Simply amazing cookies

What more can I say? These cookies are incredible. Amazing. Worth getting fat for. Almost impossible to stop at one. You’ve been warned.

Very Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 1/3 C butter, softened
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3 C flour
  • 1 C oats
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 12 oz. chocolate chunks
  • 8 oz. dark chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. white chocolate chips
  1. Combine first five ingredients
  2. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients
  3. Mix dry ingredients with butter mixture
  4. Drop by large spoonfuls (golf ball-size) onto cookie sheet, slightly pressing down each cookie in the center
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven, then remove to racks to cool completely

Oatmeal Cocoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

Did you ever bite into what you thought was an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, salivating with anticipation, only to discover that those “chocolate chips” were … raisins?! That might be great for some people, but I am not riding the white flour-butter-and-sugar-laden cookie train just to arrive at oats and raisins. But I do absolutely love a fresh, homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, and so does my husband. Last night, he requested a dose of¬†homebaked comfort, but couldn’t decide whether the aforementioned cookie would ring his bell, or if it was a chocolate cookie he craved. No problem, we can have the best of both worlds. I threw together this recipe, and proved it.

  • 1 C softened butter
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2 C flour
  • 3/4 C cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 C regular oats
  • 16 oz. chocolate chips (I used half dark chocolate chips and half semi-sweet, with a few additional white chips for garnish)
  1. Combine first four ingredients, beating well.
  2. Mix together all remaining ingredients except chips, then stir into butter mixture.
  3. Mix in chips.
  4. Bake 9-10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. So good!

New Mama, New Baby banana bread

My family was recently blessed with two new babies within a month of each other: my brother and his wife welcomed their second little girl, and my husband’s brother and his wife celebrated the arrival of their second boy.

Since both of my sisters-in-law are smart ladies who know all about the amazing benefits of breastfeeding, this loving act is a priority for each of them. But to successfully breastfeed, it’s important for new moms to enjoy plenty of nourishing food, something that’s easier said than done with a newborn babe, another little one to run after and a household to try to maintain.

To that end, I baked up a loaf of nutritious, delicious bread for each mama and her family. I concocted the recipe to include breastfeeding-friendly ingredients to support them in this venture as best I could. Oats, flax seed and brewer’s yeast are all traditionally thought to help increase milk supply. Nuts and whole wheat flour boost protein intake, and chocolate, well that just catapults this rich bread to a whole new level of deliciousness. Of course, though this bread is made with a breastfeeding mama in mind, it’s so yummy that every member of the family will be hacking off hearty slabs.

Selah and Nolan’s New Baby Banana Bread

  • 1/2 C unsalted organic butter
  • 3/4 C packed brown sugar
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 C whole wheat flour (can use 1 C whole wheat and 1 C white flour for a lighter texture)
  • 1 1/2 C oats
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 2 T milled flax seed
  • 4 T brewer’s yeast
  • 1/2 t salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 3/4 C chopped pecans, walnuts or other nuts
  • 1 C dark chocolate chips
  1. Cream together first five ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  3. Add dry ingredients  to banana mixture.
  4. Pour into two greased loaf pans and bake 45 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven, or until edges and top are set. Cool 10 minutes in pans before turning out onto racks to cool completely.

Forget chocolate, the way to my heart is beer!

In honor of the upcoming holiday, Dianna Stampfler of Promote Michigan put together a great list of Valentine’s Day-appropriate beers, every one of them brewed in Michigan.

Tasty personal favorites like Vanilla Java Porter from Detroit’s Atwater BC and Cocoa Loco Triple Chocolate Stout from Battle Creek’s Arcadia Ales are easy picks, but I love the curve-balls she throws in there, like the ambrosial Two Hearted from Bell’s in K-zoo.

One beer that won’t be available at your local store but that I’m sure will be worth trying (and that perfectly fits this theme) is Chocolate Rose Bud Stout from the Corner Brewery in Ypsi. This tempting brew will be on offer at their Valentine Masquerade Ball this Friday. In another life, in which I lived in or close to Ann Arbor and I didn’t have a sweet little baby, I’d so be there, probably with bells on. As it is, I’m happy to live in Michigan, surrounded by so many swoon-worthy craft beers.