Cookies always warm the heart, and sometimes they are even pretty darn good for the heart, or at least not so bad. Filling a gift basket for my long time friend, Dave, who is recovering from open heart surgery, Liv and I sent a box of goodies that, when eaten in moderation, are heart healthy. In addition to the low fat Pumpkin Granola, we included a box of a new favorite - Chocolate Espresso Oatmeal Cookies.
Oatmeal is well known for it's cholesterol lowering benefits, and recent studies are also showing antioxidant compounds that are unique to oats that may further reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (Tufts University published in the Journal of Nutrition). In addition, oats are known to enhance immune responses to infection, stabilize blood sugar and lower Type 2 Diabetes risks. With all that "good stuff" rolled up in one package, oatmeal cookies were just the treat to send to our heart surgery recovering friend.
Flavored with cocoa powder for a rich color and taste, and a shot of espresso (we used decaf), these cookies were just what the doctor ordered for those afternoon sweet cravings. Forming the cookies fairly small, grabbing two didn't make me feel at all guilty and somehow I convinced myself that with the addition of a couple of chocolate chips some extra antioxidant benefits were thrown in for good measure.
Dave reported back that he enjoyed the cookies and is well on the road to recovery.
Chocolate Espresso Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Vegetarian Times, December 2011, page 75
Flavorful and with a nice bite, these cookies may not actually be "health food", but in moderation they make a darn nice and not so bad for you treat.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup spelt or oat flour (may substitute all purpose flour)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 oz (1 stick) butter softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cooled espresso
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
Place the butter and sugar together in a large bowl and mix with a mixer until smooth. Beat in the espresso and vanilla and mix until combined.
With a wooden spoon add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture. When most of the flour is incorporated, stir in the oats and chocolate chips. Mix just until incorporated.
Divide dough in half and transfer each half to a large sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Use the wrap to shape the dough into two 2 inch-diameter logs. Wrap tightly and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove dough from the fridge and remove the wrapping. Slice the dough into 1/2-inch thick slices. Transfer slices to a greased or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-11 minutes, or until the cookies look dry on top. Cool the cookies for three minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack.
Liv Life Note: Usually I like cookies warm from the oven. While these little gems were indeed good warm, I liked them even better hours later! And on a side note... darn good cookie dough! :)
|Me and Dave - July 2011|