Wednesday, January 18, 2012



Even the sunshine of our warm Pacific Coast must give way occasionally to leaden skies and chill dampness. And for this season, Man,too, must prepare. His dwelling-place must hold warmth and cheer.
Easier Housekeeping, Pacific Coast Gas Association, 1931 

We in the Northwest have been bracing for a snowstorm. In the Lewis-Clark Valley, it began snowing in earnest during the night and we awoke to about four inches of the fluffy stuff. Mike had to go to work. I’m grateful to be staying at home.

Now – to share my new cookie recipe. I often eat raisin bran for breakfast, but once I’ve eaten down to the bottom of the box where the bran flakes are mostly crumbs, I no longer enjoy the experience. The crumbs are immediately soggy in milk, and the texture just doesn’t inspire me. Sometimes there can be quite a lot of crumbly product in the bottom of the box, so I began to save it with the notion of making “raisin bran cookies.” Additionally, Mike had mentioned that vegetable oil is better for us than either butter or margarine, so I decided to make that substitution. Online research indicated a substitution of 7/8 cup oil and ½ teaspoon salt for one cup margarine.

½ cup applesauce
½ cup cooking oil (scant)
½ cup egg substitute
½ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2-3 cups crumbled raisin bran cereal
½ cup raisins
½ cup nuts
1 cup cinnamon baking chips

Blend applesauce, oil, and egg subs. Add sugars and vanilla and blend well. Mix flour, soda, and salt and add to sugar mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients. I baked them for 8 minutes at 350 on parchment-lined baking sheets. Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.

I simply made substitutions to a standard cookie recipe. Mike and I both thought the cookies were delicious.

What I know about basic cooking I learned from my mother. She taught the importance of exact measurement and stressed that any deviation can affect the result. She kept a straightedge in her kitchen to smooth the extra flour or sugar off the cup, demonstrating that smoothing with curved spoon handles or knives will affect the measurement. She was insistent that I follow the exact procedures she taught. However, after years of baking for my family, I find I’m a little lax with exact measurement and have no problems with that. KW


Chris said...

I tend to tinker with cookie recipes. I like my cookies with some height to them, so I generally add more flour. Truth be told, I'm more fond of the dough than the actual cookie in most cases. I know, you're not supposed to eat cookie dough, but I do. :-)

Sounds like you came up with a good recipe!

We have tons of snow up here with more expected tonight and tomorrow. I'm sorry you won't be able to come to embroidery club, but I totally understand.

Kathy said...

Yes, I could have added more flour. I was just glad they were edible because I wasn't sure how the recipe would work with oil and applesauce instead of margarine.

I like dough, too.

Not only do we have snow, but this afternoon's weather channel said there was fog in Moscow. So, I'll stay home this time.Perhaps I'll stitch out a design or two.

Hallie said...

I should be more precise with my cooking measurements. My biscuits are hit and miss as a result of my carelessness. But, the up side is that now Nick usually makes the biscuits. ;)

Kathy said...

Funny -- Nick making the biscuits.

It's not exactly carelessness on my part. I think that after years of cooking, you get to know what a teaspoon of salt looks like, about how much is a quarter of a cup, etc. And I think there's some flexibility in the chemistry of cooking. For instance, it's amazing what one can do with a cake mix and still have good results. I'm sure the techs in the test kitchens know where the breaking point is.