I love the warm way the house smells when I'm baking, and it's nice to know I will be welcomed in with a few bites of some homemade goodness. I throw whatever is leftover in the freezer, and then have quick homemade cookies on hand if company stops over, or whenever my sweet tooth / bec sucré calls again.
I bake so much and often, I honestly don't recall when we last ate a store-bought sweet!
Why bother, when you can enjoy all-natural, preservative-free goodness at home, which always tastes so much better, you know exactly what's it in, and it's free of shelf-stabilizing chemicals, colorings, or other completely unpronounceable (and unhealthy) ingredients.
If you're going to indulge, you may as well do it with the best quality-made treats, right?
If I learned anything while living in France and was trying to Frenchify myself, this is it -- Keep it pure, natural, and handmade from the finest-quality ingredients. You get out of it what you put in, and can really enjoy every bite so much more when it's been baked with love and in a home kitchen rather than spat out of some sterile industrial machine somewhere far away.
You can make them even healthier if you like, by substituting 1/2 cup or so of whole wheat flour to cut down on the basically non-nutritive AP flour, or feel free to throw in some hemp or chia seeds.
Either way, these are really delicious, and I prefer mine with a glass of creamy (and SUPER good for you) hemp milk.
I always use sea salt when I bake to provide contrast and maximize the sweetness, and also add a bit of coffee or espresso to enrich the deep flavors of chocolate.
The pops of red cranberry here & there make these a pretty lil' cookie for Valentine's Day, that you can feel good about baking up with love for all the sweeties in your life.
White & Dark Chocolate Cranberry Cookies with Oats & Pecans
Makes ~3 dozen cookies
Printable recipe here
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (infused with a vanilla bean, if possible)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oats (I used steel-cut)
2 TBS ground flaxseeds
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sea salt
1 TBS instant coffee granules 1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray & set aside.
Combine sugars, butter, and vanilla together until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Add all dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in both kinds of chocolate, pecans and cranberries.
Drop by rounded tablespoon-fulls onto prepared sheets & bake in preheated oven for ~9 minutes, until golden brown on edges. Allow to cool slightly, remove from baking sheet and enjoy fresh and warm from the oven.
Image Sources | All images can be found on Remember when we lived in that castle...? Pinterest Food Board |