Sunday baking

A normal Sunday during a not-normal time. Took Gaby for a walk through the neighborhoods and the wooded trail. Did a couple of loads of laundry. Some sorting and putting away in the dining room. Then I baked cookies. It’s a new recipe from the side of the Nature’s Path Old Fashioned Oatmeal canister. Chocolate chips/chunks and coconut and dried cranberries. What’s not to like?

One thing that was different–no eggs. I am assuming that the blend of two tablespoons of flax meal in the 1/4c of milk was the substitute, because after it sits for five minutes it gets pretty thick. And okay, I twitched things a bit. I replaced half the butter with applesauce because 3/4c butter seemed like a lot for 12-24 cookies, and besides I had read about applesauce as a butter substitute before and wanted to see what would happen. I added salt because imo baked goods always need a little, espresso powder to boost the chocolate and coconut, a tsp cinnamon, and a tsp vanilla because vanilla. I also used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. I don’t have any all-purpose in the house. It’s either white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry unless I’m making something I can’t afford to take chances with.

The thing is, though, I need to be careful when I make that switch because I find whole wheat flours in general soak up more liquid. The recipe did state that the dough would be thick, but I found it almost crumbly. So I added three more tablespoons of applesauce, which moistened things a little more than I expected. I could still use the 1.5 inch ice cream scoop to portion the dough balls, which remained mounded on the cookie sheet until I flattened them. But they were sticky, and I worried that they’d spread all over the sheet. But they didn’t. I left a little over an inch between the mounds, and that was plenty.

Verdict? They’re okay, and may taste better tomorrow. They’re soft and cakey, which according to what I read is due to the applesauce. There is also a faint apple flavor, which I am guessing would be expected. Only 150 calories each, which is pretty low for a cookie. But I miss the harder, more crumbly texture and the denser crumb. Maybe I should’ve stuck to all butter. Maybe an egg instead of the flax and milk would’ve made the difference.

A week or so ago, I finally got around to baking those Smitten Kitchen Blue Sky Bran Muffins I mentioned a couple of posts ago. They didn’t come out looking like the ones over at SK—I think I added too much batter atop the fruit layer. Also, I’m used to muffins with rounded tops, and I’m not sure why these stayed so flat. Maybe the small mass of fruit in the middle—I used a blend of chopped apple and dried cranberries—reduced the expansion of the batter. In any case, I like this recipe. Lots of bran, not much sugar, and a very light texture.

Next time, I will try a different fruit blend. Maybe banana-coconut.

That is one flat-topped muffin