Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chock Full of Crunchies

Day time television drove me to bake today... I have a bit of a head cold so I was going to sit and veg on the couch this morning before going into work this afternoon, but once I got through the shows I had on my dvr I realized that it was baking or watching Rachel Ray's talk show. Since I can't stand Rachel Ray when she's cooking, I definitely don't want to see her talk show, so baking it was.

I wanted something really easy though so I went with a very basic cookie recipe from my Carole Walter book. The recipe called for coconut, oatmeal, rice cereal and pecans -- and I added all of those. But I also added a cup of mixed chocolate -- leftovers from bags of mini-chocolate chips, regular chocolate chips, and mini-m&ms -- I wanted chocolate in my cookies and figured this would be a good place to add it. Not a bad cookie by any stretch, but I liked the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies that I made from this book a bit better -- they had a better texture and as far as I am concerned a better balance of flavors. I thought I had blogged about those cookies, but I didn't -- guess I'll have to make them again so I can blog about them. bummer.

2 cups all purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup finely chopped sweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

preheat oven to 375.

Strain together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar, then the granulated sugar, and mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and mix for 1 minute longer. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until blended. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the oatmeal, coconut, rice cereal and pecans.

Drop walnut-sized mounds from the tip of a tablespoon onto the cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to maintain an even combination of dough to textured ingredients. bake 8 to 11 minutes, rotating the pans halfway though. Bake until the edges begin to turn golden brown -- don't overbake.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula, carefully loosen and transfer to cooling racks.

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