Spicy Oatmeal Cookies

Spicy Oatmeal Cookies

Spicy Oatmeal Cookies are one of my brother’s favourites and for good reason.  Soft, chewy and golden with spice makes them rather addictive. They’re the perfect autumn cookie in my opinion.

Flipping through my recipe index, I quickly realized I’m in need of more cookie recipes.  I know!  How is it possible that I have so few in my collection? Cookies are generally simple, easy, and photograph well. It should be bursting with recipes, but sadly it’s not…  

Problem number one, is my head down, pushing to make what’s in season, holiday food, game day snacks, etc.  Sometimes cookies aren’t the best fit for all that happens throughout the year.  Problem number two, not everything screams cookies to me, in fact, I’m a savoury, snack kind of gal. So for these reasons, I’m often opting to make other things.  Now that it’s fall, I’m actually thinking about baking and holiday treats, therefore cookies are on my brain, making it easy.  But I see now that I need to bake them more often for a variety of different reasons, so there’s plenty of recipes for everyone to pick from.  There’s a ton of cookies to be made and with a little focus, I’ll get the cookie category plumped up a little.

Now that I’m done making excuses, let’s have a look at what makes Spicy Oatmeal Cookies wonderful.  Molasses, ginger and cinnamon create a richly spiced bite and the plump raisins add to their chewiness.  They’re a tasty change from regular oatmeal cookies and possibly your new favourite too.  Enjoy!

Recipe for Spicy Oatmeal Cookies adapted from Company’s Coming Cookies

Spicy Oatmeal Cookies
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 dozen 20 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    8-10 minutes 10 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4 dozen 20 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    8-10 minutes 10 minutes
    Spicy Oatmeal Cookies
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 dozen 20 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      8-10 minutes 10 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      4 dozen 20 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      8-10 minutes 10 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: dozen
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Bring one cup of water to a boil and pour over raisins. Allow to soak for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside until ready to use.
      2. In a small bowl, whisk together oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger and salt.
      3. Cream together butter and sugar using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, electric mixer or wooden spoon. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each until incorporated. Stir in molasses.
      4. Add dry ingredients all at once and mix until all dry ingredients have been incorporated. Stir in raisin.
      5. Using a one-ounce cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto parchment lined baking trays, spacing 2" apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with damp fingers or palm of your hand. Bake on middle rack for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
      Recipe Notes

      -recipe yields 48 2 1/2" cookies.

      -for best results, bake each tray separately on the middle rack.

      -you can skip the plumping of the raisins, however, it does make for a very nice chewy cookie.

      Cardamom Date Squares

      Cardamom Date Squares

      These are no culinary school squares, in fact, Cardamom Date Squares are far from the many cakes and pastries I made while attending culinary school.  Truth is, I don’t remember making many squares like this. The focus was all about pastries, cakes, and classics like Peach Melba and Crepes Suzette.  However, at the time as a young adult, I still had to live in the real world, and happily collected an array of home maker popular books such as Company’s Coming, Best of Bridge and Betty Crocker.   

      It’s within these dated books that I find some of the best treats, including my favourite recipe for Date Squares.  Being who I am though, left me no alternative but to give the recipe a tweak in Compelled To Cook fashion, and Cardamom Date Squares emerged, buttery and golden from my kitchen. A splash of orange juice and a sprinkle of cardamom gives my favourite date square a hint of something different and delicious. I’m in no way a hoarder, but there are certain books I refuse to get rid of, no matter how old and out dated they are.  Because in my mind they’re a classic in their own right.  

      Recipe for Cardamom Date Squares adapted from:  Company’s Coming Matrimonial Squares

      Cardamom Date Squares
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        36 squares 40 minutes
        Cook Time
        30 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        36 squares 40 minutes
        Cook Time
        30 minutes
        Cardamom Date Squares
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          36 squares 40 minutes
          Cook Time
          30 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          36 squares 40 minutes
          Cook Time
          30 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: squares
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and lightly butter a 9"x9" baking pan. Line bottom and two sides with parchment, allowing a slight overhang.
          2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat combine dates, granulated sugar, orange juice and water. Allow to come to a simmer and cook uncovered for 8-10 until soft and jammy. Remove from heat and set aside.
          3. In a large bowl combine oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, cardamom, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter using your fingers or pastry cutter until well combined and mixture holds together when lightly squeezed.
          4. Evenly press a generous half of oat mixture (about 3 cups) into the bottom of prepared pan. Spread dates evenly over oats. Add remaining oat mixture, pressing slightly. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Remove from pan by lifting the overhanging parchment and cut into desired squares.

          Lavender White Chocolate Meringues

          Lavender White Chocolate Meringues

          Crunchy, yet melt in your mouth, Lavender White Chocolate Meringues are a sweet treat to be shared. Conveniently just the right size to pop in your mouth like no one will notice, but with a hint of lavender and creamy white chocolate, you won’t be the only one standing near the cookie plate. These pretty meringues with their gorgeous violet colour and hint of lavender tease us with the thought of spring and Easter and they’re fun for everyone.

