Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies



I have a confession to make. *Takes a deep breath and sobs* No Amaretto was harmed in the making of this post. I lied!!! It’s just almond extract!!! *Throws myself at the mercy of the courts…. and cookie eaters. But, in my defense, how would Cranberry, White Chocolate and Almond Extract have sounded as a title? It needed excitement, pizzazz, oomph! Amaretto is exciting! Fine, maybe not so much, but you get my drift. So, when you make these cookies, just don’t tell anyone that the almond flavor is from almond extract and not amaretto. It will be our little secret. You, me and the 3 other people who actually read my blog. :-p

Now on to my whining weather report. WHAT HAPPENED TO AUTUMN!!!!??? It disappeared!! It’s the first week in November and I had to turn the A/C on last night because it was too hot in here to sleep comfortably. Who turned off the cold?! It is NOT, I repeat, NOT supposed to be 80 degrees during the day in November; not even in Kentucky. And other states that allow that nonsense need to stop it right now.

Because I said so.

On that note (as I watch two of my three readers back away slowly), let’s move on to the cookies.

I loved these. And they got the kid approved thumbs up too, which is always nice. One would think that any kid would give a thumbs up to cookies, but nope, not mine. With me having been baking all of their lives (heck, most of MY life) and running a food blog, they are more particular and have higher standards than the “normal” children. There is nothing more humorous than getting a verbose critique from a seven year old- “These are good momma, but they could be chewier/sweeter/crunchier”… whatever the specific food should be.

These have a nice nutty flavor from the toasted almonds. I deliberately toasted these a little browner than I usually do because I wanted a nuttier flavor. It worked wonderfully. So when you toast the almonds, get them to a nice medium brown color. Just make sure to give them a stir in the pan once to make sure they brown evenly. The cranberries added a nice tartness to the cookies and the white chocolate a creamy sweetness. Since these have oats and cranberries in them, feel free to eat them for breakfast. They’re good for you *coughcough*! Honest Injun! Even with the tablespoon of almond extract in these, the almond flavor is still fairly mild, so go ahead and add a teaspoon more if you want an extra punch of flavor.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ย 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (add an extra teaspoon if you want more almond flavor) almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (if you REALLY want to punch up the flavor, toast your oats for about 6 minutes or so at 350. Just make sure to stir once and also to let them cool COMPLETELY before adding them to the dough.)
  • 1 12 ounce package white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted at 350 until medium brown
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, at medium speed using a hand mixer cream together the butter, the brown sugar and the sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape the bowl down and add the eggs and egg yolk. Stir in the vanilla extract and the almond extract. Beat just until blended.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture. Stir in (use a nice heavy wooden spoon) the oats, cranberries, white chocolate and toasted almonds. Make sure to dig down there to the bottom of the bowl and stir so that you don’t have parts of the dough with no add ins in it.
  5. Make rounded tablespoons of the dough and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 12 to 14 minutes; 12 if you want slightly chewier, 14 if you want crispier.ย  If, by chance, the dough is too soft to work with, cover the dough and throw it in the fridge for maybe 30 minutes, then proceed.
  6. Let cool on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes to give them a chance to firm up, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  7. FYI- this dough freezes well. I made just part of the batch and have the rest frozen to use closer to Christmas.
Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

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Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies



I know, I know; one heck of a title. You guys know I am not much on titles that are a bigger mouthful than the food, but sometimes it can’t be helped. I mean, I could have named these “Chewy, Crispy Oatmeal Cookies With Cranberries, Chocolate Chips And Toasted Pecans”. Now THERE’Sย  a mouthful.

Sometimes, when I get into the kitchen, I like to pretend I’m cooking healthy. Throw some oats in a cookie dough, add some toasted nuts and some cranberries and I suddenly feel like I’m running a health food blog. I, of course, totally ignore that said cranberries are sugar sweetened, that I also have chocolate chips in them and that there is 2 sticks of butter in with the oatmeal. Yep… health food! No counting calories needed here. *coughcough*

I am running really behind today cause that stoopid Migraine is still hanging around making me fairly miserable and making me not want to do much of anything, so I’m not going to ramble much today, but just to get the goodies.

