Monday, June 28, 2010

Ellie Krieger's Honey Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies: The Gluten-Free Adaptation

I love Food Network. What home cook doesn't? They have inspiring chefs and cooks, great recipes and easy things to bring more beauty and bounty into your home! How great is that?
Well, I love Food Network enough that I also felt the desire to subscribe to their monthly (mostly) magazine. And as soon as it shows up on my doorstep, I read the entire thing, cover to cover. I love it almost as much as I love my allergen-friendly mag, Living Without!


I can't help myself. I love it! The layout, the pages, the recipes, the chefs. It's a great magazine. It's like the People magazine of the food world without all the drama. And the chefs may be the celebrities, but the food is definitely the star.

And I keep them all. I have a special little area on one of my shelves for Food Network Magazine, Living Without and a few others that are great for reference. That's how much I enjoy them.

Now, mind you, I do read them cover to cover, each and every page, but somehow - somehow - I missed Ellie Krieger's recipe for Honey Oatmeal-Raisin cookies the first time around. I'm sure I saw it, but at the time, I wasn't intrigued or inspired enough to try and adapt them. Don't know why. Just wasn't. What can I say? Sometimes you feel like baking, sometimes you don't!

In the most recent edition, I came across a little article section where readers can ask Food Network editors about features in the magazine. (See, I told you I read everything!) One reader asked about Ellie's oatmeal cookie recipe and about something called 'almond butter.' The reader didn't know what it was or where to get it. She'd never heard of it!


Well, to me anyway. I use the stuff every week; sometimes, every day. I love it! My body's not a big fan of peanut butter, but almond butter is right up my alley. So, that is my nut butter spread of choice and thank goodness, Costco carries it cheap and natural. Also up my alley.

Well, thanks to this reader's curiosity about almond butter, I have found a new favorite recipe. I went back and referenced (see, this is why I keep them all) the May 2010 edition and found Ellie's recipe. I scoured over the pages to see if I would be able to adapt it and after reading it through and feeling pretty confident, I gave it a shot.

And boy, did I do some straight-shootin'!

The cookies are tender and moist, just the right size with just the right amount of sweetness. I feel good because my body is enjoying them, they have a lovely flavor and they're packed with nutrition. All pluses!

So, here is my rendition of Ellie Krieger's now-famous Honey Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies. What I changed to suit my baking needs is in bold-type. There are a couple of gluten-free baking notes along the way, as well, so take note!

Happy eating!


Honey Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Adapted from Food Network Magazine, May 2010, original recipe by Ellie Krieger
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 15 min

Level: Easy

Serves: 30 small cookies or 20 medium cookies (if using small ice cream scooper)
Important note: When baking gluten-free, it is best if all items are room temperature, unless noted otherwise, including the eggs and flours.

• Cooking spray or parchment paper/liners

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

• 1/4 cup canola oil or grapeseed oil

• 1/2 cup honey or agave nectar

• 1 large egg

• 1/4 cup smooth unsalted almond butter

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk or almond flour

• 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 cup each all-purpose and whole-wheat flour) or 1 cup millet flour with 2 tsp karaya gum/xanthan gum/guar gum

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or ¼ tsp ground nutmeg + ¼ tsp ground ginger + smidge each cardamom and cloves

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1 3/4 cups rolled oats or combination of gf rolled oats and raw millet*

• 1/2 cup raisins (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist 2 baking sheets with cooking spray or use parchment liners or paper. Beat the butter, oil, honey/agave, egg, almond butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl with a mixer until combined.

In another bowl, whisk the dry milk/almond flour, flour and gum, baking soda, spices and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the oats/millet and raisins.

Scoop tablespoonfuls of batter about 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Use a small ice cream scoop with finger trigger for easy placement. Note: If you want the gluten-free cookies to be flat, press cookies down with your hand or roll them in your hand and flatten them before placing on cookie sheet. Otherwise, they will be round, but still delicious.

Bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in a loosely covered container for up to 3 days.

* I used raw millet in my cookies because I like the crunch and texture. You can omit these and just use gluten-free oats. Plus, I was out of raisins, chocolate chips, craisins, or any other yummy that would have been great in these.
Thanks, Ellie! You rock!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Review of 8-Cup French Press

Originally submitted at Cost Plus World Market

Make a perfect cup o' joe every time with the classic French press. This popular method retains the oils from the coffee beans for a rich, robust flavor. Chrome-plated frame with dishwasher-safe glass carafe.

Cute little press

By Michelle from Seattle, WA on 6/17/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Dishwasher Safe, Easy To Use, Improves Taste, Durable

Cons: Fragile

Best Uses: Weekends, Home, Office, Everyday

Describe Yourself: Everyday Drinker

Interestingly enough, I bought this little press for making tea and herbal infusions. This press makes great tea that allows the herbs and tea leaves plenty of room to move around and infuse the water with every last ounce of deliciousness. I am having a lot of fun with it.

On the downside, the press is advertised as an 8-cup French Press, but after measuring my water in it today, it is actually only 4-cups in volume. Maybe the French have smaller cups! :) Kidding. I just want any future buyers to be aware of this and not expect it to produce eight full cups of coffee or tea - this will not happen.

The only other criticism I have is that my glass canister is loose in the metal casing - I am guessing for cleanability, which does help. However, I am also very aware of this when I pour my beverage and the glass moves. This makes me a little nervous, so I make sure to hold everything sturdy and tight. Maybe the designers could redo this?

Otherwise, an excellent press for the price!