspoons vanilla 
 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
   3/4 cup Quaker® Unprocessed Bran 
 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
     1 teaspoon baking soda 
   1/2 teaspoon salt (optional) 
 2-1/2 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked) 
 1-1/3 cups diced dried mixed fruit or raisins 

1.   Heat oven to 375° F.  
2.   Beat brown sugar, margarine and granulated sugar with electric mixer until creamy. 
     Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. 
3.   Stir in oats and dried fruit; mix well. 
4.   Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. 
     Bake 9 to 10 minutes, until light golden brown. (Centers will be soft.) 
     Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets, remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered. 

Servings: About 4 dozen

I made a half batch, and used my larger cookie scoop. It made 23 cookies, so that satisfies me that that is the scoop to use when the recipe talks about "rounded tablespoons".

All in all, I'm pleased!

Current blanket status: Summer Whirl is half edged. It'll take about 90 minutes to finish, then it's into the washer!

I've started the next blanket (using two shades of lavender and two shades of green) but I'm not sure about the pattern at this point. (I'm toying with a basic zigzag.) Status: 1 square done (dark green) out of 40.


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November 2010
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