Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Valentine's Cookie

If there's one food we have a lot of at home right now, it'd be cheap, store-bought biscuits. You know, the kind that's made in some factory, and comes wrapped in plastic with twenty-four other identical ones? Sure you can get four packages for a dollar, but they taste chalky and they have a bunch of ingredients you don't really want to eat in it (care for some trans fat shortening anyone?). So why do we have so many packages at home? My dad likes to be a smart shopper and when he sees a great deal, he just can't miss out on it. Plus, he enjoys his cookies. So my challenge was to make a batch of cookies that would be more flavourful, healthier, and not cost a whole lot more than those store-bought ones. Inspired by the upcoming Valentine's Day, I came up with these heart-healthy cookies.

They've got walnuts and flaxseeds (these are the only fats in the recipe), and oats and psyllium fibre (these are the only 'flours' in the recipe). They're crispy, nutty, and healthy. Here's the recipe...

The Recipe:
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup psyllium cereal (I used All-bran Buds)
  • 1 cup walnut halves (no shell)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup skim milk powder
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup golden syrup (can add up to 1/2 cup if you prefer sweeter cookies)
  • 2 tbsp skim milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • (optional: up to 1 tsp flavourings, eg. vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, coffee, cardamom...)
Toast walnut halves in the oven or a dry skillet. I find heating the oven to 350°F, placing in the tray of walnuts on a cookie sheet, and then shutting the oven door and turning it off works well. 

Pulse oats and cereal in food processor until it becomes the consistency of wholemeal flour. It's alright if small flecks of oats remain. Add salt and baking powder and pulse again to mix evenly. Empty into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor and mix until a smooth paste forms. Simply add the paste to the bowl of pulsed flours and knead until a dough ball forms. Roll out dough into a 1/8 inch thick layer, cut out the shapes you desire, and place on a lined cookie sheet. They don't rise or spread very much so you can place them quite closely. Bake in a 300°F (~150°C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cookies have the slightest colour on the edges. Cool on a rack lined with paper towel. Cookies will crisp up as they cool. 

If you like, try spreading some jam on them and sandwiching two together!
The dough before kneading
Just out of the oven and cooling
Since it's almost Valentine's Day: a sweet treat for a sweet couple