          Meringue is so versatile, can take on many flavours and most any colour. Once whipped up to a stiff peak they hold up well and are easily piped into desired shapes. Quick and easy to whip up, it’s the baking and decorating that take the time in this recipe. But one can still do many things while they’re baking so time essentially is not lost here.

          The goal for meringue is to have a smooth outer shell with no browning and dry interior with a nice crunch. To achieve this, a low and slow baking period is required. I suggest an oven no hotter than 200℉ or the meringue has the tendency to crack. Some recipes will have you place in a hot oven, turn the oven off and allow to sit overnight. I find this is not necessary but they do need enough time to bake to achieve a crunchy lightness. It’s perfectly alright to open the oven and give one a taste to see how they’re coming along when you’re not sure. They won’t fall or flatten just because you opened the door. If need be, bake a little longer till they’re light and hollow sounding, then have fun decorating as desired.

          Lavender White Chocolate Meringues inspired by: Bethcakes Lavender Meringues

          Lavender White Chocolate Meringues
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            6-7 dozen 60 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            3 hours 24 hours
            Servings Prep Time
            6-7 dozen 60 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            3 hours 24 hours
            Lavender White Chocolate Meringues
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              6-7 dozen 60 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              3 hours 24 hours
              Servings Prep Time
              6-7 dozen 60 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              3 hours 24 hours
              Ingredients
              Servings: dozen
              Instructions
              1. Combine sugar and lavender in a small bowl. Rub lavender buds and sugar together with your fingers to help infuse the lavender flavour into the sugar. Cover tightly and allow to sit at room temperature, preferably overnight. Sift sugar to remove lavender before using.
              2. Preheat oven to 200℉. Arrange 2 oven racks with one in the middle and the second above it. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy and starting to thicken. Gradually add sugar with mixer running. Once all sugar has been added, continue to beat until stiff peak stage and meringue is glossy, about 8-10 minutes. Add desired food colouring and flavouring and whip just to combine.
              3. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment. Fill a large piping bag fitted with a 446P (10 cm round) tip with meringue and pipe into 1"-1 1/2" kisses, spacing 1" apart on baking tray. To pipe kisses, hold tip vertically 1/2"- 3/4" above tray and squeeze until filling has created a 1"-1 1/2" circle. Stop squeezing and lift up, creating the tail.
              4. Once all meringue has been piped, place trays in oven and bake for 2 1/2-3 hours, checking meringue for doneness at the 2 1/2 hour mark. Once meringues are dry and light with a hollow sound and feeling, turn off oven and allow meringues to remain in oven until completely cooled.
              5. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave on 30 second intervals until smooth. Dip or decorate meringues in chocolate then decorate with sprinkles if desired.
              Recipe Notes

              Alternatively, you can use lavender flavouring instead of the infused sugar which will eliminate that step.

              Meringues can be piped into any desired shape using other tips if desired.

              I found it difficult to dip the bottom of the meringues into the chocolate without breaking off their tips. I therefore spread an arc of white chocolate onto the side of the meringue and dipped in sprinkles.

              Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats

              Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats

              After school treat or with Sunday tea, you’ll love every bit of the almond flavour and crunch in these chewy Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats. They’re the stuff that’s made as a family, easy, nostalgic and made often. Every bit as easy as your typical marshmallow krispie square but amped up with toasted almonds, almond butter and chocolate. It’s a great twist on an old favourite.

               

              Without a doubt,  almonds would have to be my favourite nut in every dimension. I enjoy snacking on them whole, raw, or toasted & seasoned. I love them in baked goods, especially toasted. They are great slivered in salads, toasted in granola and they are the first thing that I will pick out of trail mix. Almonds are also a good source of fiber, magnesium, and calcium to name a few. There’s so much to love about the almond and that’s why I chose to incorporate them in these delicious Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats. Enjoy!

              Recipe source for Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats:

              Compelled To Cook

               

              Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                20 squares 15 minutes
                Cook Time
                20 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                20 squares 15 minutes
                Cook Time
                20 minutes
                Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  20 squares 15 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  20 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  20 squares 15 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  20 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: squares
                  Instructions
                  1. Prepare a 9"x9" pan by spraying with non stick spray and lining with parchment, allowing the parchment to overhang on two sides only. Giving you something to grab and lift entire unit from pan when set.
                  2. Using a large pot, melt marshmallows and butter over medium heat until almost melted. Add 1/2 cup almond butter and almond extract. Stir until smooth, removing from heat when the last of the marshmallows have melted.
                  3. Stir in rice krispies and 1 cup toasted almonds. Spread evenly into prepared pan using lightly oiled hands to press out uniformly.
                  4. Melt chocolate chips and 1/4 cup almond butter together, stirring until smooth and chocolate is melted. I used the microwave at medium power and 30 second intervals, however a double boiler works well too.
                  5. Pour over krispie squares and spread out evenly. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup toasted almonds. Allow to cool to room temperature prior to cutting. Cut along the edge of the pan to release the two sides that do not have the parchment overhang. Grab the parchment ends and lift entire unit out of the pan onto cutting board. Cut 4x5 into 20 bars.
                  Recipe Notes

                  Toast almonds by spreading in a single layer on a sheet pan and baking in a preheated 350℉ oven for 8-10 minutes, turning once.