I love developing recipes whether I am making them from scratch or personalising an existing one; it is always a thrill! In the FFF FLab is where the magic happens!

So during my usual web wanderings, I found a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal choc chip cookies! I held my breath not daring to breathe as I skimmed the ingredient list. Sure enough I had every single item required!!!

As I raided my pantry, my eyes fell on some desiccated coconut, then I saw the canister of cayenne pepper and cloves looking dejected; so I grabbed those. Ooooh and there was this bag of mixed nuts and dried fruit! Why not?! I snatched those as well.

When I looked at my heap, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but I would find out soon!
You can find the original recipe here. Now for my kitchen sink version!

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (on this occasion I used canned but for a step by step on how to. Are your own pumpkin purΓ©e, which I recommend, read my post “Easy as Pie 2″

1 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped mixed nuts and dried fruit

The “How to”

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celcious. Whisk together the flour, oats, coconut, baking soda, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large mixing bowl for 30 about seconds and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy (unless you’re aiming to build your biceps, please use an electric mixer πŸ˜€); pause occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then add in the egg, when it is incorporated blend in vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Mix in chocolate chips and nut and fruit mix. Let batter rest for a few minutes; 5 – 10 minutes should do it. This will give the oats some time to absorb the liquids so that batter isn’t too sticky. Laos it helps the cookies to hold their shape as they bake.

Scoop dough out 2 Tbsp at a time and drop onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 12 – 14 minutes.

Now this step is crucial; allow the to cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Now you can munch away.

This recipe yields a chewy cookie but is oh so good. With just the slightest hint of warmth from the cayenne. It is a surprising experience. Something you wouldn’t ordinarily expect in a cookie.

Let me tell you, this cookie had everything AND the kitchen sink in it! Lol!

It was studded with choc chip, nuts and dried fruit like a bejeweled or even blinged out treat!

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If you live in North America, this recipe would be great for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holidays or afterwards when you won’t know what to do with all the pumpkin-ey left overs. You should try it!

You don’t have to live in North America to try it though πŸ˜€

FFF Tip of the Day

Whenever possible, make your own purΓ©e; it is so easy! Check it out here.

Since the holidays, I have had a pressing need to bake something and in the last few weeks, I have baked all manners of cakes, muffins and cookies.

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Today, I just had to make a recipe that I had developed in my head. I had been meaning to make coconut macaroons but wanted something a little different.

So I made coconut, almond and cranberry macaroons.

The cranberries added a tartness that countered the sweetness of the cookie. It was a nice balance and the chocolate rounded off the whole thing nicely.

Ingredients

3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 14 oz can of condensed milk
2 cups sliced almonds
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2 egg whites
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons rum extract (optional)

Topping

1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cream or condensed milk

The “How To”
Pre-heat Oven to 175 degrees centigrade and line two baking trays with parchment paper.

Whip egg whites till frothy with soft peaks and set aside.

Combine, flour, cranberries, coconut and almonds in a bowl. Then add condensed milk, vanilla, rum and almond extract and mix through thoroughly. Carefully fold In the egg whites until evenly combined. The rum extract adds an interesting dimension to the overall flavour profile. Next time I think I might try soaking my dry cranberries in actual rum. That should really be something!

Using a small ice cream scoop or wet hands from small balls and place on the lined baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.

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Put them in the oven for 15 minutes or until the edges a golden. Take them out immediately and cool to ensure that they retain crunch on the outside and moistness within. Don’t worry they’ll feel gooey at first but as they cool they’ll firm up.

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For the chocolate topping, simply place chocolate chips in glass heat proof bowl or metal bowl. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water and stir as chocolate melts. Because it’s dark chocolate you’ll end up with stodgy mixture add cream or condensed milk to thin it out and even out the texture. Take off the heat and drizzle completely cooled treats with chocolate. You may also opt to dip the macaroons in the chocolate mixture.

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That’s it! Enjoy!!

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