Since baby came along, and now even more since I’ve gone back to working in the mornings, there is a serious need in my home for grab-n-go breakfasts. I’m trying to be frugal about that, and I’m also trying to move toward “real food.” (For one definition of that, visit 100 Days of Real Food.)
My initial grab-n-go focus was homemade granola bars, which is at a standstill. I’d found that this recipe from “A Homemade Pantry” was yummy but still more crumbly than a packaged granola bar. I’m wondering now if it’s even possible to make a non-crumbly granola bar without the magic of chemicals or industrial presses. (That book finally came in at the library! Excited to try some more of the recipes.)
Next came a transition to breakfast cookies. I tried the Pecan Maple Breakfast Cookies from 100 Days of Real Food and wanted them to be a smashing success, but we deemed them too bland.
The latest trial was Cranberry Coconut Breakfast Cookies from The Happy Housewife. (I won’t link to the recipe because I’ve been getting virus messages when I go there.) Trial #1 was yummy, though a tad delicate. All of the third-of-a-batch I made got eaten — hubby even ate them of his own accord, which is more than can be said for the majority of my baked goods.
And now we get to today, Cranberry Coconut Breakfast Cookies Trial #2 and #3 — or maybe #2.5. I made some adjustments to the recipe, then baked one pan of cookies, chilled the remainder of the dough, and tweaked it some more. Trial 2.5 might just be a winner! Find the recipe at the end of this narrative of its life story.
The changes from version 1 to 2 included halving the butter, salt, and vanilla and using the called-for molasses — last time I was out and substituted extra brown sugar. The molasses did add nice depth to the cookie’s flavor. Cutting down the butter didn’t seem to affect the cookies, so we’ll call that a permanent change! Trial 1 was definitely too salty. Next time, I might try going to a third of the original recipe.
From Trial 2 to 2.5, the dough from Trial 2 was chilled; I then added another 1/4 cup of rolled oats and a tablespoon or so of chopped pecans. Also, I put down parchment on the cookie sheet to prevent sticking, and tried to catch them before they burned! It’s a fine line between when the tops are no longer wet-looking and the edges are burnt. Maybe that’ s a place where fiddling with the temperature would help?
Version 2.5 was really not crumbly at all. The cookies went from pan to cooling rack with much less concern of breakage.
CRANBERRY COCONUT BREAKFAST COOKIES
Adapted from The Happy Housewife
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup shredded almonds (original recipe called for finely chopped)
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter and sugar until well-blended. Add eggs, molasses, and buttermilk. Combine dry ingredients except for cranberries and oats in a separate bowl. Gently blend dry into wet. Fold in the fruit and oats. Finally, add the vanilla. For best results, chill the dough for 30 to 60 minutes. Using a 1-inch scoop, drop large tablespoons onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet or baking stone. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.