What a stressful morning and it’s not even over!
I just had some plumbing work done in the shop so I got up way too early, they wouldn’t bill my landlord so I had to cover the huge amount due, and my ex is coming in this afternoon to visit and… deliver bad news? It’s a soggy, rainy gray day, I have to finish cleaning the house for his “inspection” and I’m chilled, damp, sleepy, queasy and my cat wants me to love on her to the exclusion of everything else. Sounds like a baking opportunity!
What I really want is someone to make me a huge spinach omelette, with biscuits, honey and butter and a bottomless coffee mug, but since there's no one else here, I’ll bake up some cookies and make a second cup of home-made espresso and call it done.
I need sugar and salt in equal measures, so I’m adapting a no-egg cookie recipe I got off the web. It’s the kind of recipe that works for whatever you have on hand, and without a lot of OCD measuring - a perfect recipe for me.
I don’t like eggs in cookies, because I like the crispy, crumbliness of just butter on the grains. This recipe is originally called No Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies, and it calls for quick oats as well as flour, which I always have on hand. In fact, I like a cookie recipe that uses ingredients that, by themselves, are not tempting to eat and can sit in the pantry for months til I get the urge for cookies. Chocolate chips do tend to disappear, but cranberries are just as good. Sometimes I toss a handful of coconut in there, and nuts or sunflower seeds are good too. You can fudge this recipe entirely, putting more or less flour, oats, sugar or butter in and it will still work fine. I’ve given you the measurements for 6 cookies - plenty for me! - but just double it for a dozen.
So, here is my morning cookie recipe, and hope it cheers up your day too!
Ham and Cranberry Breakfast Cookies
makes 6 cookies
1/4 cup butter (I’ve made these with half this amount of butter; just add more milk)
1/4 cup sugar. brown or demerara preferred
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup corn meal
(or 3/4 cup of combined oats, flour or other ground grain)
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp vanilla, optional if you’re making a sweet cookie
2 oz chopped ham and cranberries, in whatever proportion you prefer (or chocolate chips, or… )
Splash of milk, as needed
Preheat the oven to 350º
• Melt the butter in the preheating oven
• Mix all the dry ingredients
• Mix in the ham and cranberries, coating them with flour to keep them from clumping
• When the butter is melted, pour over the dry ingredients
(This is a trick I learned to make cornbread - the hot butter slightly cooks the grain and helps make it crispier. If you have chocolate chips, let the butter cool first or they’ll melt)
• Add the vanilla, if you are using it.
• Mix all together til it is just barely holding together. You can add milk in small splashes if it’s still too dry to form into cookies. The more milk, the less crumbly/crispy, you choose.
• Form the cookies on baking parchment using a spoon and your hands to mold them into shape.
• Bake about 25 minutes, or till they are brown on the bottom and firm when you press on them.
OK, enough baking. Now I have to go clean the bathroom *sigh*