[After yesterday's somber ACD-focused post, today it's time for. . . cookies!]
I remember reading an article several years ago in a popular magazine that theorized about which males epitomize the term, “sexy.” Since they sought out trends rather than individuals, the likes of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Johnny Depp et al were all immediately disqualified. In the end, whom did they decide was the sexiest type of man? The Cowboy.
Yep, little lady, you heard me right: those rugged, ruddy men sporting wide-brimmed hats, faded bandannas, checkered shirts, washed-out jeans and pointy-toed boots. And let’s not forget unkempt, greasy hair, calloused hands with dirty fingernails, mud-crusted clothing, and tobacco-stained teeth. Oh, they’re sexy all right; I mean, if being able to lasso a sweet, saucer-eyed, helpless calf and tie up its hind legs with your bare hands isn’t sexy, well, what is? (Clearly, I was not alone in my skepticism; I have no doubt the author of Brokeback Mountain intended to challenge the stereotype as well, or he wouldn’t have set the first major Hollywood gay love story–now that’s a string of adjectives, isn’t it?–in cowboy country).
Well, I have nothing against cowboys, really, but must admit I’ve never found them very appealing on a romantic level. (Now, a firefighter, well, that’s an entirely different story. . .right on, Denis Leary!).
We could also consider the full roundup of cowboy-related foods. Remember that great scene in Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles? Baked beans heated on a skillet over an open flame. . . yum! Or how about a hash browned breakfast topped with eggs, under the open skies? (Oooh, that reminds me of my own Cowboy’s Tempeh Hash recipe–must post!). And eclipsing them all by a Texas mile–are Cowboy Cookies.
Let me take a step back here, and leave the cowboys–er, in the dust, so to speak–for a moment.
I’m fairly certain that most of you, by now, have heard of Toronto’s own jae steele, holistic nutritionist and cookbook writer extraordinaire. Jae’s book, Get It Ripe, was an instant bestseller both because it contains a plethora of yummy recipes and because it offers an encyclopedic introductory section (almost half the book) dishing up healthy nutrition, whole foods ingredients, cooking methods, and so on. I’m guessing many people who love the recipes also purchased the book as a handy reference guide to healthy eating.
I first met jae several years ago when I taught a practicum at my nutrition school alma mater. Because we both attended the same school, we share a similar philosophy toward food, and I feel very comfortable with all of jae’s recipes. Like me, jae worked as a vegan baker in a restaurant before embarking on her cookbook. So I thought it might be fun to bake up one of her dessert recipes.
That’s when my eyes alighted on her Cowgrrrl Cookies, a crisp-and-chewy blend of oats, chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, and a hint of cinnamon–sort of what you’d get if you bred a classic Dad’s oatmeal cookie and a Chocolate Chip cookie mama. I knew I wanted to try them. The result was, as expected, spectacular–a dense yet chewy cookie studded with a variety of textures and flavors, from soft and melty (chocolate chips) to sweet and pliable (raisins) to slightly smoky and nutty (walnuts). The dough itself baked up, bronzed to perfection (sort of like a shirtless cowboy, no?), light and crisp on the edges while maintaining a certain moist, taffy-like chewiness in the center. Yee-haw!
When I subsequently researched the original Cowboy Cookies (from which jae took her vegan inspiration), I discovered that no one has actually determined the origin of their name. One article declared they were so good, “They’d cause a stampede!” while another suggested that the confections “are so dense and full of ingredients that they could feed a cowboy for a week.” Either way, the original is brimming with butter and eggs–not exactly suitable to the DDD brood–so I was happy to go with jae’s delectable vegan, spelt-based version.
Yessiree, I brand these the best rustlin’, best tastin’, best health-supportin’ Cowgrrrrl Cookies anywhere–hot dang!
Luckily, I’ve already made these babies a few times, so I didn’t feel obliged to “test” the batch (thereby negating my entire six weeks of the ACD). These are crisp on the edges, chewy in the middle, with lots of texture from the chips, raisins, and nuts. The HH, an avowed nut lover (well, in reality he’s more of a “nutty lover”), absolutely adored these.
Forget cowboys (and their cookies), I say! I’d more likely be attracted by these any day.
A great snacking cookie filled with delightful extras. The recipe bakes up a big batch so you can share with all your ranch hands, too!
2 cups (280 g) light spelt flour
2 cups (200 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1/2 tsp (1 ml) sea salt
1-1/4 cups (225 g) non-dairy chocolate chips
1/2 cup (70 g) organic raisins
1/2 cup (55 g) coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cinnamon
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (210 ml) softened organic coconut oil or sunflower oil, preferably organic
1 cup (180 g) Sucanat
1/3 cup (80 ml) room-temperature applesauce
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the oil and Sucanat until well combined. Add the applesauce and vanilla and mix again.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix just until all the flour is absorbed. Use a small ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon (20 ml) to place mounds of dough on the cookie sheets about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Flatten slightly.
Bake for 13 minutes, or until golden. Makes about 3 dozen.
Last Year at this Time: Frugal Frittata
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