Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies

These were probably the most successful accidental cookies I've ever made. Basically, this means that I had a bunch of ingredients lying around that needed to be used and so I decided to chance throwing them all together in an attempt at making a cookie. You'll read all of these ingredients and think I was crazy - but talk to anyone who ate them and I think they'll agree that they were a success. I would definitely make these again!

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup oats
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
1 TB honey
1 egg
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup yellow raisins
1/4 cup craisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
1 mashed banana
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

The inspiration for these started from an old cookbook from Mrs. Fields but then I realized I had lots more ingredients lying around so I just started adding ingredients here and taking away ingredients there. This list of ingredients is what I was left with!
1. As always, my rule of thumb is to get all of your ingredients together and measured out before you start combining and cooking. It's the worst feeling when you've already started mixing and then you realize you're out of eggs or some other essential ingredient.
This process really helps to streamline the baking process and steps - all you have to do is pour ingredients into your bowls in the right order, rather than look back at the recipe and see what amount, what ingredient, etc.
2. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, flax seed, baking powder and cinnamon. If you'd rather or if you just don't have wheat on hand, feel free to use white flour instead.
3. If you don't have time to wait for your butter to get to room temp, it's okay to defrost in microwave for about 25 seconds, or until it shows first signs of starting to melt. I probably put mine in for 5 seconds too long here.
4. In a stand mixer beat the butter on high for 1 min. Add the brown sugar and blend together. Feel free to scrape the sides of the bowl down to be sure that everything is being incorporated together well. After the brown sugar and butter are well combined, add the peanut butter next.
5. In a small bowl, mash the banana with a fork and then add the egg into that, mixing together. You can also add the honey and vanilla to this small bowl and stir together. Once this is mixed well you'll add this to the creamy mixture in the stand mixer bowl and blend on low until combined together.
6. Gradually add the dry flour mix to the mixer and keep it on low so you don't get flour everywhere! Keep the mixer on low just until all of the ingredients are combined - you don't want to over mix the cookie dough, which could create flat or dense cookies.
7. If you're feeling strong you can do these next steps by hand, rather than with the stand mixer - mix in the oatmeal and graham crackers.
8. Lastly, in the same way, mix in the craisins, raisins and seeds.
9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, spray your cookie sheet and you're about ready to bake your cookies! I started with my first batch at 325 degrees for 15 minutes and they didn't quite brown and darken as much as I like. With the next batch I increased the temp to 350 and decreased the cooking time, which worked better. So - in the end, bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes!
Can you tell which side of the rack was cooked at 325 v.s 350?

This batch made 31 cookies - about 2 1/2 dozen. They're hearty, and I'd like to think a bit healthy, almost like a trail mix cookie. I'm also proud that I was able to eye the texture and ingredient amounts well enough to have them come out on the first try! Baking is such a science that it's difficult to do this without doing some serious measuring, but I think it's worth trying especially when you have so many ingredients lying around just asking to be used!


Enjoy your Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies - or try out making your own with the ingredients you have lying around your kitchen!

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