The Bread is in the Baking

Rikki Wynn - Baker and actor, currently living in Portland, OR.

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Question or comments about the cooking?

I never thought you could make oatmeal cookies that melt in your mouth.
I have been proven wrong.
I made these cookies because I wanted something little and sweet to eat, but my house is out of all purpose flour (we’ve got plenty of other flours, of course). So I was looking for a dessert recipe that only called for whole wheat flour. Using only whole wheat flour in desserts can be a little… healthy tasting.
My favorite “healthy” food blog is 101 Cookbooks. Her recipes are reliable and tasty and easy to tweak. There isn’t a lot of flour in this recipe so it doesn’t weigh the cookies down and the flour adds a nice depth of flavor to the cookies.
I also think it would be easy to substitute the flour for something else, if you’re looking for a nice gluten free cookie recipe. For this recipe, I added vanilla extract and left out the fennel seeds. In the original recipe, it says that the cookies do not last much longer than right after they come out of the oven, however I did not find this to be the case you just put them in an airtight container.
Lacy Oatmeal Cookies
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup / 5 oz uncooked rolled oats (not instant)
1 egg, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the top third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. When just melted, remove from heat and stir in the oats and vanilla. Stir until well coated.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg until it is the consistency of a creamy icing Whisk the flour mixture in, and then add the oats. Stir until combined, then drop, a level tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart.
Bake until very deeply golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove, and let sit for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to continue cooling. Eat immediately or keep in an airtight container for a week.
Total Time: About 20 minutes
Picture taken by the lovely and amazing Rachel King

I never thought you could make oatmeal cookies that melt in your mouth.

I have been proven wrong.

I made these cookies because I wanted something little and sweet to eat, but my house is out of all purpose flour (we’ve got plenty of other flours, of course). So I was looking for a dessert recipe that only called for whole wheat flour. Using only whole wheat flour in desserts can be a little… healthy tasting.

My favorite “healthy” food blog is 101 Cookbooks. Her recipes are reliable and tasty and easy to tweak. There isn’t a lot of flour in this recipe so it doesn’t weigh the cookies down and the flour adds a nice depth of flavor to the cookies.

I also think it would be easy to substitute the flour for something else, if you’re looking for a nice gluten free cookie recipe. For this recipe, I added vanilla extract and left out the fennel seeds. In the original recipe, it says that the cookies do not last much longer than right after they come out of the oven, however I did not find this to be the case you just put them in an airtight container.

Lacy Oatmeal Cookies

1 tablespoon whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 teaspoons poppy seeds

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cup / 5 oz uncooked rolled oats (not instant)

1 egg, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the top third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. When just melted, remove from heat and stir in the oats and vanilla. Stir until well coated.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg until it is the consistency of a creamy icing Whisk the flour mixture in, and then add the oats. Stir until combined, then drop, a level tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart.

Bake until very deeply golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove, and let sit for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to continue cooling. Eat immediately or keep in an airtight container for a week.

Total Time: About 20 minutes

Picture taken by the lovely and amazing Rachel King

December 20, 2012 @ 10:56 PM 4 notes

I’ve had rugelach on occasion. Not very often though.
Usually I’ll have one when I’m in Chicago visiting my dad’s side of the family. It reminds me of real deli’s. Deli’s we don’t have in the NW. It is flaky and rich and light while still full of flavor. I remember when I was little, we would buy them at the counter of this one deli/restaurant, Max’s, that we would always go to when we’d visit Chicago. They have the most amazing matzo ball soup.
We’d touch down in the O’Hare airport and my sisters and I would beg to go to Max’s for the Matzo ball soup.
The last time I was in Chicago I stayed with one of my cousins and she told me that we were not going to Max’s because my family always wants to go there and that there were other places besides Max’s to eat in Chicago. I laughed because in my head Max’s is the only place to eat in Chicago.
But anyway, rugelach.
One of my friends wanted to make rugelach. I’d never made it before, but I’m always up for trying a new recipe. Rugelach are really easy to make and don’t take too long. We had a lot of fun rolling out the dough and then rolling up all the little rugelach.
A couple weeks ago my boss had given me a a jar of vanilla peach jam she had made so we used it as the filling and I added lemon zest to the dough.
This recipe is from a wonderful Jewish cookbook my mom gave me: Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan.
Vanilla Peach Rugelach
Dough
2 cups flour
8 ounces cream cheese
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter
1/2 confectioners sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Filling
1 cup peach jam
3/4 walnuts, chopped into small pieces
Garnish
1 egg
1/4 cup raw (or granulated) sugar
Cut the butter and cream cheese into small even pieces. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a standard mixer until a soft dough has formed. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a round disk that is about 1/8 inch thick. Spread the peach jam evenly in a thin layer over the whole disk and sprinkle the walnut pieces over the jam. Cut the disk, like a pizza, into triangles with the wide side of the dough being about an inch thick. Roll each piece inwards toward the center of the disk and place the cookies on a baking sheet covered in parchment, leaving about 1/4 inch between each cookie.
Beat the egg and brush each cookie with egg. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the cookies and place the tray in the over for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Enjoy!
Total Time: About 2 hours View Larger

I’ve had rugelach on occasion. Not very often though.

