Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pina Colada Oatmeal Cookies

Summer is almost here and it’s still raining.   We’ve just had four days of rain and drizzle which might be normal for where you live but is very unusual for my part of the world.  Frustrated because I can’t get out and work in my garden, I decided to do a little baking.  When I think about summer and warm weather, my mind takes me to a tropical beach, with a book in one hand and a piña colada in the other.

I turned my holiday oatmeal cranberry pecan cookies into summer time piña colada cookies, by replacing the pecans with unsweetened shredded coconut and the cranberries with dried pineapple.  Normally, I would prefer to use unsweetened organic dried pineapple, rather than the candied dried pineapple in the picture above.  After looking for it in two stores, I gave up and bought the sugared stuff.  
You’ll need to cut the pineapple rings into thin slices and then cut them again in the the other direction so that you end up with little pineapple bits.  Sometimes you can find a chopped tropical blend of dried fruits, that would work too.

Mix the pineapple bits with the dry ingredients so that they don’t stick together.  You might need to get in there with your hands and break them up.

If you like crispy cookies cook them for 12 to 13 minutes, if you like chewy cookies cook them for 11 minutes.  Either way, they’re very good.  However, I had to push chocolate chips into them to make Mr. R.K. happy.   He doesn’t understand the point of cookies without chocolate chips.  

Piña Colada Oatmeal Cookies 
Makes about 14 cookies - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
4 tablespoons Earth Balance non-hydrogenated butter substitute
1/4 cup unbleached (raw) sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons rice milk (or sub soy or almond)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
4 dried pineapple rings
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 350˚
In a bowl (I use a stand mixer) beat together the Earth Balance and sugars together until light.
Add the vanilla and non dairy milk and beat until blended.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, coconut and salt.
Cut the pineapple into little pieces and mix in by hand to break up the pieces.
Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
Roll the dough into golf ball size balls and flatten slightly.  
Bake for 11 minutes.  Bake them for 12-13 minutes if you want a crispier cookie.

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