Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Ranger Cookies

Lately my definition of insanity has been having piles upon piles of recipes, lists of lists of things I want to make, and suddenly walking into the kitchen and thinking, "I don't know what to cook next!"

Uhhh, say what now? Clearly, I have problems.

I don't know how it happens, either! I get super excited about cooking some random dish, and even go to the lengths of putting on my weekly to do list (Monday's was: Moroccan chicken with curried tomato sauce... obviously didn't happen) and getting the ingredients for the dishes I really do intend to make, but for whatever reason when it comes down to getting things going in the kitchen, all I can think of is, "meh, I don't wanna make this!"

Let's blame it on the night shift, shall we? For those of you just joining us, let me explain by informing you that I'm a military nurse working in the ICU. We tend to switch back and forth from day to night shift way more often than is probably healthy for any human being. Those articles that talk about sleep hygiene and specifically mention trying to go to bed/getting up at the same time every day? Yeah, they obviously don't take nurses' schedules into account. There ain't NO way I'm getting up at 0420 on my days off!

Anyway, these cookies remind me of Easter. The coconut makes me think of that fake plastic Easter grass my mom would put in our baskets each year when I was a kid. The carrots and chocolate obviously, are reminiscent of Easter bunnies. And serving them inside flowery, spring-y baking cups? Well that's just good sense!

Seriously, I love that these are full of more than just sugar. I even cut down on how much the original recipe called for, since I don't really like super sweet cookies, and I think that makes these top notch. My husband prefers his cookies to taste like he is chewing straight butter and sugar, but I tend to like the chewiness that comes from the heft of the other stuff that's in them. Maybe it makes me feel a little better about eating a cookie (or three)!
One Year Ago: Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

Ranger Cookies

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook, 14th Edition
Makes approximately 40-45 cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup raw granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups AP flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped
1/4 cup carrots, minced
1 tablespoon water, if needed

Heat oven to 375°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds until light and fluffy. Add sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of the bowl after a minute or two. Add the egg and vanilla, mix until combined. Beat in flour and oats, adding a few spoonfuls at a time to ensure even distribution of the dry goods. Stir in coconut, raisins, chocolate chips, and carrots. If mixture seems very dry, stir in 1 tablespoon of water.

Using a #100 disher or two spoons, drop rounded teaspoons 1-2 inches apart on a greased baking pan or silpat. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until centers are slightly puffed up and bottom edges are golden brown. If desired, press peanut butter chips, crushed pretzel pieces or holiday M&M's into the tops of the cookies immediately after removing from the oven to decorate the tops. Cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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