Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

I have this little habit that is draining my bank account, cramping my morning routine and expanding my waistline. But it feels so good!  It’s my Starbucks habit and it is out of control. I know I’m not alone on this one but that doesn’t make it any better.

ADDICT!

 

Honestly, it’s not the coffee that bothers me; it’s the pastry case. The coffee is a necessity that I simply cannot start my day without. The pumpkin bread or breakfast sandwich is just an add-on that I find hard to resist. Why do I continue to buy Starbucks food? Time.

Mornings are usually somewhat of a fire drill for me. I am not really a morning person (although I really really wish I was!) so getting out of the house on time for work in the morning in the appropriate attire, with makeup and hair done, and equipped with everything I need for the day, is a little miracle every morning Monday through Friday. To also have coffee prepared and breakfast eaten by that time is nearly impossible. So I grab coffee and food on the run and eat while I am driving to work. Enter Starbucks, enemy of my wallet and waistband.

On the weekend and on my days off, I enjoy oatmeal or cereal for breakfast and I make coffee at home. My favorite breakfast is a big bowl of oatmeal loaded with toppings like nuts and dried fruit, and drizzled with honey or maple syrup. I love the taste and the texture and I love how it fills me up until lunch time rolls around. I have tried to enjoy a bowl of oatmeal before work in the morning but it is hard for me to find the time.

What I really need is to be able to eat oatmeal while I am driving to work. Due to the safety concerns that I have about using a spoon while steering to scoop hot liquids out of a bowl and into my mouth, I haven’t tried it yet. Richmond drivers, thank me later. Fortunately, I will never have to try it because I have found a solution.

Behold, the oatmeal breakfast cookie.

This photo was totally taken on the weekend. As if I have the luxury of waiting for the sun to come up before I have to go to work.

I modified a recipe that I found here and came up with a pretty awesome breakfast that tastes just like my beloved morning oatmeal, except it’s in my hand. Which leaves one hand free for driving to work. Maybe now I can get my act together enough to make coffee so I won’t have to stop at Starbucks at all! (Don’t hold your breath.)

Even if I do need to make an espresso run in the AM, at least I won’t be tempted by the pastry case. I plan to make these on Sunday nights and have them ready to go throughout the week so I can grab and go in the mornings. They aren’t super sweet like dessert cookies because they are breakfast, although I might up the amount of honey or substitute maple syrup in the next batch. They are just sweet enough to not be bland. Either way, this is a great basic recipe that I (and you!) can modify at whim.

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies


Ingredients:

  • 3 mashed bananas (ripe)
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit you want to add)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (or any other chopped nut)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let this mixture stand for ten minutes to let the oats soften.
  3. Divide mixture into six large mounds and place the dough mounds onto a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart from one another.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool.
  5. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to a week.

I have even included the nutritional information (estimated) from Spark Recipes here, in case you are interested:

Nutrition Facts – Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Enjoy!

Cranberry Apple Butter

This one is kind of old news and I have been meaning to post about it for the last few weeks. As I scraped the bottom of the bowl of cranberry apple butter this morning and poured the sweet and thick spread over my pumpkin muffins, I realized it was time to share this recipe with the world.

Cranberry Apple Butter (adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients

  • 3/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  honey
  • 1/4  cup  cranberry apple juice
  • 1  tablespoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cloves
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 10  medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced (about 2 1/2 pounds)

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a 5-quart electric slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low 10 hours or until apples are very tender.

The original recipe says:

“place a large fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; spoon one-third of apple mixture into sieve. Press mixture through sieve using the back of a spoon or ladle. Discard pulp. Repeat procedure with remaining apple mixture. Return apple mixture to slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, on high 1 1/2 hours or until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally.”

After I realized how difficult it was to get my apple mixture through a mesh strainer, I decided to do things a little differently, with great results. At this point, I broke out my immersion blender and blended the chunky apple butter right in the crockpot. I am always looking for reasons to use that little guy! It’s my power tool.

In this instance, the slow cooker and  immersion blender yielded a thick, sweet and tart apple butter that keeps in the fridge for a few weeks.The aroma of sweet cooked apples and tart cranberries lingered for a few days.

The recipe said one week, but after eating it from an airtight container in the fridge for three, no one in my home has died yet. Given my care for clean and safe food preparation and my tendency to perform much better with stovetop cooking than baking, I think we are at much greater risk for a baking-related fire disaster than we are for a foodborne illness.

Once you peel, core, and dice the apples, this recipe is so easy to make and delicious to eat on bread, muffins, oatmeal, and more. You could even try it on your Thanksgiving turkey (or tofurky for that matter). The smell that filled my apartment was better than any apple-scented candle I have ever burned. Now go forth and slow cook!