Tuesday, January 18, 2011

a long day ending with chocolate.

{this is chocolate}

The two year old is obsessed with Giada.  Which is fine, I'm a fan myself.  The problem is that she only wants to watch two particular episodes of Giada, the Halloween episode and the episode where Giada goes ice skating with Brian Boitano.  Do you know how many times Ava and I have been subjected to Jade picking out caramels at the Candy Baron or Giada laughing at herself on the skating rink?  Ava's five, she's super smart, but I don't think she can count that high.  And to be honest, Giada is starting to bug me.  A lot.  No offense to her.  I'm sure if someone had to watch the same half hour of me over and over again, I'd be pretty annoying too.  I feel as if the only way I can redeem her and these episodes is to pick one of the recipes to make.  (And it better turn out spectacularly.  I'm just sayin'.)   The Halloween episode is a no-go as it's January and I'm really not interested in eating a pumpkin cupcake or biting into a caramel apple at this point.  That leaves the lovely lunch she brought Brian Boitano at the ice rink.  (Really enjoy saying his name, just rolls off the tongue.)  And even though I'm not a baker, I'm going to make her Oatmeal, Cranberry, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies from the episode because a) I like to eat (oatmeal chocolate chip) cookies, b) I have all of the ingredients, c) my children wouldn't eat the Creamy Sweet Potato Soup to save their lives, d) I'd really prefer to make the Ham, Gruyere, and Apple Panini, but I don't have a panini maker, d) I need a dessert to top off the dinner I'm bringing my good friend Becky (who just had her second baby!) and e) I want to attempt a new recipe as I'm joining fantastic Jessica of Kitchen Belleicious in her 2011 Recipe Challenge.  (Yippeee!)  (How's that for a run-on sentence?) Thanks Jessica for allowing me to participate.  Thanks Becky (and Ethan) for adding a new member to our beloved "family."  And thanks Giada for annoying me inspiring me to bake some cookies.

(I usually write these posts after I finish cooking, but because I've got a lot going on right now and I'm beyond exhausted, I'll be writing it "real time," a few sentences at a time, here and there, before, after, and as I mess up bake these cookies.  So please excuse the wordiness and any choppiness.)

Here we go... the recipe.

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temp.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 (4 ounce) 60 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped into chunks

Just the amount of ingredients here stresses me out.  And the measuring.  Really?  I hate measuring.  (Am I the only one who hates exact measuring?)  But I am going to do this.  Because I love Becky.  And chocolate.

Directions: (Blah, blah, blah...I copied and pasted this from Giada's recipe.)
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the flour mixture. Add the oats, cranberries and chocolate chunks. Mix until just incorporated (dough will be stiff). Using a 4-ounce cookie scoop, scoop slightly rounded mounds of the dough into 12 (2-inch-diameter) balls. Arrange 6 balls of dough, spaced evenly apart, on each baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon, flatten the tops slightly and bake until the cookies are slightly golden on the edges, about 13 to 15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes before serving.
{ava mixing the dry ingredients}
{the good stuff-chocolate, oats, and cranberries}
{all i actually care about eating--the batter}
 {this + a tall glass of milk.  call it dinner.}

And POOF, cookies are done. =)  (Twelve and a half hours after I started writing this...)
Cook's Notes
1.  I doubled the recipe. (Hello. 12 cookies are not enough.)
2.  The next time I make this recipe (and I will,) I plan to cut the amount of dried cranberries in half.  They add a bit too much sweetness for my taste.  I'm sure that is preference though.  I don't like raisins in my oatmeal cookies either.
3. Of course, something will need to replace the cranberries, and that will be MORE chocolate chunks.  Love the use of a chopped up chocolate bar instead of chips.  So. Much. Better.
4.  I will definitely be walking my lazy tush the 20 feet to my garage to get my Kitchen Aid on the next go around.  My arm is tired from holding the hand mixer.  Takes much longer to cream the butter and sugar and eggs with that darn thing.
5.  I made smaller cookies but they still took 15 minutes to bake.  (My oven is circa 1986 so that might explain it. Perhaps I should invest in an oven thermometer.)

Sparky loves the cookies.  The true taste test will be tomorrow with the girlies.  Maybe I'll even let them have one for breakfast.  For now, I'm retiring to the couch with a scoop of batter, a glass of milk, and my dvr.  Nighty-night.

*Update, February 4, 2011--After much thought and many bites (and finding and making another oatmeal chocolate chip recipe that is OH SO GOOD,) I do not recommend this recipe (without some major modifications.)   There are so many better out there.  (I'll be posting another one soon.)  Just keeping it real, people. 

{sweet baby cayden jean :) }


  1. Oh my goodness gracious, these cookies look amazing. I could totally go for one of these right now! (Let's ignore the fact that it's not even 8 am yet. . .)

  2. these look delish! and would go really well with my coffee right now (and the few more minutes of silence i have before the kids wake up)!

  3. You are cracking me up! These look yummy.

  4. these look great! Can I have one now with my coffee please?

  5. Girl Cayden is adorable! Beyond adorable and those cookies are so scrumptious I wish I had one right now! Thanks for joining me in my challenge! XO Jessica

  6. Those look incredibly delicious! My daughter is also obsessed with cooking (and eating.

  7. Those do look yummy! I don't like raisins in my oatmeal cookies either which means I only eat them if I make them. And the batter thing cracked me up! I usually am so full of batter from making cookies I rarely eat one of the finished products. :)

  8. Mmmm, I think I'll be baking these this weekend.

    Also, I don't have a panini press either, I just use a skillet and a bacon press and it works perfectly.

  9. Mmmmmhhh! It us almost midnight here in Milan, Italy. You make me run in my kitchen to indulge in a gianduiotto, traditional Italian Chocolate! Great blog! A fellow American now living in Milan ;))

  10. This post made me laugh! And those cookies look amazing. You're almost making me drool ;)


  11. I had to scroll super quick past the first pic bc I instantly started craving chocolate! LOL.

    The last pic of the cookies is UNREAL - well done!! This recipe looks sooo delishhhhh.

    A.Co @ A.Co est. 1984

    PS - I'm pretty sure Aldo still has those wedges... ;)

  12. Cant wait to try these! Thanks for sharing

  13. ahaha Love this post!! Thanks for sharing. They look delish!

  14. Read this the other night (when I was up way too late doing my post) and forgot to come back and comment.

    Another comment that I'm rushing with but have a ton to say, so I'll leave it at this:

    I loooooove Giada's Halloween episodes... kind of a long story as to why, but I am SO with your daughter on this one ;)! (this one's my favorite... http://www.foodnetwork.com/everyday-italian/candyhalloween/index.html)