LOW-SUGAR OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES
1/2 lb butter
1/2 c sugar
2 t molasses
1 T vanilla extract
1 Fuji apple
2 c raisins
2 c oats
2 c flour
2 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
yield: 26 cookies
preheat oven to 350
I had an amazing recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies, really amazing, the only problem is that the recipe called for 1.5 pounds of sugar for 2 dozen cookies. I'm not completely anti-sugar, but I do think there's a time and place for it. I don't really think that snacks, especially for kids, should be packed full of refined sugar, not when there are other options out there. Who am I kidding? This isn't for the kids, it's for me. If there are buttery, sugary cookies lying around, I'm going to eat them, and I feel less guilty eating sugar-free things. I'm not talking about artificial sweeteners, I like to use natural sugar. Apples and dates are among my favorite sources of sweeteners. My original recipe called for 1.5 pounds of sugar, this recipe uses 4 oz, and they are just as tasty.
Gather together all of your ingredients. It's important to have them all at room temperature. If you pull your eggs out late, you can put them in warm water so they aren't so cold when you add them to the butter.
Put your butter, sugar, molasses and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Use the paddle attachment.
Start beating the butter on medium to high speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the sugar into the butter. While your butter and sugar is creaming you can dice up the dates. Make sure you remove the pits before you begin cutting.
You want the pieces fairly small, about the same size as a raisin.
Add the dates to the butter and sugar. This is going to help break up any chunks that are stuck together. Return speed up to medium to high for about a minute.
Add eggs and turn on mixer for 1 minute. Scrape down sides and then turn on again for 2 minutes. The mixture should be light in color and texutre. If the mixture looks like it is separating, or grainy, that means your eggs were not at room temperature and the butter is solidifying. It won't ruin your cookie, but the texture will taste better if the butter and eggs mix completely.
When the mixture starts to come together, scrape the bowl down one more time.
The mixture will be creamy and smooth, you shouldn't feel any sugar "grit", only the dates.
Add the oats.
Then peel and grate the apple right into the mixing bowl.
On top of your apples, add your raisins. Once everything has been added turn mixer on, LOW. You don't want to have your ingredients to fly everywhere so it's important to check the speed setting.
Once your fruit has been incorporated into your dough you can add your dries. Again, mix on low. You don't want to over work the gluten. I normally mix until I no longer see any dry ingredient, then I scrape and mix for 2-3 more turns of the paddle.
Portion onto a sheet pan. Once you have dough, you can freeze it. I wouldn't advise freezing baked cookies, but dough freezes very well. Once frozen, you can pull out the number of cookies you want to have. This way you're not tempted by a container of delicious cookies that might go stale, forcing you to eat all of them. It's been known to happen, trust me.
Once they're on the sheet pan you can flatten them with your hand.
Having them in flat discs just lets them cook more evenly.
Once you have them all flattened you can put them in your 350 oven for 9 minutes.
After your timer goes off, rotate your pan and leave them in the oven for another 9 minutes.
These cookies don't get as dark brown as other cookies might, because they contain less sugar. You'll know that they are fully cooked because if you flip them over they will be darker.
Enjoy 1, or 2, or 3...