As cookies go, these ARE actually not too bad for you. Yes, they have butter and chocolate, but they do have those nuts and even sweetened, you get some vitamins and fiber from the dried cranberries. Plus, compared to a lot of oatmeal cookie recipes, these aren’t very sweet. If you like a sweeter cookie, feel free to add about 1/3 cup more of sugar. Personally, I rather enjoy their crispy edges and chewy center just like this…. just sweet enjoy to feel like an indulgence.

You know the drill…

Love you guys! <3

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey (this is what helps you get that chewiness)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, at medium speed on a hand mixer, beat together the butter and two types of sugar until creamy and fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs and beat well, scraping bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla extract and honey and beat well.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ones and use a wooden spoon to mix until well combined. Dump in the cranberries, nuts and chocolate chips and mix well.
  6. Use a tablespoon to scoop out golf ball sized rounds of dough. Place about two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. You can leave them as balls and they will be a bit more chewy or you can flatten them out a bit once they are on the sheets and end up with cookies that are somewhat crisper; your choice.
  7. Bake until they are set but still feel the tiniest bit moist in the center to get chewy cookies, about 18 minutes or until totally set, about 21 minutes to get crisper cookies.
  8. Transfer to a rack to cool.

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Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

 

Toasty Browned Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Toasty Browned Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Toasty Browned Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies




My husbands favorite cookie is a plain old fashioned oatmeal raisin cookie. While I like them, they aren’t my favorite and because of that and cause my husband is diabetic yet would eat every single cookie made, I don’t make them often. But I had been craving some the last week or so and decided to see what I could do to change them up a bit. I love using browned butter in baking so that was one thought. It adds such a delicious nutty flavor to foods. But then I decided to take the nuttiness one step further and I toasted the oats for these cookies.

These turned out wonderfully. They have a yummy, toasty, almost butterscotch flavor due to the browned butter and toasted oats. The edges have that sought after crispness with nice soft chewy middles. I was rather tickled with myself on how these turned out and can’t think of anything I would change next time I make them. I wasn’t sure what to name them so I asked my facebook readers to help me. Unfortunately, though they made some awesome suggestions, none quite resonated with me so the above name is what we ended up with.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Toasty Browned Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ (I used the honey crunch flavored type)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (you can obviously sub out all of one or the other if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (optional)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups oats
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Place the butter in a medium pot. Over medium to medium high heat, let the butter melt and cook, swirling the pot periodically, until the butter is a dark golden brown and has a nutty scent. Do NOT turn our back on it once it starts to color. This can go from browned to a smelly burned mess quickly. When done, set it aside to cool.
  3. While this cools, toast your oats. Pour the oats onto a cookie sheet and shake to settle them into a single layer. Toast them until they are a light brown color, stirring and spreading again a couple of times,ย  about 20 minutes. Cool for about ten minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, orange zest if using and vanilla and beat well. Dump the raisins and cranberries in there and just let it sit while the butter cools. This gives the fruits time to soften a bit.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cooled butter and the two sugars. Beat well to combine. Add in the flour, wheat germ, baking soda and salt. Beat on medium speed to combine. Add in the egg/fruit mix and beat just until combined.
  6. Fold in the oats. Make balls of dough about 2 inches in diameter (you can make smaller or larger but adjust the cooking time accordingly) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 8 to a sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 until the tops are firm and cookies are a medium golden brown, about 13 to 15 minutes, depending on size. Let cool on pan for a minute then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

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Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies

Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies

I feel sorry for my husband at times. Why? He’s type 2 diabetic but man, does he love his sweets. Though he would deny that to his death bed. He also loves his savory snacks mind you but when I bake, he is all over it. There was a time I would buy him sugar free treats from the store, but he has come to realize that he prefers a few of the ‘real thing” as opposed to more of the artificial ones. He gets jealous as can be of me (in a loving way of course lol) because, even though I’m overweight (perils of food blogging) I have great blood sugar readings. If anything, I run too low. He also hates me for my low blood pressure too hehe. I am one weird fat woman physically. :-p

