Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Baby-Friendlier Version of My Great-Grandma's Cookie Recipe...

We have been making a recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation in my family, I know this recipe only as "Great-Grandma Our Last Name Here's Cookies".  They are essentially an Oatmeal cookie with Raisins, Chocolate Chips, and Nuts!  They are cram-packed with yumminess and customizable to suit everyone's likes/dislikes.  For example, Garrick doesn't like raisins in cookies (or on the planet, but that's another story), so for him, I skip the Raisins (but I do still add the "Raisin Juice").  I recently made a batch (which is really a double batch of the original recipe, but as my Great-Grandma used to say, "Double batches of cookies are the only way to do it"), raisins, chocolate chips, nuts and all!  I even modified it a hair for my likes by replacing half of the chocolate chips with white chocolate chips and using some Golden Raisins instead of using just the plain old brown ones.  This was the first time I've made them in at least 5 years, but probably closer to 10 years...I just haven't made a lot of cookies, especially since these don't fit into a low carb diet at all.  Anyway, I let Gabe try them, being careful (or so I thought) that he didn't get a nut or raisin, or chocolate!  Well, as evidenced by his diaper after helping me polish off several of these cookies, he still managed to get the raisins, nuts and chocolate!  The up side to him not fully digesting food yet is that I can tell how long it took him to move particular foods through (and in this case to see that he got whole raisins and chocolate chips swallowed)!

Long story, well, long...I decided that before our next trip (which is coming up shortly), I would make a "baby-friendlier" version...no nuts or chocolate in these!  Also, instead of sugar, I used mashed Banana!  I also only made 1/4 of the recipe, so essentially, a half batch, that still yielded 5 dozen (plus 3) baby-sized cookies!

Here's the recipe for "Baby-Friendly Oatmeal Raisin Cookies"...

  • 1/2c Butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2c Sugar or 1/2c Mashed Banana or 1/4c Applesauce and 1/4c Mashed Banana (I used 2 small bananas that were very ripe )
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4-3/4c Raisins (I used 1/4c and then snipped each raisin in half or thirds, I should have used more...)
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Raisin Juice (*see Note)
  • 1c Oatmeal
  • 1c Flour (All Purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • optional...chopped banana, apple, or anything else your child likes (and can safely eat)
*To make Raisin Juice...Place raisins in a pan/pot and cover them with water.  Bring to a slow boil and simmer "for a while".  I usually simmer mine until the whole house smells yummy and the water is a nice dark "raisin" color, about 20 minutes.  Then, pour raisins into a strainer over a bowl (I use my big glass measuring cup).  This separates the raisins (to be used in the cookies) from the "Juice"! Save both!  Once the raisins and the juice have cooled, you're ready to make cookies!  I usually do this the night before, but I've been known to do it up to a week before and put everything in the fridge until cookie-making time.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a bowl or bag (I use a sandwich size ziploc for this size batch), combine Flour, Baking Soda, Ginger, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, cream Butter and Sugar (or banana or banana/applesauce).  Add Egg and mix (I use my stand mixer for this...I so badly want a good quality one of these, what I have is a hand mixer with a stand).  Now it gets "fun"...mix the flour mixture and the raisin juice with the butter/sugar/egg mixture...but not all at once!  Take a small bit of the flour and mix until combined, now drizzle in a little bit of the raisin juice and combine.  Continue mixing small amounts of the flour mixture and raisin juice until it is all combined.  Now, by hand, mix in the Oatmeal.  You now have your "dough base" to which you can add your "goodies"...for this batch, I simply added the raisins (these are not required, but are very yummy and Gabriel loves them).  Each time you add something though, mixing it in thoroughly before adding the next item, saving delicate things for the last (chopped banana should be carefully mixed in at the very last so you don't just smash it up).

Because I'm making cookies for my almost 10 month old, I made them fairly small (as in I could probably get 2 or 3 in my mouth no problem, but he takes 10 minutes to eat one).  I got 5 dozen (plus 3) cookies (63) out of this!  That's a ton of cookies for a baby!  I put a large container of them in the freezer for later and am taking half or better of them with us on our trip for Gabriel to share with his 21 month old cousin (and probably the 5, 7, and soon to be 9 year old cousins too).  But, back to baking them first!

Line your cookie sheet(s) with Parchment paper (man do I love baking with this stuff), this will keep your cookie sheets clean Hello easy clean-up! and keep your cookies from sticking.  I use two spoons to form these cookies, the dough is super sticky and this method just works awesome.  Make the cookies whatever size you feel is appropriate for you and/or your child...mine where roughly 1 teaspoon worth each (give or take).  By now, your oven should be up to temp (unless, like me, you've had your butter softened, flour mixture ready, raisins juiced and snipped, and oatmeal measured for like a week because you forgot last week that you were out of Ginger and had to wait until you bought more to make the cookies...then sit back and wait for your oven to come up to 400 degrees), place your first cookies in the oven and set the timer for 8 minutes.  The original recipe says 10-12 minutes, but I find that my oven burns two-thirds of the cookies if I bake them that long, this time produces mostly perfectly cooked cookies with only a few with darker bottoms.  When the timer goes off, remove cookies from the oven and then get them off the cookie sheets and onto cooling racks!  Give your sheets a minute to cool down a bit, then repeat the whole cookie loading, baking, removing process until you are out of dough!
We've recently removed one of the toys from his Exersaucer to make an "eating area" on it...works great!

So that's it for the cookies...now, here's some random (semi-recent) photos!
Deviled Eggs with Mommy for an afternoon snack (he's been getting a daily snack and sharing dinner with me, but still mostly a boob baby).

Spinach off my plate out at Olive Garden!  Garrick and I celebrating 10 years of being together!

Daddy (Garrick) & Gabriel "patiently" waiting for me to grill dinner!

"The Dinner" I was grilling!  Steak, Grilling Cheese (OMG that stuff's good, but spendy!), and Sauteed Mushrooms!

Using Rosie as a ladder...and giving "good pets" too.

He ate almost the entire banana at this sitting!  Right before an early bath. ;)

Enjoying Strawberries and Cheerios for dinner because we had smoked sausages and I wasn't sharing, lol.

I recently made 2 "tester" slings out of cotton, trying to find a good workable size for myself.  I have a size 9 sling from Seven Sling (thanks to my sister) and my homemade one that is a whopping 1" larger than the Seven Sling.  Both are too tight...after a screwup in cutting, the other sling I made is also a size 9...and this one is a hair too big.  But, with rolling the shoulder like I did, it was workable...now to get Gabriel to hold still in it, I don't think he likes slings.
That's it for today (in pictures), but in other "news"...we recently joined a gym (go us)!  So far, all we've done is enjoyed taking Gabriel to the swimming pool, but Garrick meets with his personal trainer tonight (was supposed to be last night but the trainer had his days wrong) and I'm still waiting for a call from the trainer he set me up with.  It's been about 10 days so far and I'm still waiting...but since we're fairly busy this week, I'm not really in a rush right now.  If nothing else, next week I'm thinking about starting to do a "couch to 5k" using an app on my phone and the indoor track at the gym (while utilizing the free day care)!  Soon, I hope I can start posting progress again!  Also, by Friday night, we'll be "plus" one more kid for the month...but shh, it's a surprise!

I linked the gym up there...if you're in the area and decide to check them out, give them Garrick's name and we'll earn a referral credit!

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