Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cookie of the Month: White-Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

So I wasn't quite pleased with last month's Raspberry White-Chocolate Oatmeal Bars, thinking them a bit too sweet for my taste. (Astonishing, I know, that I'd find anything "too sweet.") I'd originally wanted to try using white chocolate chips in an oatmeal cookie, so when I had a little more time I went to my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and headed to the drop cookie section. Their several variations on the Basic Drop Cookie included an oatmeal version, so I adapted it to get the following recipe:

¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup shortening
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup quick-cook oats
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup white chocolate chips

Beat butter and shortening with electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugars and beat till fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and milk; beat well. Add flour, soda, and oats to beaten mixture; mix well. Stir in dried cherries and white chocolate chips. You can see the resulting mixture is a little goopy, but full of good stuff.

Next drop spoonfuls of batter two inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet. You can see I was pretty generous with my spoonfuls, because I have a little scooping device that is perfect for drop cookies. A heaping scoopful gives me the right amount (1-2 tablespoons) of batter, and a little squeeze of the handle slides all the batter from the scoop onto the sheet. It's much easier than the old two spoons technique, since I only need one hand to use it.

Anyway, once you've got your batter scooped, bake in a preheated 375F oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Eat!

And here's what they looked like after they came out of the oven and cooled a little bit. They were nice and chewy, which is how I prefer my cookies, and the mixture of flavors—oats, white chocolate, and cherry—was nice. But the balance was off; the cookies weren't very dense, and the oats seemed overpowered by everything else. So again (sigh): just a little too sweet.

Final rating: nom nom nom (three of five noms).

For now I'm giving up on white-chocolate combinations. Who knows what I'll come up with next month?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Photo of the Week--3/14/11

Venice is a lovely city, especially so when you get to visit and leave your kid behind, as we did in September of 2000. There's the lovely Mediterranean weather, the canals, the haphazard appearance of the buildings, and the different bridges. This one, the Ponte Tre Archi ("bridge of three arches," duh), was so intriguing I wanted to go back and forth and back through each passageway. I guess that's why they don't let the tourists drive the gondolas, though.