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’S  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


Deep Dish Pecan Pie

Deep Dish Pecan Pie

Deep Dish Pecan Pie

I love the whole idea of Thanksgiving. Beyond the obvious loving the meal part (I am a turkey fiend), there is something about the knowledge that on a day when I am sitting down with my family to our Thanksgiving meal, so are millions of other Americans here and abroad. I get a mental image of so many other families saying grace before they eat as they join hands. I think of them laughing as they enjoy the meal, many, just going by odds, laughing over the same lame jokes (oh my gosh, mom burned the pies AGAIN!) at the exact same time. I smile when I think of the kids all over America asking for the 10th time “can we have dessert now?” when all the adults want to do is sit back and catch up with each other over a cup of coffee and a glass of wine. It all gives me chills… the nationwide brotherhood so to speak, the idea that when it comes down to it, we are all one people. I feel the same way at Christmas when I think of so many opening their present early morning as they try not to yawn over the hour (though yes, I know not everyone celebrates Christmas) and on July 4th. So many things join us together as a nation, as a large extended family and Thanksgiving is one of those times.

One of the things I look forward to every year is Pecan Pie. As much as I love it, I can’t seem to bring myself to make it at any other time than Thanksgiving. It just feels wrong. But, so that some of you having a horde of family and/or friends over this Thanksgiving can have a good recipe, I made an exception this year. The things I do for you *she says as she shoves a spoonful of pie into her mouth*. This is a BIG pie. It will easily serve about 12 to 16 people unless you make the slices huge. It’s also not quite as tooth achingly rich as the pecan pie I posted last year. For me, it is a toss up which I prefer. This one is sturdy enough to hold a slice in your hands but it lacks the goopiness of the other. This one isn’t as sweet, but then again, this is ME here… I have no problem with sweet hehe. So what will I do? I’ll make both here. Then I have my sweet gooey pie and my husband has one that’s not as rich, cause he’s a wimp. Either way though, this is fantastic with some lightly whipped cream or as I like it, just with some warm cream poured around it.

You know the drill… 🙂

Deep Dish Pecan Pie

  • Crust-
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons solid shortening, such as Crisco, chilled in freezer and sliced thin
  • 2/3 cup ice water (you may not use it all)
  • Filling-
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup white (clear) corn syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups dark corn syrup
  • 6 eggs, beaten well
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. For crust- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Stir to combine. Dump in the shortening and using a pastry blender, quickly cut the shortening into the flour  until you have a crumbly mixture. You want there to still be some lumps in here, so don’t make it too fine.
  2. Add your ice water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each, until a small piece of the dough holds together in a ball when gently squeezed. When the dough is ready, wrap it in foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 2 days if you’re making the dough ahead of time.
  3. While the dough chills, make your filling. In a medium saucepot, combine the sugars and corn syrups. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and let boil for three minutes.  Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. When cooled down, slowly drizzle two cups of the sugar mix into the eggs, whisking all the time. This will temper your eggs and prevent them from scrambling when added to the sugar mix,. When you have whisked in all two cups, then pour the eggs into the saucepot with the sugar mix, again whisking the whole time. Then add in the vanilla and the pecans. Set aside.
  5. Make your crust- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get out a 13×9 inch baking pan. Flour your working area well. Get the chilled crust, lay down on the work area and press it rather flat with your hands. Then roll out into a rectangle (you may have to help it keep the correct shape by periodically reshaping it as you roll) about 3 inches larger than the pan all around.
  6. Use a spatula to gently pry the dough off of the board or counter and roll it around the rolling pan to transport it to the pan. Gently drape it into the pan and press down into the bottom and edges of the pan. Crimp the top edges as desired.
  7. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 325 to finish. Remove form the oven when you can insert a butter knife halfway between the edge and the center of the pie and it comes out clean, about 60 to 75 minutes. The pie will finish cooking form it’s own residual heat. Let this cool completely before you try to slice it or you will end up with a liquidy mess. If you want warm slices, simply reheat them in the microwave for about 10 seconds per slice.

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“Cut my pie into four pieces, I don’t think I could eat eight.”

I love that quotation. Yogi Berra said that. The man spoke my heart! I love pie. Sweet pies, savory pies, custard, fruit, cream, fly guts (just checking to make sure you’re paying attention), citrus, chocolate. I love them all. Well, except for the fly gut one. You can have my share. Though, me being me, I am now wondering how teenie tiny fly guts would be if they even have guts similar to ours and if spiders make fly guts pie.

Yeah. Uh huh. Maybe it’s time for me to start looking into therapy again.