One of the things he loves is cookies. Non sweet lover or not (yeah, right. You know better, darlin’), he can eat his weight in cookies. Especially if it’s chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin. So I have had to make sure I have good recipes for both to keep the man supplied. The things we do for love, huh? *Bats eyes in my husbands direction and attempts to look flirtatious* But hey, the man willingly makes me cups of tea whenever I ask and sometimes, I don’t even have to ask. PLUS, he is the one who gets our 16 year old up for school in the mornings. He’s pretty awesome.

Ok, I’m done gushing now lol.

These are some pretty good oatmeal cookies. The original recipe came from food.com and I have just barely adapted it. One thing I do is just make half the recipe because the full recipe makes an ungodly amount of cookies, which is fine for say, Christmas goodie trays but not for everyday unless I’m serving cookies for dinner. The half recipe makes about 5 dozen smallish cookies. I also added the raisinets as the original just called for chocolate chips as we love raisins in oatmeal cookies here, plus I added more vanilla, some cinnamon and a little less sugar because they were far too sweet as written. Ok, so maybe I adapted it a bit more than I thought lol. When cooking these, watch them carefully. With a 375 temp, they can get overdone quickly. If you want chewier cookies, go for the lower cooking time. If you prefer crispier, go for the higher cook time. Either way though…

You know the drill. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups oatmeal, divided in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 18 ounces raisinets (one bag and 2 individual sized boxes equals this amount)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets (I do two at a time) with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (you can do this with a heavy wooden spoon or hand mixer but it’s a fairly thick dough so it will be harder to stir) cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed, then add in the eggs and vanilla. beat well on low speed.
  4. In a food processor or blender, pulverize 1 1/4 cups of the oatmeal. In a large bowl, combine it with all the other dry ingredients, including the rest of the oatmeal. Don’t add the raisinets yet. Stir well to combine.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones, about 1/3 at a time, and mix well.
  6. Scrape down the bowl again, take the bowl off the base and stir in the raisinets.
  7. Use a small scoop to make cookies on the prepared sheets.
  8. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes. Let sit on sheet for one minute, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.


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Ready To Take A Chance Again…

I’m one of those people that if I have a bad experience with a particular food person, relationship, friendship, I tend to stay away from it from then on out. It’s the “once bitten twice shy” syndrome.

Take fried eggs for example. For YEARS, and I’m talking well into adulthood going on the assumption that I’ve reached adulthood at 47 I wouldn’t eat fried eggs. Why you ask? Ok, so we’ll pretend you askedย  with total and sincere interest in your voice, because otherwise my ego will nosedive. Well you see *hunkers down around the campfire* when I was a little sprout, a babysitter made fried eggs for me. What she DIDN’T do was clean the spoon well at all. So when I ate the eggs, there was this awful bitter taste in them. Come to find out, my older brother had been using that spoon with his chemistry set (for you young pups, back in the day, you could get kits that had all sorts of things in it to do experiments at home. How do you think Dr. Frankenstein got started? His mother bought him a chemistry set) and neglected to wash the spoon. SO I ended up with a mouthful of something that explains all my mutations today.

Same with Pomegranates. I loved them when younger…until the time I peeled one and a writhing live worm was in it. Now I’ll eat Pomegranate flavored things but not the actual fruit. Traumatized, thy name is Janet.

Then there’s coconut. When one gets a case of stomach flu after eating coconut, it can be rather off putting for a while… like say, life.ย  Plus, to be honest, while I love coconut milk and would happily sit down with a can of it and a spoon, and I love things flavored with coconut as well as enjoying Mounds Bars, I don’t like the texture of coconut when it is cooked.

I do however love things made with jam, jelly, preserves, marmalade’s, whatever. I have a very sad addiction to condiments, be they sweet or savory. My husband quickly steers me away from the jelly aisle and the condiment aisle in the stores.

