Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sierra Nuggets

Sometimes variety can be a bad thing. We get too much to choose from and then we don't want anything. That situation can also be too overwhelming. For instance, I have always wanted to go to this place that has a selection of 1000 styles of eyeglass frames. It is a nice thought, but in reality I know that I would spend all day there and probably could not make up my mind between several frames. Eventually, I would either leave with nothing or settle on one; thinking I should have got the other.

This particular cookie recipe can be the solution to having too many types of cookies to choose from. One of these gems holds a lot of flavor and texture. As you are eating these cookies, your taste buds will recall a myriad of different cookies.

They have crispy edges and an inner chewiness.You may also come across some crunchiness from the walnuts in the cookies. With oatmeal, cornflakes, spices, coconut, nuts and chocolate, they are bursting with a variety of flavor. The variety is there, but it is nicely balanced. Labeling these as simply oatmeal cookies or spice cookies would be more deceptive instead of descriptive.

In reality, taste is the major concern here, not the label. So, let's move on to the baking.....This recipe makes 6-7 dz cookies.

Sierra Nuggets
adapted from Guittard 

1 cup chopped, toasted nuts
2 cups or 12 oz milk chocolate or semisweet chips
1 cup cornflakes
1 cup sweetened,shredded coconut
3 cups of rolled oats
1/2 tsp mace
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
3 tbs milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar

Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together all four spices, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Set both aside.

Place butter and both kinds of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together the butter and sugar by beating at medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg mixture and then beat on low until combined. Remove bowl from stand mixer.

Now, it is time for the add-ins to the batter. Using a wooden spoon, mix in one add-in at a time until evenly distributed. Blend in the order as listed: corn flakes, oats, sifted ingredients, coconut, chocolate chips and nuts.

Using a scoop or spoon, drop by heaping teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. They mounds should be placed about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes and rotate and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Check cookies to see if they are a golden hue and spring back when lightly touched, if not, bake for an additional few minutes.

Remove pan and let rest on rack for 2 minutes. Then transfer cookies to rack to completely cool.

Tips and Notes:
1. Walnuts, pine nuts and peanuts were the suggested type of nut in the recipe, but you can choose whichever you prefer.

2. For a thicker cookie, add more flour to absorb the butter and refrigerate dough prior to baking so it does not spread as much. Test your dough to see how it bakes up.

3. The recipe does suggest making a bar cookie if you are short on time. Use a 10x15 pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Be sure to use plain corn flakes, not frosted. The cookie is sweet enough without this added sugar.

5. A note on ounces when it comes to brands of chocolate chips. Nestle still carries the 12 oz bag, however the more gourmet chocolate brands have been reduced to 11.5 oz. Keep this in mind when buying ingredients.
                                    **LAST YEAR:Honey Glazed Berry Scones**