I have a few hundred favorites however. Apple crumb (I even love the Sara Lee Dutch Apple Crumb one), Key Lime (my favorite Summer pie) Lemon Meringue (reminds me of my dad), well, anything lemon (check back tomorrow for one of those), cherry , mincemeat….ok, I think you get the point. I like pie. And I’m pretty much an equal opportunity pie lover (hmmm, my mind can make even THAT sound obscene. Did I mention that therapy thing?).

So going on my last post’s idea of giving you recipes to get ready for Thanksgiving before you go and pick all the better bloggers recipes because they make foods that make me look like a three year old in the kitchen *sobs piteously*, so that you don’t have to wait until the last minute to figure out what you want to make, I bring you my favorite pie. All time favorite. I’m talking “eat this until it seeps out of my pores and I smell like dessert (Thinking about this, is this really a BAD thing?) and I fall into a coma yet again from too much sugar” favorite pie. I’m saying “I love this pie and if I put it on my Thanksgiving table and the kids eat it all before I get to it, I cry” type of favorite pie. I’m saying…. I’m rambling aren’t I?

Moving on… my favorite pie is Pecan Pie. Go figure… a woman who doesn’t really care that much for nuts and my favorite pie is Pecan. But it is. And this one in particular. I have been making this for many many years now. It originally came from The Fanny Farmer Baking Book (omg, if you ever want just ONE excellent baking cookbook, get this one. Amazon still carries it even though it’s over a 25 year old book. I love this cookbook and want mine buried with me.) and I really haven’t changed it TOO much other than to increase the filling by half to make it deeper and adding a little cream and more vanilla to the filling before baking it. Why? Because more than I love the caramelized sugary glazed pecans (remember that not THAT fond of nuts thing), I absolutely adore the goopy filling in Pecan pie. This one is rich and dark and wickedly delicious. If you have been looking for a great pecan pie recipe, look no further. Try this one. I suggest making it a day ahead of time and letting it cool, then refrigerating it. Then when you want to cut it, cut it cold, then heat each piece in the microwave if you want it warm. I suggest that for most pies actually. They are much easier to cut and you’ll rarely have that first piece that falls apart that is so common with baking pies. So give this a try. Then do what I do when I make this and say to heck with the calories and drown it in a puddle of warm unsweetened heavy cream. Hey, it’s like a twice a year thing!

Wickedly Rich Pecan Pie

  • 1 9 inch unbaked pie shell (use homemade or use store bought but make sure it is a DEEP shell. Crimp the edges up even higher if it is a store bought deep dish with low edges)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups pecan halves or pieces (I use pieces; make the pie easier to cut and the nuts gets more glazed and caramelized)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Beat the eggs with a whisk (don’t use an electric beater with this recipe. It adds too much air to the filling) in a large bowl until well blended.
  3. Add the corn syrups (btw, bottled corn syrup is NOT the same thing as HFCS. You may not want to stick a straw in the bottle and drink it but it’s fine to use if you’re someone who worries about HFCS.),  the brown sugar, the melted butter, cream and vanilla. Blend well.
  4. Stir in the pecans. I then let it sit for about ten minutes or so before I put it in the pie shell. It gives the pecans time to soak up the filling.
  5. Pour filling into pie shell.
  6. Bake the pie for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook until the pie is done. When you can stick a thin knife in the center and not come out with liquid on it, it’s done. You want it to come out with little tiny bits of goopy filling on it. Pecan pie is pretty precise in how it should be cooked. Too little and it’s runny; too much and it gets granular. Depending on your oven, this will take from 30 to 40 minutes. If it is getting too brown, lightly cover the pie with foil to shield it.
  7. Let cool on rack, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. If you want it warmed, slice the pie and heat each piece individually in the microwave.
  8. Cover your slice in a puddle of heavy cream that makes your pie scream at you that it’s drowning.

The Coyotes Sang For Me And Fall Harvest Cookies

As many of you may know, my family and I recently moved. We had been living for three years in a  house we were renting on a dead end street. This house had a postage stamp sized yard. I mean, really really small. On top of that, it was sloped too deeply to use for anything. Where we are now is a normal sized house… we love it but we also know it’s nothing Earth shaking in most peoples eyes; just a typical 3 bedroom 2 bath house. What really made both of us want it was the land. This house came with ten acres of land. About 3 of it is cleared but 7 of it is forested as it much of the surrounding area. Plainly put, we are out in the boondocks… and we love it. 😀

Some of you may also remember that I have mentioned that I grew up in Chicago. I’m a South Side girl from birth. :-P  Plainly put there, I grew up with polluted Lake Michigan (though I love(d) it anyway), cement as my playground and wildlife that consisted of neighborhood dogs that had a thing for humping everyone’s legs and squirrels that I loved to watch back then and still enjoy watching though they are surprisingly rare around here. THAT was my wildlife hehe.

