Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Honey Oatmeal Sugar Cookies

Cook With Honey by Judy Collins
I was a little dismayed that I had already used Sugar, Sugar by The Archies and briefly considered using it again for this post anyway.  But then I wandered around my iTunes library and found this perfectly acceptable pairing from my Judy Collins collection.  Honey has been on my brain lately.  I'll be telling you why shortly.  But, in the meantime, click on the link in the song title and take a trip to 1973!

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity
to spend the day at my brother and sister-in-law's
bakery and cafe in Bountiful, Utah.
and they serve delicious soups,
salads, and sandwiches as well as cookies,
brownies, pies, and all sorts of
goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth!
It was fun to be back in a 
commercial kitchen again!

Honey has been my principal sweetener 
the past several months and I've learned
to use it in both savory and sweet dishes.
example of one of the savory recipes
I've come up with.
And today's recipe is a sweet offering.

I came up with this recipe while
making the long drive back home to Washington.
I wanted to have a treat that reflected
the flavors I think of when I think of
the Beehive State.
Naturally, I think of pioneers and the simple ingredients
I think they might have used such as 
honey, and things like oats and other grains.

I got really excited when I remembered
toasting oats for a cookie 
I made during my internship.
I definitely needed to do the same thing
for this recipe because that single process
alone knocks the flavor meter out of the ball park!
I will be toasting up oatmeal and keeping it in 
my freezer just to have on hand for this recipe!

I could put some honey in the dough - as well
as make a syrup to glaze the cookies as they
come out of the oven.
My goal was to have that favorite textural
combination of mine -
an initial crack upon biting, yielding to a soft interior.
I am very happy to say I accomplished this
with exceptionally stellar results!

I must warn you that this cookie has
highly addictive tendencies!
Swooning could also happen!
It's simple nature is beguiling.
Enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk
or iced tea (or hot tea for that matter.)
As for flavor, you'll be thinking "snickerdoodle?",
"peanut butter?", "oatmeal?".
The toasting of that oatmeal creates
a flavor quite unique and you'll, of course,
need to taste one after another, to decide
what it tastes like to you!
I've resolved that it tastes just like it's name - 
honey and oats - in their most 
glorious form!

Honey Oatmeal Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup coconut oil, divided
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
4 cups flour (500 g)
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For syrup:
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons warm water
sugar for coating

Place the oatmeal in a food processor and pulse until it is broken down to smaller pieces.
Melt 2 - 3 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large skillet and add the chopped oats.  Stir to coat with the melted coconut oil.  Continue to stir frequently and cook over medium high heat until toasted to a golden brown color - right about when the pan starts to smoke a bit.
Your house will smell heavenly and family will come running thinking you've popped popcorn!  Remove from the hot pan immediately as it will keep toasting if you don't.  Set the toasted oatmeal aside to cool down completely.  You could put it in the fridge or freezer to help speed up the cooling process.  You really don't want to add it while it's warm as it will melt your ingredients and that will make a cookie with a much different texture.  Spreading could also be an issue.

Place the sugars and the butter and remaining coconut oil into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with a paddle until soft and combined - about 3 - 4 minutes.  Add the egg and mix until well combined.  Add the vanilla extract and honey and mix again to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and the cooled oats until well blended.  Add to the mixer bowl and stir just until the ingredients come together.

Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.  Place some sugar in a small bowl.  Scoop the cookie dough with an ice cream scoop and place in sugar bowl.  Toss to coat with sugar and then place on the sheet tray - keeping them about 2" apart.  Repeat until all the dough has been scooped.  Use a flat surface like a glass to slightly flatten each mound of dough.  Freeze the dough for at least an hour.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place cookies on a parchment lined sheet tray and bake for 10 - 12 minutes - until the cookies are lightly browned on the bottom edges.    Mix together the honey and water for the syrup and brush lightly over top of the cooling cookies.
Remove to a cooling rack and continue to cool.  Enjoy!

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