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

      Cardamom Date Squares

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      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, orange zest 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 butter is pea-size and the mixture holds together when lightly squeezed.
          4. Evenly press a generous half of the oat mixture (about 3 cups) into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the dates evenly over oats. Add the remaining oat mixture, pressing slightly. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Remove from the pan by lifting the overhanging parchment and cut into desired squares.

          Chocolate Crunch Peanut Butter Cookies

          Chocolate Crunch Peanut Butter Cookies

          What do you get when peanut butter cookie dough gets tangled up with chocolate covered peanuts?  One darn good cookie that’s crisp, buttery and loaded with little chunks of chocolate peanuts.  These lovely Chocolate Crunch Peanut Butter Cookies have nice peanut flavour and just a bit of chew at the centre.  They’re wonderful with a glass of milk or cup of coffee, which makes them a cookie that the whole family will love.  

          Recipe source for Chocolate Crunch Peanut Butter Cookies:  Adapted slightly from Company’s Coming Peanut Butter Cookies

          Chocolate Crunch Peanut Butter Cookies
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            3 dozen 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            10-11 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            3 dozen 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            10-11 minutes
            Chocolate Crunch Peanut Butter Cookies
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              3 dozen 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              10-11 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              3 dozen 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              10-11 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: dozen
              Instructions
              1. Preheat oven to 375℉ and position oven rack to the centre. Line baking trays with parchment and set aside.
              2. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
              3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or electric hand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy.
              4. Add peanut butter and vanilla and beat on low until just combined. Stir in flour mixture on low speed to combine just until flour is absorbed, scraping bowl once. Add in chopped chocolate covered peanuts and mix on low until evenly distributed.
              5. Using a 1 ounce scoop, scoop cookies onto prepared sheet, spacing at least 2" apart. Flatten cookies using your palm or bottom of a small cup dipped in flour to prevent sticking. Top each cookie with a whole chocolate covered peanut.
              6. Bake for 10-11 minutes until golden. Remove pan and allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on tray before moving to a cooling rack.
              Recipe Notes

              I prefer to bake one tray at a time, however if baking two trays, swap trays halfway through baking.

              Recipe yields 3 dozen 2 3/4" cookies.

              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.

                  Roasted Cranberry Whipped Shortbread

                  Roasted Cranberry Whipped Shortbread

                  Let the holiday baking begin with these beautiful melt in your mouth Roasted Cranberry Whipped Shortbread cookies. Not too sweet, the tart cranberries are the perfect compliment to the flakey, buttery cookie. They’re a must to add to your holiday baking lineup.

                  A closer look at these stunning Roasted Cranberry Whipped Shortbread cookies finds them easy to prepare with basic ingredients, they’re holiday themed, gorgeous, and great for gift giving. Oh, and did I mention they’re melt in your mouth buttery with vibrant, tart roasted cranberries.

                  Whipped shortbread has always been my personal favourite. Mostly it’s the texture that gets me at the first barely resistant bite to that melt in your mouth butteriness. They’re an indulgence for sure and worth every bite. Enjoy!

                  Recipe source for Roasted Cranberry Whipped Shortbread:  Adapted from “Let’s Break Bread Together, Whipped Cream Shortbread”

                  Roasted Cranberry Whipped Shortbread
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    5 dozen 30 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    22 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    5 dozen 30 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    22 minutes
                    Roasted Cranberry Whipped Shortbread
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      5 dozen 30 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      22 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      5 dozen 30 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      22 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Roasted Cranberries
                      whipped Shortbread
                      Servings: dozen
                      Instructions
                      Roasted Cranberries
                      1. Preheat oven to 425℉. In a medium bowl toss together all ingredients and spread in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, spreading out in a single layer to cool to room temperature.
                      Whipped Shortbread
                      1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Add butter to a stand mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and salt. Continue to beat until smooth and fluffy, approximately 3-4 minutes, scraping bowl and paddle down at least twice.
                      2. Scoop dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1M tip. Line large baking sheets with parchment and pipe dough into approximate 1 3/4"- 2" rosettes with 2" spacing. (cookie will spread slightly with cooking)
                      3. Press an approximate 1/2 tsp of roasted cranberries into centre of cookie. Top centre of cookie with course sugar and bake in centre of oven for 12-13 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
                      Recipe Notes

                      You will likely have about a 1/2 cup of cooked cranberries left depending on how much you top the cookies with.  Any leftover is fantastic on crostini with brie or with roasted meats.