Tag Archives: cookies

Sour Cherry and Dark Chocolate Granola Cookies

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Cherry and Dark Chocolate Granola Cookies “What can we have for a snack?”, my children say as soon as they step in the house after a day at school. Although they have a cooked lunch there they are absolutely ravenous when they get home. It’s this awkward time of the day, it’s still a bit early for dinner yet their appetites are so big they are not easily satisfied with a piece of fruit anymore. Of course, they ask if we have any biscuits at home…erm English for “cookies”. I am not a fan of giving them cookies for snacks, it just doesn’t sit right with me. However, if I make my own and put all kinds of healthy things in them and control sugar amount I might be okay with the idea and they will be thrilled.

Lo and behold- a protein and other nutrients packed cookie this mom approves. Good and healthy granola ingredients baked into a cookie form and  jazzed up with a little bit of dark chocolate, which let’s face it, has many positive benefits for our bodies and spirits. They are chockfull of old-fashioned rolled oats and dried sour cherries sweetened with raw Demerara/Turbinado sugar that has more minerals and nutrients than regular white sugar and has a natural caramel flavour. Bonus!

Sour Cherry and Dark Chocolate Granola Cookies

Sour Cherry and Dark Chocolate Granola Cookies

Ingredients:

  • Wholewheat or All Purpose Flour- 2 cups
  • Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (not quick or instant)- 2 cups
  • Baking Soda- 1 tsp.
  • Baking Powder- 1/2 tsp.
  • Salt- 1/2 tsp.
  • Demerara Sugar-1  1/4 cup
  • Butter- 1 cup/250 gr
  • Eggs- 2 large
  • Vanilla- 1 tsp.
  • Dark  Chocolate Chips or Chunks- 1/3 cup
  • Dried Sour Cherries- 1/3 cup
  • Walnuts or any other nuts (optional)- 1/3 cup

Method:

Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C. Line your baking trays with parchment paper.

Mix first 5 ingredients- flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Beat butter and sugar until blended, add eggs and vanilla, continue beating for 2-3 more minutes. You can use electric mixer or an old fashioned wooden spoon. Both work like magic.

Add dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and mix well, now add dried cherries and chocolate chips and walnuts if using. At this point I just get right in there with both hands as I find mixing a cookie dough with a spoon nearly impossible but if you mastered it go for it!

Scoop each cookie with a spoon, using 1/4 cup of dough and drop it on your baking tray spacing them 2″ apart as the cookies will get bigger as they bake. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes.

Sour Cherry and Dark Chocolate Granola Cookies
The cookies come out soft and chewy straight from the oven, the aroma in the house creates an atmosphere nothing short of a domestic bliss and perfection. (I wish I could bottle it in and release it on those days when rooms are not getting tidied and homework is not getting done. :-)) Dried cherry in combination with dark chocolate is a heavenly twist on the traditional oatmeal raisin. My kids were mighty impressed!
Sour Cherry and Dark Chocolate Granola Cookies

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Cowboy Cookies

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Cowboy Cookies
After last week’s insane schedule of teaching, being a mom and a wife with a 4 hour daily commute to work thrown into the mix I needed to de-stress. Well, first of all, I needed to sleep and then, I needed to head to my kitchen and get lost in the world of food. The world where everything makes sense. So yesterday’s, today’s and possibly tomorrow’s posts all come from ONE day of cooking!
I love my work, I love being a teacher but every time I am away from my kids I feel so torn up and even anxious about missing out on their valuable life experiences. When my super busy week was over I wanted to spoil them with freshly baked homemade cookies. It might come as a surprise but I don’t bake too often and when I do I prefer making muffins and quick breads, so cookie making is truly special. This Cowboy Cookies recipe came to me via unknown school fundraiser recipe book that I lost a long time ago as a result of our globetrotting tendency but the recipe stayed with me and became a favourite in our family.

This cookie is reminiscent of a morning granola or so I tell myself when I am tempted to grab it and eat it first thing in the morning. All joking aside, each cookie is chock full of earthly goodness-oats, walnuts, raisins, dark chocolate and coconut! In fact, as soon as I am done writing this I will indulge in a hot cuppa and one of those tasty delights!

Cowboy Cookies

Ingredients:

  • Flour- 2 cups
  • Old Fashioned Oats (not quick or instant)- 2 cups
  • Baking Soda- 1 tsp.
  • Baking Powder- 1/2 tsp.
  • Salt- 1/2 tsp.
  • White Sugar- 1/2 cup
  • Brown Sugar- 3/4 cup
  • Butter- 1 cup/250 gr
  • Eggs- 2 large
  • Vanilla- 1 tsp.
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips- 1/3 cup
  • Walnuts- 1/3 cup
  • Raisins- 1/3 cup
  • Coconut- 1/3 cup

Method:

Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C. Line your baking trays with parchment paper.

