Thursday, April 29, 2010

Luke's Cookies

My brother (fondly referred to as "bro-bro") likes my baking. I might go so far as to say that he loves my baking. Cookies, muffins, he devours them all. And as an athletic 6'4ish" the boy can eat. And too often, I, like my mom, fall prey to the boy's pleads for us to cook for him. He's just too endearing. Even though I sometimes get irritated with his assuming nature, as in he presumes both my mom and I are going to whip him up a grilled cheese sandwich because we have absolutely nothing better to do, Luke always expresses sincere appreciation for our efforts, making the task all the more worthwhile.

Luke's love for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, yet health-conscious appetite (an athlete has to be properly fueled) were the inspiration for my experimentation with a family classic. I wanted to power up these cookies and pack them with health-promoting ingredients so that my bro-bro could enjoy these without worrying that they would weigh him down on his next run. Adding oat bran and flax add fiber and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and the extra protein from the wheat germ and powder really amp up the staying power (satiation), which is something you may not find too often in a cookie. The addition of pudding to these cookies really keeps them moist without a greasy residue. The convenience of a ready-made oatmeal cookie mix lessens the burden on the baker. Outside they may be crisp, but the inside will be soft. Be sure to store in the fridge in an airtight container, because the extra moisture will make them super prone to molding if left on the counter. An insider tip for baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies: pull them out of the oven early, when they don't appear fully done. They will continue to cook once removed, but an early departure from the oven will yield a softer cookie.

Oh, and I don't have an electric mixer. So it is totally acceptable (and feasible) to mix the cookie dough with a simple fork. But only if you lick it when you're done.
The Stuff:
  • 2 sizable mixing bowls
  • 1 baking pan
  • parchment paper
The Edibles:
  • oatmeal cookie mix (I used a Betty Crocker mix, but I think I will make my own next time)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 rounded T. protein powder (I use MLO Vegetable Protein)
  • 1 & 2/3 T. wheat germ
  • 1/4 c. oat bran
  • 2 T. flax seed
  • hearty sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 2 pudding cups (I used reduced-sugar vanilla pudding cups)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 c. walnuts
  • 1/4 c. chocolate chips
The Making:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a rather large mixing bowl stir together the dry ingredients (cookie mix through flax seed until well-combined.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (water through egg whites). Bit by bit (mayhaps 1/4 cup by 1/4 cup) pour dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir until well-combined. The dough may be thick.
  4. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips, and give 'er a quick stir until fully incorporated.
  5. Drop by spoonful onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes or so, until the cookies appear "undone".

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