So when I saw the following recipe, I decided I wanted to try it, coconut or not. It had jam and it had a crumbly oatmeal topping thing so I was won over. I figured if I hated it, oh well, I could lick all the jam out ๐Ÿ˜› and my family would like it anyway. I mean really, is there much you can put sugar in and NOT have kids like? Lo and behold, I like it! It’s very sweet so the gargantuan chunk I ate have been a bit much but then, I’ve been told that my face turns a lovely and very becoming shade of green when nauseated.

This is sweet (I mentioned that sweet thing right?) and buttery and crispy on bottom from the crust and on top from the crumbs and even with the coconut I would totally make it again. Though I still don’t like the texture of it cooked ๐Ÿ˜› and no one is getting me to ever eat a Pomegranate. So give this a try… it’s extremely easy, makes a nice sized pan and oh yeah btw, it’s pretty sweet, in case I failed to mention that. So don’t eat gargantuan chunks all at once. Spread them out over a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This originally comes from Epicurious and for the most part, other than using more of the crumbs on top, and maybe less coconut on top, I didn’t change anything important enough to mention.

Oatmeal Coconut Raspberry Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal (NOT instant)
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam (I used almost a full jar because I was too lazy to measure)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To be honest, I did it at 350 because 375 and baking makes me a wee bit nervous. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. Spread 3/4 cup of the coconut on a baking sheet and toast at 350 until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir it around once or twice otherwise your edges will burn.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars and salt. Using a pastry blender (they used a food processor but I saw no sense dirtying anything else) cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add in the oatmeal and toasted coconut and using your fingers (trust me… fingers work best here), work them into the flour/butter mixture.
  4. Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the mixture (they held back only 3/4 but I wanted a bit more crumbs on top and not a too thick bottom because when crusts are too thick they can get tough) and press the rest into the bottom of the greased pan.
  5. Spread the jam on top as best you can then sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on top then sprinkle the rest of the coconut over that.
  6. Bake at 350 until golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. I found the easiest way to cut these was to cut the full batch into quarters while still in the pan, then lift each separate piece out and cut into squares the size you desire. I did four per piece. Trust me when I say….cut them smaller. Just.Trust.Me.

 

Whadda Ya Mean You Don’t Like Oatmeal??!!

 

Your mother made you oatmeal when you were a kid didn’t she? It was the consistency of school paste and the flavor was probably similar too with the school paste maybe a touch ahead in the running for flavor. She may have thrown a spoonful of white sugar on it, a pat of salty greasy margarine and maybe a bit of milk. So what you ended up with was a pile of gluey oatmeal covered in overly sweet cold milk with a strange salty greasy edge to it. Oh yeah buddy… yum city. Point being though that all of the above is why you have convinced yourself that oatmeal is evil. Right up there with cod liver oil, those chewable vitamins shaped like Fred Flintstone that tasted like you were sucking on a mud covered penny and…well… liver. On an off note (imagine that… off notes from me.) was anyone else freaked out chowing down on Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble? I always felt guilty but never as bad as when I ate Dino. That just seemed so wrong. Poor Dino…. all chewed up. I fully expected to turn on the TV for my afternoon Flintstone fix and find a Public Service Announcement saying “Janet, there is no more Flintstones. Wilma and Betty are now widows weeping into their stone pillows at night and Pebbles and Bam Bam are going to grow up to be fatherless gang members who rob old ladies at stone point and tormentย Velociraptors for fun. Why you ask? BECAUSE…YOU…ATE….FRED…AND BARNEY…. YOU EVIL….GIRL!!!!!!!!!