I’ve lived in Kentucky now longer than many of my readers have been alive (since ’88) but I still haven’t gotten to the point of taking it for granted. Part of this I think stems from the fact that my mother was from Alabama so if it’s possibly for one to be genetically hardwired to love the country, I am a walking example of this. I am so at peace here now, out of the city (such as our town of 17k is), away from traffic and ornery teenage kids skateboarding at midnight as they cuss up a blue streak.

One of the things I love here is knowing that we are surrounded by wildlife. I haven’t seen any yet but oh my, I know it’s there. The other night, at about 3:30am, I was suddenly startled awake from a dead sleep. I had no idea what woke me; still don’t really. Maybe I heard something in my sleep. But nonetheless, I was up for a while as is the norm for me when that happens. So, as I tend to do now, I headed outside. Within a few minutes, I heard it. The coyotes were also awake (it was the night of the full moon funnily enough) and they were giving me a serenade. I stood there for maybe ten minutes listening to their song. Up and down the musical scale it went, giving me chills. I went and got my husband to verify what I was hearing (in theory anyway; in reality I just wanted to share this with someone but had to have a valid excuse for waking him at almost 4 in the morning hehe). He stood with me for a bit but since he was snoring standing up, I had mercy and sent him back to bed.  When I went back outside, I realized that maybe it was time to take my listening back inside. Why? Because the one or two coyotes had increased by at least a few and they had moved quite a bit closer from the sound of it, MAYBE half a mile from the house if that.

I realize that coyotes can be a hazard to other animals and I wouldn’t want to walk in our woods at night. I like to think I have a LITTLE sense lol.. But I will never ever take for granted that I have been blessed to live somewhere now where, in the middle of the night, I am privy to the songs of the night. It was the most eerily awesome sound I have ever heard.

Moving on….. no coyote shaped cookies, no casserole made with coyote meat (ummm; eww?), no twilight themed treats. What I DO have for you is a cookie I created the other day. I wanted something Autumnish (yes, that is still a word because I said so darn it) and I was in the mood for maple… and apples… and white chocolate… and crunch. Lol. They turned out spectacularly if I do say so myself. My husband and my daughter (she was visiting which I love) said they didn’t like the Pepitas but neither of them like nuts and such in cookies either. Not to mention, for someone who didn’t like the seeds, my daughter sure ate enough of them :-P. So here you go… give my Fall Harvest Cookies, chock full of Autumny (yeah that’s a word now too) goodness., a try. I think you’ll enjoy them. Plus there is actually some semblance of nutrition in these :-p

Fall Harvest Cookies

  1. 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  5. 1 1/4 cup sugar
  6. 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons maple flavoring
  10. 1 teaspoon butter flavoring (sold same area as vanilla extract)
  11. 2 cups peeled and chopped apples
  12. 1/2 cup Pepita’s (do NOT use the salted in the shell pumpkin seeds in these please)
  13. 1 1/2 cups Planters Brand Maple Pecans, coarsely chopped (found mine at Wal-Mart & had been dying to figure out a way to use them)
  14. 2 cups dried cherries
  15. 1 bag good quality white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli’s)
  • Heat oven to 350. Mix the flour, baking powder& baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine the butter and sugars in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until well mixed and creamy.
  • Add the eggs and the 3 extracts. Continue beating until it’s all well mixed.
  • Gradually add in the flour mixture on low speed (unless of course you WANT to be flour covered 😛 ). Beat well until mixture is thoroughly combined. If it’s too much for your poor mixers motor, use those arm muscles and mix it by hand.
  • When well mixed, mix in (by hand) the white chocolate chips, pepitas, pecans, apples and dried cherries.
  • Shape into balls (I am no good at saying “make them such and such diameter so just make them the size you generally make, say, a chocolate chip cookie. Lol. I’m sorry.) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Because of the apples, this is a fairly sticky dough so yes, you will get goop on your hands 😀
  •  Bake at 350 until top is firm and golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. I cooked some a little longer and while I generally prefer chewier verging on underdone cookies, these were actually good crispy too.
  • Let cool for about a minute on the cookie sheet then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  • Eat many of these. Feel righteous because it has nuts and seeds and fruit 😛 Go outside and say hello to the night. Smile and feel blessed no matter where you are. 🙂

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