Usually I’ll have one when I’m in Chicago visiting my dad’s side of the family. It reminds me of real deli’s. Deli’s we don’t have in the NW. It is flaky and rich and light while still full of flavor. I remember when I was little, we would buy them at the counter of this one deli/restaurant, Max’s, that we would always go to when we’d visit Chicago. They have the most amazing matzo ball soup.

We’d touch down in the O’Hare airport and my sisters and I would beg to go to Max’s for the Matzo ball soup.

The last time I was in Chicago I stayed with one of my cousins and she told me that we were not going to Max’s because my family always wants to go there and that there were other places besides Max’s to eat in Chicago. I laughed because in my head Max’s is the only place to eat in Chicago.

But anyway, rugelach.

One of my friends wanted to make rugelach. I’d never made it before, but I’m always up for trying a new recipe. Rugelach are really easy to make and don’t take too long. We had a lot of fun rolling out the dough and then rolling up all the little rugelach.

A couple weeks ago my boss had given me a a jar of vanilla peach jam she had made so we used it as the filling and I added lemon zest to the dough.

This recipe is from a wonderful Jewish cookbook my mom gave me: Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan.

Vanilla Peach Rugelach

Dough

2 cups flour

8 ounces cream cheese

2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter

1/2 confectioners sugar

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

1 cup peach jam

3/4 walnuts, chopped into small pieces

Garnish

1 egg

1/4 cup raw (or granulated) sugar

Cut the butter and cream cheese into small even pieces. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a standard mixer until a soft dough has formed. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a round disk that is about 1/8 inch thick. Spread the peach jam evenly in a thin layer over the whole disk and sprinkle the walnut pieces over the jam. Cut the disk, like a pizza, into triangles with the wide side of the dough being about an inch thick. Roll each piece inwards toward the center of the disk and place the cookies on a baking sheet covered in parchment, leaving about 1/4 inch between each cookie.

Beat the egg and brush each cookie with egg. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the cookies and place the tray in the over for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

Total Time: About 2 hours

September 13, 2012 @ 8:59 PM 2 notes

I’ve never bought vanilla beans before.
They’re expensive, so whenever a recipe asked for vanilla beans I would just add vanilla extract instead. Then I realized how fast I go through vanilla extract and learned how easy it is to make your own extract.
And then I saw that you can buy vanilla beans in bulk on Amazon.
1 lbs of vanilla beans for $32.
Now, I don’t need a pound of vanilla beans. So I found some friends that also wanted some and we split the pound into thirds. The beans got here within 3 days in a small package and the beans were vacuum sealed, but you could still smell them through the package. After splitting the package of beans into 3rds, I had over 50 vanilla beans.
I’m posting this recipe now, and I’ll add another picture of what the extract looks like in a month or so.
Vanilla Extract
3-4 vanilla beans cut in half and split open with a knife
8 oz. of vodka
An 8 oz container that can be sealed tightly
Place the vanilla beans in the container and pour the vodka over the beans. Seal the container and shake it, keep the extract in a dark space, shaking the container every couple of days, for at least one month (or longer, which will yield stronger extract).
I’ve also read in different places that you can add extra vanilla beans to the extract after you’ve cooked with them. Just make sure to rinse them off before adding them to the extract. This also allows you to “top off” your extract as you use it so you will never run out of vanilla extract again! View Larger

I’ve never bought vanilla beans before.

They’re expensive, so whenever a recipe asked for vanilla beans I would just add vanilla extract instead. Then I realized how fast I go through vanilla extract and learned how easy it is to make your own extract.

And then I saw that you can buy vanilla beans in bulk on Amazon.

1 lbs of vanilla beans for $32.

Now, I don’t need a pound of vanilla beans. So I found some friends that also wanted some and we split the pound into thirds. The beans got here within 3 days in a small package and the beans were vacuum sealed, but you could still smell them through the package. After splitting the package of beans into 3rds, I had over 50 vanilla beans.

I’m posting this recipe now, and I’ll add another picture of what the extract looks like in a month or so.

Vanilla Extract

3-4 vanilla beans cut in half and split open with a knife

8 oz. of vodka

An 8 oz container that can be sealed tightly

Place the vanilla beans in the container and pour the vodka over the beans. Seal the container and shake it, keep the extract in a dark space, shaking the container every couple of days, for at least one month (or longer, which will yield stronger extract).

I’ve also read in different places that you can add extra vanilla beans to the extract after you’ve cooked with them. Just make sure to rinse them off before adding them to the extract. This also allows you to “top off” your extract as you use it so you will never run out of vanilla extract again!

January 29, 2012 @ 6:19 PM 4 notes