My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.


You Put What in Breakfast Cookies? 3

Posted on May 28, 2009 by crankycheryl


Ten years ago I couldn’t imagine a life that necessitated rules like, “You are only allowed to spit outside the house, and pick your nose inside the house.”  And I couldn’t have known that I’d be sneaking healthy food into my children with clever marketing and techniques more appropriate for public relations than running a family.

But all things in life seem to intersect at some point, and I am where I am, feeding wild monkeyboys with whatever I can, trying to interrupt the cereal-pancake cycle of breakfast.  So why not Breakfast Cookies?  After all, the only real difference between a muffin and a cupcake and a cookie is some combination of height, frosting and marketing, no?

So I found this recipe on CD Kitchens (you’ll recognize the picture as mine), and adapted it slightly.  It’s good, certainly healthier than a lot of the stuff we call breakfast food (purple & blue poptart, anyone?), and boy did I feel like a rock star of a mom when I heard the boys bragging that they were eating Cookies For Breakfast.

Banana-Oat Breakfast Cookies
Adapted from CD Kitchen, as submitted by Kasie of Milwaukee
20 cookies

  • 1/2 cup sunflower butter or tahini (the original calls for peanut butter, but using one of these will let you bring them into a nut-free zone)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c. pureed squash or pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped dried apricots


In a large mixing bowl, beat peanut butter and butter with electric mixer 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla until mixed. Beat in bananas, baking soda and salt.

Mix in flours and flax. Stir in oats and dried fruit. Drop by 1/4-cup measure 4 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Spread to 3-inch rounds.

Bake in 350F oven 15 to 16 minutes, or until edges are browned. Let stand 1 minute. Remove; cool on wire racks. Serve in 24 hours or freeze.

Why It Matters 0

Posted on March 05, 2009 by crankycheryl

I thought I had finally demonstrated my cooking nuttiness this week when I looked down in the sink one evening and saw every one of my 8  (8!) wooden spoons there.  There was the one from starting the sponge for sourdough bread, the one for the cake, the one for its icing, the oatmeal, the custard for the cohousing dinner, plus whatever else I’ve already forgotten.

But I realized that I didn’t feel nutty.  I was tired, but I felt kind of great.  And it made me realize that there’s something I haven’t yet said here:

I cook for the joy of it.  For the satisfaction and simplicity of feeding those I love.  For the pleasure of necessary thriftiness.  Because it’s art and craft and creation and primal and needed.

For me, cooking all the time – the daily grind of it, and the fanciest flights – is life.  To do it with a glad heart is to try to keep my own best self close.  That I can make people happy and engage in the organic magic of bread-making and fill the house with the smell of chocolate or melting butter and evoke memories and even save money is a pure and needed joy.

So every day, here we are, slogging along through money worries and perpetual lateness and ADHD and cabin fever and the rest of it.  But every day we can come back to this quiet, necessary, open-hearted act of creation and sharing.  And if that doesn’t make it all somehow worth it, I don’t know what could.

And in that spirit, I’m sharing some recent, unblogged creations:

Cranky Cake 1

Posted on March 01, 2009 by crankycheryl


“Hey monkeys.  What would be in Cranky Cake?,” I found myself asking the other day.  The older tyke thought for a moment and started listing.  “Flour … milk … eggs …sugar … baking powder … salt …” What about flavor, I asked.  He told me, “Bananas.  And chocolate!  Lots of chocolate!”  Hmmm.  So I asked, “So Cranky Cake is a banana cake with chocolate chips in it?”  They told me yes.  And then we made it.

Cranky Cake

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 3 8 x 8 square pans, or (as I did) 1 8 x 8 square, and one 9x 13, which was just the right capacity.

Whisk together thoroughly:
1 1/3 c. white whole wheat flour
1 1/3 c. unbleached white flour
1/3 c. ground flaxseed
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. powdered dried orange peel (optional)

In a large bowl, beat together until lightened:
5 T. + 1 t. butter
2/3 c. sugar (keep the sugar at the ready – see below)

Add to the butter and sugar:
1/4 c. olive oil
1/3 additional cup of sugar

Then add in:
4 eggs
3 mashed very ripe bananas
1 T. molasses
1/2 c. squash, pumpkin, or sweet potato puree
2 t. vanilla

Mix together until smooth and very well blended.  (I usually use an immersion blender.)

Fold into flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until thoroughly combined.  Stir in:
4 c. semisweet chocolate chips.

Scrape batter into pans and spread evenly.  Bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Let cool in the pan and then cut into squares or slices to serve.

Good Sandwich Bread 6

Posted on February 19, 2009 by crankycheryl

003I adapted this from the recipe on the back of the King Arthur Flour White Whole Wheat bag.  I’m surprised by how well it came out!

Multigrain Molasses Sandwich Bread

2 teaspoons instant yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/3 C. water (start with the smaller amount)
1 T.  olive or vegetable oil
2 T. molasses
1 1/2 C. white whole wheat flour

1 C. white flour
1/2 C. oats (I used quick oats, but I don’t think it much matters)
1/2 C. ground flaxseed
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured or lightly greased surface, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it becomes smooth.  Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp dishtowel and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Punch dough down, knead a couple of times, and then shape it into an 8-inch log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with the dish towel, and allow the bread to rise for about an hour, until it’s risen about 1 inch above the edge of the pan.

Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf.) Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.

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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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