At this time of year, we’re usually baking cookies and making confections to give out to our family and friends. We scour our cookbooks for weeks, spend hours shopping for the perfect container to put them in, then more hours baking, and more hours packing them up for shipment, only to have them reach their destinations where they sit on the counter along with all the other baked gifts from everyone else. Instead of contributing to the waistlines and blood sugar levels of our family, this year we decided not to give out baked goods. But, with the holidays right on top of us we know we need to write at least one post about holiday cookies.
We’ve decided to showcase a recipes that really isn’t a traditional holiday cookie – yet. With the addition of whole rolled grains and whole flours, these cookies might become a favorite to add to your collection next year. The recipe is one Jason created a few years back, and one that has been recently influenced by Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain cookbook, with a whole grain philosophy, making it a little more unique. Typically made with 100 % rolled oats and all-purpose flour, Jason’s Cranberry Pecan cookies are earthier and chewier with a mixture of rolled whole grains along with a cup of oats and a flour ratio of one part Kamut flour to two parts all-purpose flour. The flavors of tart cranberries, toasted pecans and fresh orange zest make these cookies a real favorite year round. Of course, if you don’t have Kamut flour and multigrain cereal you can use rolled oats and all-purpose flour for the recipe.
While our families won’t be getting cookies this year, we have made a few batches in preparation for Santa’s imminent visit. On Christmas Eve, Santa will be greeted by a big plate of Cranberry Pecan cookies and a good-sized shot of Dalwhinnie to warm him up. And why not? Santa has a team of designated drivers to keep him on course through the night. He’s getting plenty of whole grain fiber in the cookies, which he obviously needs. We say let him enjoy a little nip before heading back out into the chilly night, belly full and cheeks aglow.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
yield: 6 dozen cookies
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cup plus ¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup soft butter
½ cup applesauce
1 tablespoon orange or tangerine zest
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup rolled oats
2 ½ cups multigrain cereal
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup kamut flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream brown sugar, 1 1/3 cups sugar, salt, and butter until well cream, about 4 minutes. Add the applesauce and zest allow to incorporate. Add eggs and vanilla then continue to mix until eggs are blended. If the mixture looks a little broken, don’t worry the cookies will still work out.
In a medium bowl mix together the oats, multigrain cereal, pecans and dried cranberries. In a separate bowl mix together the kamut and all-purpose flours and baking soda. Add the oat mixture to the creamed sugar then slowly add the flour. Mix just until no flour is present.
Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the cookies onto Silpat mat or parchment paper, spacing so that the cookies don’t touch during backing. Put the ¼ cup sugar on a small plate. Wet the bottom of a thick, flat bottomed glass and place the glass bottom on the sugar. Press down on the tops of each cookie, placing the glass back in the sugar after each press of a cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. The cookies may be a little crispy at first but will soften after a day or two in a cookie container.