Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oatmeal Cookies and Gingerbread Custard

I've been wanting to make a simple oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recently. You probably haven't noticed, but I tend toward more "complicated" desserts. Complicated for you, maybe. But let me tell you, I've made more bad batches of chocolate chip and sugar cookies that I really like to admit. There's just so much leeway. In any case, they just don't come out the way I want them. (I'm still on the hunt for a sugar cookie like from Schmidt's and chocolate chip cookies like from Paradise.) But today I found the perfect oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. Warning, it has molasses in it. But I'm here to promise that it's a really interesting/good addition.

Aran made an inspiring bisque the other day, and I just had to have some pudding with the cookies. I thought I might try a gingerbread flavor, just to add to my mild autumn obsession.

Aran's pictures reminded me of these little bowls I bought a few years ago at Ten Thousand Villages. TTV is a non-profit fair trade organization that sells handicrafts from poor artisans all around the world. I volunteered at one of their stores in high school and college; someday when I retire, (yeah, right) I think I'll spend almost all my time there (the rest here); they'll get sick of me, but too bad, this place is awesome.

They're from Nepal. One step closer to actually going to Nepal.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(adapted from Memories in the Baking)
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup molasses
1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line sheet pans with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
Using a mixer, cream the butter and both sugars, until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and the molasses. Beat until blended.
With mixer on low, add the flour mixture, and beat just until blended. Stir in the oats, chocolate chunks, and pecans until evenly distributed.
Drop the dough by tablespoons onto prepared sheet pans, about 2" apart. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes. Yield: 5 dozen cookies.

Gingerbread Custard
(adapted from Cannelle et Vanille)

500 g heavy cream
200 g whole milk
100 g sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 T cloves
1/2 t shredded ginger
6 egg yolk
1/4 c molasses (or to taste)
30 g chocolate

In a medium saucepan heat the cream, milk, sugar, and spices until the flavor has steeped through the milk (maybe 20 min.).
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and molasses in a medium bowl. After the cream mixture has steeped, temper the milk mixture into them while whisking. Return this mixture to the sauce pan and cook for a couple of minutes while constantly stirring until lightly thickens.
Place the finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Place a fine sieve over the bowl and pour the custard over the chocolate. Mix until all the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth cream.