Monday, November 22, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 22: Creative Mix Ins

Creative cookie baking doesn't always have to involve coming up with new innovative recipes every time. Sometimes taking a base recipe and adding different mix ins can make an old cookie recipe seem entirely new! Here are some suggestions for variations on some classic cookies: sugar cookies, chocolate chip, and oatmeal.

Sugar cookies, at least in my house, are usually made with vanilla extract. They really are equally delicious when you substitute other extracts like Lemon, Coconut or Almond (sprinkle on some slivered almonds before baking, or on the icing before hardening to really up the almond ante) produce an entirely different cookie experience with only a very minor change. Check out Asian markets for inexpensive extracts to experiment with in your cookies. I've had my eye on some Jasmine extract for a while. I'll have to post after some testing with that!

Chocolate chip cookie dough is a great blank slate for all sorts of ingredients. You can keep it super simple and add in a few handfuls of rainbow sprinkles to make rainbow cookies. Like your rainbows bigger? Try some Chocolate Lentils or Whizzers Chocolate Beans in place of or in addition to the chips. Check out your local Kosher market for white chocolate chips or chocolate coffee chips. Walnuts are traditional, but have you tried chocolate chip cookies with hazelnut extract and chopped hazelnuts? It's Nutella-tastic! Some of my other favorite combinations are chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries and blanched slivered almonds, and chocolate chip cookies with peanuts and raisins. Remember Chunky bars? It's Chunky cookies!

Oatmeal cookies are also begging for creative add ins. Who needs raisins when you can have currents or dried cranberries? A handful of coconut really gives a kick to ordinary oatmeal cookies. There are lots of fruit and nut combos that are stellar in the oatmeal base. Try cashews and dried strawberries, pecans and dried peaches or apricots (cut into smaller bits, naturally), or pistachios and dried pears. Going tropical? How about dried mango and macadamia nuts. You don't have to pick just one either. Divide your dough in half or quarters, and mix a little something different into each batch.

What are some of your favorite cookie mix ins?

1 comment:

Stef said...

I adore an oatmeal raisin/chocolate chip mash-up. I'm also a fan of chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips (the opposite of a PB chocolate thumb print cookie). I agree, sometimes taking a classic base and adding a surprise compliment can make an innovative difference. :)