I’m weird. I love oatmeal. But the above was pretty much my childhood experience of it just as I know it was for many of you. Our mothers generations (except for those of you who are young enough to be MY kids… I make darned awesome oatmeal ๐Ÿ˜› ) made oatmeal as a source of nutrition and warmth not for yum factor. And oatmeal IN things can be pretty awesome too. Like pie. Back in the day when people didn’t sit on their butts all day in front of computers (not that I know anything about that cough cough), food history tells us that pie for breakfast was fairly common. It was filling, a good energy source and warmed you up if eaten hot (because cold things don’t warm you up in case you were wondering that). Oatmeal pie was a good breakfast dish. Buttttt….. being the humans we are, things have to change. Including oatmeal pie. This one here isn’t just an oatmeal custard in a crust. It has dark brown sugar, maple and butterscotch chips, though if you don’t like them, feel free to omit those. I will only cry for a little while. This makes two pies so feel free to cut this in half. This is loosely adapted from a pie I saw on Taste Of Home. Feel free to eat this for breakfast. It has oatmeal after all.

Butterscotch Oatmeal Maple Pie

  • 2 9 inch pie shells (I used the frozen Marie Callander ones; they’re actually pretty good & I was too lazy to make a pie shell)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • Scant 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional. You can still try this Ann ๐Ÿ˜› )
  • 1 3/4 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon imitation maple flavoring (I used McCormick Brand)
  • 1 11 ounce bag butterscotch chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line your middle oven shelf with foil just in case of drips.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, flour, sugars and cinnamon.
  3. Stir in the oatmeal, butter, syrups (all 3) and extracts.
  4. Stir in the butterscotch chips
  5. Divide evenly between pie shells
  6. Bake for approximately 60 to 70 minutes for two pies or until it is nicely browned and the center is just barely set. There should be a slight jiggle but no liquidy look. One pie won’t take as long to cook so if you cut the recipe in half, start checking after 40 minutes. If you are unsure of doneness, stick a butter knife in the center. if it comes out almost clean, with a little bit of filling on it, it’s done. If it comes out with drippy liquid on it, it’s …well… not.
  7. Let sit for at least an hour or two before trying to cut this. It is similar to Pecan pie in that if you cut it too soon, you’ll have a oozing mess all over. It needs to finish setting up as it cools. The texture is also similar to pecan pie but w/out the pecans. ๐Ÿ˜›
  8. Serve this with vanilla ice cream or sitting in a puddle of warmed cream. It’s very rich and quite sweet so cut small pieces. Trust me on this.

You mean… This is GOOD For Me? Awwww- No Fair!

 

That’s pretty much the reaction I used to get from my kids when they were little and I would serve this. But then again, I have a knack for taking a perfectly healthy food and while keeping the health benefits, also injecting a healthy dose of decadence, fat and calories into it ๐Ÿ˜€

I have always loved oatmeal anyway, even when it is only adorned with a bit of sugar and some milk which is how I ate it as a kid. But make it this way and call it “Pie Lovers Oatmeal” and you won’t have a problem getting even the most zealous oatmeal haters to love it. Of course, once you serve this, you can forget ever being able to serve plain old oatmeal again but I’ll leave those little issues up to you to solve. I’m just here to cook ๐Ÿ˜›

You can also make this with other dried fruits. I use apples, raisins and cherries because it’s what I like best. But feel free to sub your favorite; this is pretty flexible in that sense. Dried Peaches are pretty good in it too.

PIE LOVERS OATMEAL

  1. 2 3/4 cup rolled oats (if you want to use steel cut oats, follow the directions for amount of oats and water for three servings but this won’t be creamy. It will be chewier and denser)
  2. 1 1/2 cups water
  3. 2 cups mixed dried fruits (I used 1 cup apples, and half a cup each dried cherries and raisins)
  4. 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cook the oats according to package directions, but with the simple addition of adding the fruits, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon with the oats and water.
  • Garnish with milk or cream (not that *I* would use unhealthy cream. I only suggest it for those of you who don’t have respect for your arteries *cough cough*) and butter.
  • Now wasn’t that easy?
  • Now eat it and convince yourself that you are eating something extremely healthy.
  • In reality, it IS pretty healthy, what with the fruits and the oats.
  • Makes two to three healthy sized servings