Mix first 5 ingredients- flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Beat butter and both sugars until blended, add eggs and vanilla continue beating for 2-3 more minutes. You can use electric mixer or an old fashioned wooden spoon. Both work like magic.

Add dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and mix well, now add all the yummy things that make this cookie so great-chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins and coconut. At this point I just get right in there with both hands as I find mixing a cookie dough with a spoon nearly impossible but if you mastered it go for it!

Scoop each cookie with a spoon, using 1/4 cup of dough and drop it on your baking tray spacing them 2″ apart as the cookies will get bigger as they bake. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes.

Cowboy Cookies

Rogalik- My Christmas Traditions Native and Adopted

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rogaliki1
One of the biggest draws of Christmas is time with family steeped in traditions. We are all creatures of habit and anticipation of something familiar is both exciting and comforting. You are probably expecting me to break into a charming little story from my childhood memories about celebrating Christmas in Russia. The truth is I didn’t start celebrating Christmas until my late teens. Among numerous holidays celebrated in Soviet Russia the birth of Christ was not one be acknowledged for 70 years! Many wonderful traditions were lost or got transferred to New Year’s Day, which became the biggest holiday of the year.

When Brad and I got married we moved away from both of our families and were very anxious to establish holiday traditions of our own to pass onto our children. Special festive food is, of course, a major part of any traditions and Christmas baking became something I dove right into! Some recipes came from Brad’s family, some from glossy foodie magazines and the one I am sharing with you today came from the Russian cookbook that was in my family for years. I was leafing through it one day when I stumbled on it. I marked it with * and jotted “Christmas” next to it. That’s how Rogalik became our family’s Christmas Tradition.

recipe
I’ve been making it ever since. For the last 12 Christmases we’ve enjoyed the taste of cinnamony walnuts drenched in honey and wrapped in flaky pastry. A cookie that has truly Russian roots but also became popular in North America through the Jewish immigrants from various Eastern European countries and known as Rugalach. Can you hear the similarity from Rogalik to Rugalach? I was also happy to learn that “rugal” in Yiddish means “royal”. Rogalik is so lovely, it’s truly fit for the King of Kings.

rogaliki 3 closeup
There are literally hundreds of recipes of Rugalach that are floating around the internet. The biggest difference between them and mine is that most of them use cream cheese to make the dough, which is not authentic at all and is rumoured to be developed by Philadelphia to help with the sale of their brand. My recipe uses sour cream and after trying all the other ones I always come back to mine. I might be partial but I believe my recipe is superior :-).
Ingredients for the dough:
Flour – 3 cups plus extra for rollingrogalik

Sour Cream (full fat)-1 cup

Butter- 3/4 cup/150gr

Vanilla- 1tsp

Egg (beaten)-1 for brushing

Ingredients for the filling:

Walnuts (chopped)-1 1/2 cupsRogalik

Sugar-1 cup

Honey-1/4 cup

Cinnamon-1 tsp.

Method:

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whip your softened butter together with sour cream in a large bowl. Add flour in small portions and continue mixing. Empty the contents of the bowl on floured surface and continue kneading until you have smooth and pliable dough adding a bit more flour if sticky. Cover and let sit for 10 min.

While your dough is resting chop the walnuts finely or process them in a food processor, mix with sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Make sure your honey is spreadable, heat if needed to achieve the right consistency.

Divide your dough into 4 parts and rolls out each individually into a circle. The dough shouldn’t be thicker than 1 cm. Brush honey on it and divide into 16 even triangles.

circle divided

Now sprinkle 1/4 of the nut/cinnamon mixture on your circle. My son came to help me with this important business but got bored quickly and left me to my own devices.

mitchell's hand
The next step is the funnest of them all. That’s where the famous rogalik takes it’s shape. Roll up each triangle starting from the wide end towards the centre of the circle.
one rolled up
Arrange the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush them with the egg wash and bake them for 25-30 minutes. I strongly recommend using the parchment paper because the delicious and gooey filling will leak out a bit and turn into caramel. If you don’t use parchment paper your rogalik will get glued to the baking sheet and will make it stressful to remove.
unbaked
Once baked remove them from the baking sheet to the wire rack while still warm.

rogaliki done
These little beauties take a bit of work but I get a profound sense of satisfaction and pride when they are done and put away in lovely Christmas tins. I am even happier when I get to sit down and enjoy one with my tea.
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My little girl loved them as well this year! Bonus!
Vika eatingRugelach  or Russian Rogalik