Saturday, October 16, 2010

Apple, Gouda, Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies, Oh My!

apple, gouda, oatmeal and raisin cookies (#284)

So while I was at the grocery store I called my mother to confer on the amount of cheese I would need to buy to make these cookies. And the conversation went something like this:

Me: Ok, so I'll buy this 1/4 pound block of gouda, and that should be enough.
Mom: Yeah, so what are you making?
Me: Apple, Gouda, Oatmeal and Raisin cookies.
Mom: What? Oh, that sounds disgusting.

I wasn't sure what to expect from these cookies. I liked the sound of them when I saw the recipe, but then again the recipe didn't call for one tablespoon of butter. Highly suspicious.  In the end, I think calling them cookies is a bit of a misnomer. I liked the taste, but they seem heartier than cookies, almost biscuit like. As one person put it, I could see serving these with a bowl of soup.

These cookies also have the benefit of being extremely easy to put together. One bowl and a liquid measuring cup is all that making the batter will take you. Although grating apples with cheese grader is sort of an arduous process.

Apple Gouda Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies
makes 24 cookies
Recipe from The Kitchn

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla OR 1 tablespoon dark rum
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup golden raisins (I used regular raisins because they were cheaper)
1 medium-sized apple (about 10 ounces)
4 ounces Gouda cheese, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Whisk the olive oil and egg together in a glass measuring cup until completely combined. Whisk in the vanilla or rum. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and oats. Stir in the raisins.

Peel and core the apple. Use the coarse side of a grater to grate it directly into the flour. (You should have 1 1/2 to 2 cups of shredded apple.) Stir in the apple and the chopped Gouda.

Add the liquids from the measuring cup and stir just until everything is moistened. The dough will be loose and clumpy. Drop in large spoonfuls on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 17 minutes, or until the cookies are golden. They will be very soft still. Let them cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to cooling racks to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Monday, October 11, 2010

pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting

pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting (#279)

October is officially under way and that means I can start breaking out the solid pack pumpkin. I can take or leave pumpkin pie, but a soft moist pumpkin cake topped with cream cheese icing might be the death of me. Paula Dean calls these pumpkin bars, but they taste more like cake to me. Still I sliced them in to brownie sized portions.

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
(from Paula Dean)
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.

3. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.

5. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.