Loaded with oats, chocolate, nuts, and dried berries, these cookies are so tasty you’d never know they were low-sugar. If you want to just get down to business, (click here.)
All of my books have finally moved in, Garrett and I finished the patio, and our pepper crop is ready for its second (and most likely final) harvest. Which means, in two months we’ll have been homeowners for a whole year.
Well, it doesn’t actually mean that. But it does seem like we’re hitting our stride with this whole home owning thing. The yard’s still a beast. Between the weeds, deer, and our 100-pound terrorist, it’s a bit of a disaster.
The house seems to be permanently coated in dog hair. We even had the house cleaned, cleaned it again ourselves and there was still dog hair in the hallway that same day! I think Zeus waits until we sweep to shake his hair all over the place and laugh as we clean it up.
Currently, as I type at 4-dark-30, Gran and Gramps are sleeping in our guest room. Garrett’s sleeping in our bedroom. And, Zeus is snoring at my feet.
He probably needs to snore. He’s a whole year old now! And Garrett’s another year older. And my Dad’s another year wiser. This week has been a birthday sandwich – Garrett, Zeus and then Dad!
We didn’t do anything particularly exciting to celebrate. In fact, Garrett worked in the yard until almost 8 PM most days this week – including his birthday. Which happened to fall on the eclipse. You guys…did you watch it? We didn’t get the awe-inspiring craziness of the totality, but it was pretty neat to see. And even with those special eclipse glasses, my eyes felt all funny for a few hours after.
I was supposed to go watch the eclipse with Garrett and take him these cookies as a warm, chocolate-loaded surprise. Instead, I stayed home and contacted warranty people. There was something funky going on with the well. It was constantly running. We had no idea why. (Oh, the joys of homeownership.)
It turns out there was a faulty valve on one of the filtration units. Brandon my (soon-to-be official) brother-in-law figured out what was wrong! So, no more warranty people. And, no more worrying we’d need to pay thousands of dollars cutting a hole in the wellhouse roof and fixing a leaky pipe! Thank you, thank you, thank you Brandon!!!
(Insider Tip: If you have a well and it won’t stop running, it’s best to turn it off so you don’t ruin the pump. BUT, if the water coming out of your faucets is cold, then you don’t need to worry quite so much about your pump overheating and going kablooey. A HUGE thank you to the folks at Blue Line Water who have yet again provided valuable information over the phone. Y’all are amazing.)
Back to Brandon – my (soon-to-be official) brother-in-law. He and Krysta are getting married this weekend! There will be all the BBQ and all the dancing and all the family. Don’t you just love weddings?!?!
We’re hosting the rehearsal dinner at our home. Merry and Richard are making lasagna. Garrett’s cheesy bread is on the menu. I’m setting out a pitcher of cucumber lemon water. (Props to Zarah for lending me her drink dispenser and Bev for picking it up. #squadforthewin)
For dessert, Gran and Gramps made their famous Chocolate Pie! (Recipe coming soon.)
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Walnuts & Dried Blueberries
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Makes 16 Cookies
The following recipe is based on Cook’s Illustrated’s ‘Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans and Dried Cherries’. I started making it when Gran and Gramps gave me the Cookbook Bible – also known as the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.
Over the years I’ve been tweaking it to make the cookies more ‘Garrett’ friendly. What follows is our favorite low-sugar version. If you’re really watching your sugar, this one might be a little too much for you. There’s really nothing you can do to eliminate the sugar in dried fruit. And while you could cut the 1/8 cup brown sugar, we’ve found a little real sugar keeps the cookies from tasting slightly ‘off.’
It’s also worth noting I use walnuts because that’s what Garrett prefers. You could easily use pecans or hazelnuts. I also tend to use whatever dried fruit we have on hand. I like to use blueberries because they’re rich in antioxidants. But, I’ve used dried cherries and cranberries. Both have been delightful.
1¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried blueberries
1 cup sugar-free chocolate chips
12 TBS unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
1/8 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. Mix oats, walnuts, blueberries, and chocolate in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and Truvia Brown Sugar Blend until fully combined and slightly fluffy. The mixture will be more granular than what you’re used to with traditional brown sugar.
Add dark brown sugar and beat until fully incorporated and no lumps remain. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until fully incorporated. Reduce speed to slow and add flour, mixing until just combined.
Remove from stand and fold in oat-chocolate mixture, until just combined.
Make ¼ cup balls of dough. (I like to use a measuring cup and then roll them gently between my palms.) Evenly space 8 cookies on each cookie sheet, pressing each cookie gently into a 1-inch thick disc.
Bake each sheet independently for 13 minutes, until edges begin to brown slightly. Remove cookie sheet from oven and let stand on a wire rack for 5 minutes before transferring cookies from cookie sheet to rack. Eat warm or allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.