Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm in love...

It's Autumn people! Aren't you excited? The leaves have turned all sorts of crazy colours and air now packs a brisk punch. It's the time for turkey and pumpkins and big mugs full of rooibus tea. We lit the pilot light in our fireplace a few days ago, which has been a long time coming (I don't know what is wrong with the people in my family but our air conditioner is STILL on. It's not even warm outside anymore!)! Besides all the usual Fall comforts, the food at this time of year- goodness gracious, the food really gets me. It's still colourful, but in a more earthy way. And it's hearty and warm. What can I say, I'm in love...
Autumn always leaves me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Even in the midst of a plethora of assignments and midterms. Autumn is like the calm before the winter storm and is an absolute breath of fresh air after a stifling summer.
Even as a child I remember looking forward to back to school time far more than the average person would. I remember stomping through piles of leave in my new doc martins with a smile as big as a crescent moon plastered on my face. Back then, fall meant a new wardrobe, new pencils, and pristine white erasers.
Nowadays I can't really afford a whole new wardrobe (dang you tuition, you do not leave me room to indulge in my horrendously expensive tastes!), or really new anything (unless you count new textbooks, but lets not go there) so I settle for something else. Something like Snow Flurry rooibos tea that I get from a sweet little store in West Van for $6.95/100g. Oh and with that tea, I like some cookies. Some spicy, hearty, healthy cookies that I can dunk into my Snow Flurry tea and the slowly slip into euphoria... Mmm yes please.
Oatmeal Harvest Cookies
Adapted (roughly) from Whole Foods Market

These lightly spiced cookies are the perfect fall treat. They are toothsome and loaded with all kinds of super healthy ingredients. Sometimes, if I'm feeling high spirited, I will add about 1/2 a cup of ground flax meal, just to add a bit of extra substance. Hellooooo not-so-guilty pleasures...
Also, the only complaint I ever get about these cookies is that the recipe doesn't make enough! Depending on the size you make the cookies, you should get about one dozen out of the recipe. If that's not enough to keep you happy, double the recipe and all will be well!

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¾ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) Earth Balance Margarine (or butter)
¾ cup packed brown sugar*
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup almonds chopped
2 cups rolled oats
grated rind of one orange
¾ cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking trays with parchment.
In a small medium bowl, combine whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and soda. Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and orange zest, until just combined. With a wooden spoon, stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the almonds, oats and cranberries. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto baking trays.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and firm on top. The cookies don't spread very much; so don't worry about crowding them.

* These cookies are not overtly sweet- perfect to enjoy along a mug of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea! If you have a larger sweet tooth, please be advised the the original recipe called for an additional ½ cup of granulated sugar.

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