Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bad Subcontractor Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

So you had a bad day, so the song says, and says, and says. Am I the only one that doesn't understand why Daniel Powter keeps bringing it up. Oh well, sometimes, taxes get you down, or bad a hair day, or you use the wrong font in a proposal. Sometimes, you are just bummed. An even more rare, sometimes, your subcontractor orders equipment he shouldn't.

An ol' fashioned remedy to make a bad day go away... oatmeal raisin cookies. So here they are

Bad day, go away, ol' fashioned oatmeal cookies

Dry Goods

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt


  • 1 cup of best butter

  • 1 heeping cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup honey or golden syrup

  • 2 large fresh eggs

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • 3 cups Quaker Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats (you know the smiley ol' guy, doesn't that commercial with the big plastic Quaker just freak you out.)

  • 1 cup raisins (plumped up in hot water… or rum if your are feeling frisky)

  1. Crank up ol’ Bessy and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper

  2. Sift together all the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.

  3. Put the butter, sugar, and honey in the bowl of your mixer with the paddle.

  4. Beat at medium speed until the newly formed goodness is light and fluffy. It takes about 5 minutes, I ironed my shirt for work, but let it butter and the sugar form this light as a cloud, melt in your mouth, decadent pudding like substance.

  5. Add the eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla.

  6. Now, whip it, whip it good.

  7. Ok, enough fun. Put the mixer on low, and slowly add the dry ingredients.

  8. Stir in oats and plumped raisins. Actually you could probably choose any dried fruit you like, I bet apricots would be awesome, cherries, craisins, anything would do as long as you like it.

  9. Drop about a tablespoon of dough on the baking sheets. Leave plenty of room to spread.

  10. Bake until golden, about 10 to 12 minutes.

  11. Take the baking sheets out and don’t touch them. They need to cool or they will fall apart.

Now, like I said this is an old fashioned recipe and it is very chewy and very oatmealy… (oatmealy, nice word). Stay tuned for a more high-octane cakey cookie with some amped up flavors… I’m thinking sea salt and apricots soaked in rum.

Happy baking, much love, and I hope your day gets better.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mama's Brown Sugar and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Come over here and give mama some suga... brown sugar.

Can you blame me, a girl needs a little suga. So while contemplating of deliciousness to bake up for the office, I came across a Zingerman's Gourmet Food Catalogue.

Tangent about my love affair with Zingerman's: Which by the way, if you are ever blessed enough to pass through Ann Arbor, MI, or incredibly blessed enough to live there you know what I mean. Delectables from every corner and nook in the world, a phenomenal bakery that rivals those of Europe and a deli with so much meat it would make Jewish butcher blush. Their Colossal Rubens on Marbled Rye... nuff said. Don't get me wrong University of Michigan maybe the best educational institution in the world, the football games at the Big House, awesome. But I would move their for Zingerman's, alone.

OK I'm back from my mental vacation... Yes, sour cream cake came to mind but what is in a cake without sugar? So this is what the gnomes in my kitchen decided on:

For the cake:

1 stick plus 2 teaspoons butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar (i always buy in small quantities and open a new box)
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pour salt (not sea salt)
1 cup sour cream (full fat, none of this fancying about with skim milk bit)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (leave the imitation's for desperate house wives)

For the crumble middle and topping:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use a cooking spray to slick up a bunt pan or i am sure any oven-proof dish will do.

In my red hot, oh so sexy Kitchenade, aka my love, with the beater attachment: cream together the butter ("its so creamy its like butta") and brown sugar until light and airy. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the sour cream and vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Then add the flour. Finally just as everything is coming together, add the baking powder. Pour about half the batter into the prepared baking dish of choice, spreading out to the edges of the creamy goodness.

In a separate bowl make the cinnamon and brown sugar topping, mix with a fork the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle about half of the topping over the cake.

Then add the other half of the batter spreading with a spoonula to cover. Sprinkle all of the left over topping. And put the whole pan of sweet bliss in the oven. (Now you can lick the spoon, this batter, well lets just say i didn't want to bake it.)

Bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Use the toothpick trick to make sure its done. Take the tasty cake out of the oven and let it cool on wire rack.

There you have it, a happy set of tribal leaders at the office and a day of peace and quiet for writing.

Much love and happy baking.