baked goods

White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies

White Chocolate, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies - A Thought For Food
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I spent most of last week stuck inside.  Temperatures were in the single digits (with windchills below zero) and a snowstorm struck us on Thursday, which meant my time outside was limited to short walks around the block with Maki. I used the opportunity to get lots of cooking done, and I did something I do maybe a couple of times a year: I baked cookies. I've meant to share a recipe for oatmeal cookies for a while now, but I kept putting it aside. These are perfectly crisp on the outside, with nice chew on the inside (the key is not over-baking them). Of course, once you bake cookies, you have to find something to do with them. They couldn't all stay in the house. The great thing about living in the 'burbs is having neighbors to distribute treats to. So, that's where the majority of them went, and Eric and I enjoyed the rest with our nightly carafe of tea. 

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White Chocolate, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies from A Thought For Food - www.athoughtforfood.net
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White Chocolate, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies from A Thought For Food - www.athoughtforfood.net
White Chocolate, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies from A Thought For Food - www.athoughtforfood.net
White Chocolate, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies from A Thought For Food - www.athoughtforfood.net
White Chocolate, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies from A Thought For Food - www.athoughtforfood.net

White Chocolate, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: Approx. 24 cookies
Special Tools:  Stand mixer (or hand mixer), cookie sheet

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 heaping cups rolled oats
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks butter (room temperature)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and beat until smooth. With the mixer on its lowest setting, slowly add dry ingredients to the bowl. Mixture should be crumbly but start to come together. Beat in eggs and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and macadamia nuts. 

Transfer the dough to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Drop the dough onto baking sheets in 1.5 to 2 tablespoon scoops, leaving 2 inches of room between them.   Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden and the cookies have set. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the sheets for another 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.  

White Chocolate, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies - A Thought For Food

Chocolate Chip and Orange Mandel Bread

You may have noticed that things are looking a little different around here. I'm in the process of transferring all of my posts to this new site. It's quite an endeavor, but I think, in the end, it'll be worth it. Over the next month, I'll be continuing to add new features, like category lists. In the meantime, there's a search bar that will lead you to recipes. Just type "Drinks" and you'll get a list of all the beverages on the site.

I've been holding on to this mandel bread recipe for a while now. Last November, I was visiting my parents and helping while my grandfather had a minor procedure. My mom and I blocked off a day to cook meals for my grandparents to have throughout the week. While I worked on soups, salads, and entrees, my mom put together some desserts. I'd never thought too much about mandel bread, feeling that it was just a really dry cookie. But maybe my tastes have matured with age, because I couldn't stop eating them (especially all the broken bits that were left on the pan). 

When I returned home, I got to work on a recipe, loading the dough with mini chocolate chips and orange zest. For the rest of the week, this was my breakfast and dessert, paired with coffee in the morning and tea before bed. And, in between, I may have snuck one or two more. Self-control is not my strong suit. 


Chocolate Chip and Orange Mandel Bread

Yield
Approx 24 pieces

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Zest of 1 orange

For cinnamon-sugar topping
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions
1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
2. Add the butter and 1 cup of sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium-high speed until it's blended. Mix in the vanilla.
3. Put the stand mixer on its lowest setting and carefully add the flour mixture. Mix until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. The dough should be sticky. 
4. Add chocolate chips and orange zest and mix to incorporate with dough. 
5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (or you can do 30 minutes in the freezer).
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
7. Divide the dough and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Mold the dough into two, 3 inch wide loaves.
8. Bake for 25 minutes. 
9. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 250 degrees. 
10. Transfer the baked loaves onto a cutting board and slice each loaf at a diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. 
11. Return the slices to the baking sheet and sprinkle half the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the cut-side of the mandel bread. Flip the slices over and sprinkle remaining cinnamon-sugar on top. 
12. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. 
13. Remove from oven. Let cool before consuming.