Okay, I’m a little bit late to the Baking Partners challenge this month. It was supposed to be posted on Saturday. Woops.
I got caught up doing really important things this weekend like drinking enough wine to get me dancing to a live Bon Jovi cover band, sipping Starbucks as I waited in Canadian Tire for some terrible news about the state of my car’s suspension system, and (sort of, but not really) watching football. You know, important stuff.
Anyway, this month’s theme was cookies. There were three cookie recipes to choose from, or you could make all three. Given that I’m trying to whittle my middle I opted to only make one type, and I opted to try to healthify it.
The recipe in question is for Cornflake Cookies, supposedly (based on my comrades results) it is a crunchy cookie filled with coconut and raisins and crusted with crushed cornflakes. I made a few swaps to the recipe and I got an entirely different result. I think.
Substitution 1: Coconut
First off, the recipe calls for dessicated coconut. Earlier in the week I had cracked open a fresh coconut, shaved the insides into flakes with a vegetable peeler and toasted under the broiler. I figured it would be a shame to use store bought shredded coconut in these cookies, so I used these flakes instead.
Tip: Stick with shredded coconut, but toast it.
The toasted flavour was amazing in the cookies, but the large flakes didn’t really combine well into the dough. Next time around, I’ll used shredded coconut but I will toast it first to bring out the nutty flavour.
Substitution 2: Sugar
In sticking with the coconut theme, I decided to substitute coconut sugar for granulated. This was among my free swag from Swanson and I wanted to give it a try in baking.
I thought this made a decent sub for regular sugar. It had a nutty taste and though it didn’t cream together with the butter as well as white sugar does, it didn’t affect the texture of the cookie, which is something I worry about when I sub different sweeteners during baking.
Substitution 3: Raisins
This recipe only called for 2 tablespoons of raisins. I found this volume to be absurdly low so I amped it up a bit, to 1/4 cup. Still not enough. In the end I was lucky if I found a raisin in the cookie at all. I would definitely ramp up the raisin count next time.
Tip: Add 1/2 – 3/4 c raisins to the cookies. Even that will be a modest amount.
Substitution 4: Flour
Since I’m trying to steer clear of white carbs I swapped all purpose flour for whole wheat. This also ups the protein and fibre content of the dough which makes the cookies chewy since protein and fibre bind to water.
Tip: The fibre in whole wheat flour makes it absorb moisture more easily than all purpose flour, this could make the cookie dough a bit drier. If the dough is too dry to work with, try adding a tablespoon of milk.
Substitution 4: Cereal
While we’re talking fibre, I figured I’d up the fibre content even more by swapping out regular corn flakes for bran flakes. Now that’s a high fibre cookie.
I baked the cookie for only 12 minutes instead of the 15-20 recommended and it yielded a very nutty flavoured cookie that was chewy but had a crunchy exterior from the bran flakes. In the end I really liked it.
The only changes I would make would be to add a lot more raisins and to use the shredded coconut called for in the recipe.
Bran Flakes Cookies
adapted from Baking: Common Sense by Murdoch Books
125 grams softened butter
3/4 c (165grams) sugar coconut sugar
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 t vanilla extract
2 T 1/2 c raisins
1-1/2 c (135grams) toasted shredded coconut
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
2 c (250grams) all purpose whole wheat flour
2 c crushed cornflakes bran flakes
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F, line two baking trays with baking paper.Sie ve the flour with baking soda and baking powder.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl,using electric beaters until they turns light and fluffy.
Gradually add the egg, beating thoroughly after each addition, add the vanilla and beat until combined.
Now add the raisins,coconut, give a stir. Fold the flour mixture with a metal spoon and stir until the mixture is almost smooth.
Put the crushed cornflakes in a shallow dish, then drop tablespoon of this cookie mixture onto the cornflakes and roll into balls.
Arrange on the trays, bake for 15-20minutes or until they turns golden.
Cool completely and arrange it in an air tightened box.
Check out some of the other Baking Partners post at the link up here.
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