Cookie Alterations

I have a cookie recipe that I love dearly.

Gingersnaps.

photo courtesy of iStockphoto

They have ginger, molasses, wheat, and eggs! Surely these are healthy.

Right???

I have a problem. I mean it. These cookies are invading my thoughts on a regular basis.

I have a recipe. And I know how to use it. But the problem was this: I grew up with another kind of gingersnap, which I love even more. Oatmeal gingersnaps! In fact, I never had a plain gingersnap until I had grown up, married, and moved out of the state.

I was nearly into my third trimester, bemoaning the first of many evenings with swollen feet as I went through the steps, finally taking the perfect product from the oven.

I loved them. My husband loved them. The baby kicked like she was ready to swim the English Channel. They were a hit! But I couldn’t quite drown out the voice in my head that insisted on gingersnaps with OATS!

Fast forward a few months.

Sleepy little screecher. :) How sweet.
Sleepy little screecher. 🙂 How sweet.

Eve is nearly six months old, and teething. My husband and I are constantly nursing matching headaches, these days, because of how very verbal she is. She screeches, babbles, yells, etc– constantly. Sometimes it’s nice, hearing her “bblaa da da da” away as she chews on her toys, but her screeches are serious business. Earsplitting.

We do what we can for her, but she still leaves our heads achey.

But wait! Ginger is a natural painkiller!!

Cue baking montage. This time, my brain nags, use oats!!!

So I do. Double the ginger, for the natural ache-soothing, raw sugar on the outsides, and Done!

It's past the baby's bed time. Do YOU know where your cookies are?
It’s past the baby’s bed time. Do YOU know where your cookies are?

Here’s the recipe:

Extra-Strength Oatmeal Gingersnaps:

  • Cream:

3/4 cup shortening

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses (next time, I’m going to try blackstrap molasses!)

1 egg

  • Beat until slightly fluffy.
  • Sift together:

2 1/4 cups sifted AP flour (someday I’ll try whole wheat)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ginger

1  teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • stir into molasses mixture.

Add 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats.

  • Mix into dough.
  • Form into small balls, and roll in raw sugar.
  • place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375* for 12 minutes.
  • Allow to cool and solidify.
  • makes 2-5 dozen, depending on your ball size. I usually do 1-inch balls, and I’ve never gotten more than 2 1/2 dozen out of this recipe.

Banana Brownies

There was a really great sale on bananas. So  I,  forgetting temporarily that we hardly ever eat bananas, got a whole bunch. (As opposed to a half bunch. Ba-dum tiss.)

We left them untouched in our fruit basket, just sitting there, until they went from solid green… to splotchy brown. Fit for nothing but baked goods.

I had just resigned myself to a whole lot of banana bread, because I couldn’t bear to let all that healthy fruit go to waste, when my brain said, “haven’t we read something about how you can substitute bananas for eggs?”

Too true, brain! Ten points for Gryffindor! (Or Ravenclaw, whatever. Let’s not overthink this.)

My husband likes his brownies chewy, and my regular brownie recipe makes fudgy brownies, so I pulled up this recipe.

I also really love the kind of brownies that have the crumbly topping, so I pulled up this recipe, too.

I replaced the egg in BOTH recipes for 1 average-sized banana per large egg.

What I got was this:

Almost forgot I had to take a picture! Whoops lol
Almost forgot I had to take a picture! Whoops lol

It did need to be cooked some more, after this picture was taken, but that’s the nice thing about this idea– no raw egg! Just raw bananas. You could definitely taste the banana, but the consistency was nearly identical to if it had eggs. This would also be a good vegan alternative, fyi! 🙂

Veggie Pizza

Yep. VEGGIE PIZZA.

I’m not talkin’ kale on your pizza. I’m not suggesting the “cover your pizza with veggies so it can count as healthy, but wishing you could let yourself pick all that gross stuff off” method. Oh, no. This is pizza made of veggies. And It’s pretty delicious.

I first heard of such a thing from pinterest. (Where else?)

First, we tried out the cauliflower pizza crust from The Lucky Penny. It was good! But it was a little too labor-intensive for my taste, and it took ingredients that we don’t always have on hand. (Like, a whole head of fresh cauliflower? Seriously, people. Not normally on my grocery list.) We’re spontaneous pizza-makers, and I wanted a crust we didn’t have to plan very far ahead. Plus, it stuck to the pan horribly. We never have parchment paper, (and I do mean never. I wince at the price, every time I look at it in the store.) so, we used foil, and it just didn’t fit the bill.

Second, we tried the spinach crust from Jo and Sue. It was even better! The first crust still tasted a bit cauliflower-y, and the spinach crust had no such inclinations. We used frozen chopped spinach, so we didn’t even have to break out the blender, just thaw the spinach in the microwave. But I knew I could make it even better for us, since it called for a CUP of cheese.

Third, we tried spinach crust with flour instead of cheese. Just a straight substitution. It was brilliant! It had beautiful flexibility, crispy edges, and no need for parchment paper, blenders, or wringing-out of vegetables.

So, without further ado:

OH. MY. PIZZA.
OH. MY. PIZZA.

Spontaneous Spinach Pizza

2 Cups frozen chopped spinach (from a bag, not a block!)

1 large egg

1 cup flour (we use whole-wheat)

  • Preheat oven to 425*.
  • Thaw spinach in the microwave so that it’s mostly defrosted.
  • Mix all ingredients together with a spoon.

It should look like this:

Mmm, spinach paste.
Mmm, spinach paste.

 

 

  •  Spread out the paste onto a greased 12″ pizza pan, trying not to leave holes. This is messy, folks, but the results are oh so tasty. Promise. 🙂
  • Put your crust into the 425* oven for about 15 minutes, until the crust looks dry and vaguely biscuit-like.
  • Spread sauce, cheese, and toppings… I’m not gonna tell you how to make your pizza. You know how you like it. (We used alfredo sauce, cheddar, and sliced onions. Pure decadence.)
  • Put your pizza back in the oven until the cheese is melted and it looks like how you like it!

Enjoy! We sure did. 😀

All that remains.
All that remains.