Yesterday I had to go to a cookie swap. Those of you who are long-time readers of this blog have seen me post many recipes; however, I have never yet posted a dessert recipe. There is a reason for this! Although I consider myself to be a pretty good cook, I really suck at baking. Something always goes wrong, and while you can usually correct cooking mistakes by adding things as you go, with baking, it’s pretty much done when it goes into the oven.
For the cookie swap, I planned to make this recipe for chewy butterscotch graham cookies. I had all the right ingredients (a good start), but things started to go wrong when I cracked the first egg into the bowl – and two yolks came back. Okay, so it was good luck, but did that mean I should count that as two eggs or one? My friend Susan (who writes a fabulous cooking blog over at Girl in the Little Red Kitchen) later told me that extra yolk would make it chewier, and that I should have added more egg white to crisp it up. However, I didn’t know any better and just proceeded as follows. Result: had to bake the cookies nearly twice as long to get them to firm up.
The upshot of baking them that long was then that I was late for breakfast with friends, so I hurried to get them out of the oven, let them rest for a few minutes, and then get them onto cooling racks. Unfortunately, in my haste to get the cooling racks out, I knocked one entire tray of them onto the floor! Only a few of the cookies landed on the floor – most just landed still on the pan, which fell on the floor – but every single one on that tray broke into a million pieces. Since the cookies were already rather moist, they fell apart very easily! This meant I only had about 10 (large) cookies to bring to the swap instead of the one-to-two dozen I was supposed to have.
Therefore, after breakfast with my friends, I set about to make another batch of cookies to bring. Problem was, I was now out of a lot of key cooking-making ingredients (flour, butter, etc), and definitely didn’t have the necessary ingredients (graham crackers, butterscotch chips) to make the same ones. I tried googling recipes for flourless cookies, but mostly ended up with a lot of peanut butter cookies – and I didn’t have peanut butter either. So I decided to wing it. It was probably a really bad idea to do so, given how bad I am at baking, but I figured I should at least give it a try and I could always go buy more ingredients to start fresh after.
When I brought this secondary batch of cookies to the party, though, people really seemed to love them. I didn’t understand it! I am not a baker, and what I concocted was pretty basic. However, they weren’t overly sweet, and I think that appealed to my healthy living blogger/runner friends who were in attendance. Plus, since I didn’t use flour, I was able to market them as gluten-free! Clearly I am a very trendy baker.
Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip “Accident” Cookies
In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup butter (half a stick) with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Once fluffy, mix in 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. Now, switch from beaters/whisk to a big spoon, and then dump in 1.5 cups rolled oats. Stir as hard as you can using your Nike Fuelband arm, so as to rack up as many fuel points as possible. Once completely mixed, add 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or a mixture of regular chocolate chips and white chocolate chips if, like me, you don’t have enough of either to make it uniform). If the mixture won’t come together, add a few tablespoons of water.
Drop the mixture onto baking sheets, then flatten/shape each one into a cookie. Since these don’t have flour and not much butter, they won’t spread when they cook, so you need to shape them before baking. Finally, bake at 350F for about 10 minutes, or until crispy.
These come out to be very chunky, and a little bit higher in fat than is really healthy for mass consumption (though not bad for a cookie). However, they are surprisingly low in both calories and sugar. They are definitely heartier and less sweet than traditional chocolate chip cookies, but they’re still sweet enough to be a dessert treat. Or, if you want to go really healthy, you could sub in some dried fruit for the chocolate, and eat it as a breakfast cookie?
Whether you care to make them or not, I am just pretty proud that I was able to make up a baking recipe and have it be not just edible, but something people complimented me on! Perhaps there is hope for me as a baker yet…