Friday, February 6, 2015

Good grains and healthy fats

This month, I've been (roughly) following an eating plan that has you rotate what you eat based on a seven day cycle. Mondays and Tuesdays you eat fruit, veggies, protein and good grains, like barley and brown rice. Wednesdays and Thursdays are protein and veggies only. Then comes the weekend, where you get all of the above, plus healthy fats, like olive oil, avocado, hummus, and nuts.

Egg white omelet with smoked salmon and scallions | Cheesy Pennies
My Wednesday breakfast as seen on Instagram
Egg white omelet with smoked salmon and scallions

It's Friday, so I'm giving you a recipe with fruit, good grains and healthy fats.

Oatmeal Coconut Raisin Cookies | Cheesy Pennies

If brown butter were a healthy fat, that is.  

You're terrible, Muriel*.

Oatmeal Coconut Raisin Cookies

by Sharon Graves
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus overnight resting time
Cook Time: about 12 minutes
I'm a sucker for a good oatmeal raisin cookie, and these are great oatmeal raisin cookies. They may be even better than these. The recipe is mostly from Alice Medrich's excellent book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt In Your Mouth Cookies, with a bit of Deb Perleman's Brown Butter Coconut Cookies thrown in. Don't skip the overnight rest. It makes a huge difference. The coconut is optional, but highly recommended.

  • 2 c. rolled oats
  • 5 Tbs. water
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. (scant) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • generous grating of nutmeg
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened coconut flakes, optional (can sub in chopped walnuts instead, if you like)

Put the oats in a small bowl, and sprinkle with the water. This step apparently gives them a head start on being ready to absorb all that yummy brown butter that's coming soon.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook until it foams and turns nutty and golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Watch carefully and remove from the heat right when it colors, to avoid the taste becoming bitter. Stir the sugars and the vanilla into the butter, and then add the egg and stir vigorously. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Finally, add in the raisins, coconut, and the damp oats.

Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours or, even better, overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Scoop dough into balls about the size of a golf ball, and place a couple of inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with your fingers.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are deep golden brown and the centers are just barely brown. Gooey middles are good!

These are incredible warm out of the oven, but you should cool completely before stacking or storing.

Oatmeal Raisin Coconut Cookies | Cheesy Pennies

* A reference to one of the best movie catch-phrases ever.  My husband and I have been saying this to each other for years and it still cracks us up. We think it's hilarious, but maybe he and I are just very well matched.


  1. How do you feel on the new eating plan? Is there a link to it online? (I've hit the turning-50-skids with my body, and could use a kickstart.)

    1. I've been at it for a couple of weeks, and I am generally OK but not thrilled with it. It is supposed to be a metabolism kickstarter, and you can google "Fast Metabolism Diet" for details. There are a lot of restrictions that I've had trouble with (no caffeine, no booze, no sugar, no gluten, no dairy), so I'd been hoping for a dramatic payoff for giving all that up. I feel mentally virtuous, but haven't noticed a big change in weight or energy yet. That said, I've had a day or two where I fell off the wagon, and it is a 28 day plan, so I'm going to persevere for another couple of weeks. Will report back!

  2. Linda Powell-McMillanFebruary 6, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    I make these same cookies but instead of using just rolled oats I use Trader Joe's Organic Multigrain Hot Cereal. It includes rye, barley, oats and wheat all whole grains. Talk about healthy! This mixture makes my cookies real health food.

    1. Great idea, Linda. I've got some of that mix in the pantry! I'll have to try that next time.