Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nutty and Natural

I tend to prefer more "natural" ingredients, although if I need to bake, I will use whatever's on hand. I most often have Earth Balance (a vegan butter substitute) in my fridge for other uses, so that goes into a lot of the baked goods that I make. Likewise, I love to use turbinado or other natural or organic sugars, because they have an interesting crunch and a deeper flavor. These cookies have extra sugar sprinkled on top.

Natural Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate-Chunk Cookies

1 c. Earth Balance (or just butter, margarine, or crisco)
1 c. turbinado sugar (these would work with brown sugar, as well)
1/2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, 1 egg yolk

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. whole oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 semi-sweet chocolate bars, chopped. (I used Scharffen Berger because there was a sign at Trader Joe's that said "chop up for chocolate chunk cookies!" which sounded good to me. It is my favorite brand of chocolate to bake with but fairly expensive.)
1/2 cup pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Cream butter ("buttery spread") and sugar, add eggs and vanilla.
3. Mix dry ingredients separately, then incorporate.
4. Stir in chopped chocolate and pecans.
5. Scoop dough onto cookie sheet. TIP: I use two regular spoons, sprayed with Pam if the dough is extra sticky, to scoop. This keeps my hands clean (because you know I will eat anything left on my fingers).
6. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over each cookie.
7. Bake @ 375 for 13 minutes.

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

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