Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekly Recipe and my Chef-in-Training

How many kids do you know would pass up getting to go outside and play to stay in and cook with their mother?  Maybe Bobby Flay did.  Or maybe Thomas Keller.  Is it too early to predict the future of a 3-year old?  If not, I'm going to predict what I consider to be blatantly obvious, Colin will be a chef! 

So as we started to bake our cookies, I opened the jar of applesauce, only to find that a flurry of ant-like mold spores had taken over.  Saddened not only that I wouldn't be able to use it but also because I wasted that money (WWII mentality lives on), I told Colin we'd have to make something else.  Oh no.  I need to keep this kid around the kitchen more often to push my creative juices.  Pumpkin muffins?  NO!  I want cookies!  Hmm.  Well surely I have something in here that will take the place of applesauce.  Pumpkin?  No, the cookies were appropriately called Caramel Apple Granola Cookies.  Upon further investigation of the refrigerator, I found plain Greek yogurt and apple butter.  I didn't have enough of either, so I combined them and supplemented with a little oil.

As an aside, this was one of the rare times I wished I was a hoarder.  If I didn't just buy what we needed each week at the grocery store, perhaps I would have 12 jars of applesauce in the pantry and our crisis would have been averted.  But alas, I'm way too frugal to be a hoarder and just forced myself to get creative. 

I present you with my adapted version of Caramel Apple Granola Cookies.  Colin passed up both apple and blueberry pie to get to eat his cookie.  I offered him either 1 big or 2 little and he chose the 1 big.  Sadly, he chose poorly but try to reason with a 3-year old.  If you think you'd get anywhere, you haven't tried it lately!

The verdict?  At first he said "yuck" but quickly scarfed down the rest of the cookie.  This was after declaring that he liked mushrooms now and woofed down one of these

Caramel Apple Granola Cookies

  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 T. apple butter
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 2 T. almond milk
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-natural caramel sauce, (Trader Joe's is divine!), divided, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup finely diced dried apple rings, preferably unsweetened and unsulfured
  • 1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, apple butter, oil, milk, 1/4 cup caramel sauce, sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir until well-mixed.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in dried apples and chopped peanuts.
  5. Using a mini ice cream scoop or a small spoon, scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheet. The cookies won’t spread, so you might want to gently press down the tops a bit with a spoon for even baking.
  6. Bake about 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden but still soft.
  7. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 2-3 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack. Dip the tines of a fork into the remaining 2 Tbsp caramel sauce, and drizzle over top of cookies. Let cookies cool completely.
  8. Store in an air-tight container, preferably in the refrigerator so the caramel can harden… at room temperature the caramel is a bit gooey.
It's amazing to me how this little guy picks up on things so quickly.  Without being prompted, he asked if he could have one of these cookies after he ate all of his dinner.  Not "can I have one now" or grabbing one without asking, no he didn't even try it.  Here he is proudly looking at his finished product.  The funny thing is, this picture is totally staged.  I thought for sure he'd ask for one after "pretending" to take one but no, he resisted.  The kid has better resistance than I do for sure!


  1. How sweet! Must be fun to have a helper in the kitchen. I know I'd love it! And how funny that he knew to ask for a cookie after dinner.

  2. Yum! Those look delish! He is the cutest little helper, ever!

  3. I really think our kids would get along so well! Bailey loves to help in the kitchen too, and she knows the have to eat dinner first and then we'll talk about dessert.

    Love the picture of him pretending to take a cookie :)

  4. Having a little helper is the best! I think Colin will make a great husband one day...especially if he keeps that cooking up!

  5. I'm a food hoarder!!! Just tonight Sam said - How do we spend so much money on food and not have anything to eat as he perused the cabinets overstuffed with food. Too bad you don't live next door!