Cooking and I, we're old friends. It's a rare day that I follow a recipe to the letter, finding the gamble of substituting ingredients and cooking methods to be all part of the fun. My husband, however, finds my lax approach to writing out grocery lists, as a result of my laid-back cooking attitude, to be somewhat annoying. I'm working on that.
Baking and I, we are not such good friends. Measuring precisely, using room temperature butter and eggs (who in the heck, aside from Ina Garten, remembers to put the butter out hours ahead of time?), and actually setting the kitchen timer are all tasks that do not come easily to me. When I bake, I generally refer to the recipe every 11 to 14 seconds throughout the process. It's stressful.
So when I decided to morph my all-time favorite cookie into a lactation-friendly version, you must understand I was heading boldly into the great unknown. Having recently jumped back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon, post-baby Henry, I needed a guilt-free way to work chocolate into my diet once a day. Okay twice a day. And if I'm eating cookies that help me make more milk for my baby boy, that's the ticket this momma is buying Chocolate Land. For anyone else who is counting, these heavenly bites are worth three points each.
How do you know if these cookies are for you, too? Well, do you like dark chocolate? Do you like oatmeal cookies? Do you like spicy gingerbread? Do you enjoy eating something sinful under the guise of a health food?
Yes to all of the above? Print this blog post and head to Whole Foods.
[And no, eating these cookies will not make you lactate if you're not already doing so. They are perfectly delicious for children and grown men alike.]
Chewy Chocoloate-Oatmeal-Gingerbread Cookies*
*Adapted from Martha Stewart's (awesome kitchen staffer's) recipe and discovered through my girlfriend who gifts the regular version each holiday season to the delight of her friends and family.
2 tablespoons finely ground flax seed meal
7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Brewer's Yeast
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (real ginger gives the cookies a great "bite"; use less or more to taste)
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
- Soak flax seed meal in 1/2 cup of water; set aside.
Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cocoa and Brewer's Yeast.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined. Add flax seed meal mixture; beat until combined.
In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate and oats; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 48 cookies.