Wednesday, July 16, 2014

· Picnic Breakfast and Cookies

Our Bed and Breakfast guests are given a special Picnic Breakfast for Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, which carries with it the luxury of partaking at their leisure. The mainstays of this fun meal include hard boiled eggs, Tillamook medium cheddar cheese or other tasty cheese, homemade muffins (steaming blueberry muffins are pictured) or other baked goods, fresh whole fruit and juice. For those who do not take pleasure in hard boiled eggs, we may substitute hard salami panino wrapped mozzarella cheese or other meat. 

For a time we occasionally served breakfast-worthy SON Chocolate Chip Cookies (second photo below, and recipe).

About the cookies: Our granddaughter's intense campaign for Chocolate Chip Cookies finally wore me down; busy as I was, this is the recipe which inspired me to action, taken from a 10 oz bag of Equal Exchange organic 70% cacao chocolate chips. 
(Click the photo to enlarge)

Top of my personal list of ingredients was the determined concept that Sam and our working girl should have a real cookie to enjoy without sacrificing overall I tweaked the recipe to build more nutrition and strength into it, based on our acquired preferences, while preserving the venerable status of real treat. The original recipe, I see, is courtesy of King Arthur Flour, which is a very fine flour. If I couldn't find organic or 'better-than-organic' flour, I would use King Arthur Flour, as I used their whole wheat worked perfectly in my recipes. 

First, I used 1/2 cup real (organic) butter as the recipe states, but substituted 1/2 cup organic virgin coconut oil as replacement for the shortening. I used all whole white wheat flour (which I believe can be found organic at some health food stores, or even some mainstream grocery stores, but if not, then a fine regular red whole wheat flour will do very nicely); added 1 cup Bob's Red Mill organic old-fashioned rolled oats, 1/4 cup organic oat bran, and 1/4 cup each organic whey protein and organic brown rice protein powders. A ripe banana (4 oz) was added to the wet ingredients while they were mixing together in my KitchenAid. The almond extract was increased to 1/2 tsp. The required baking soda was added to the wet ingredients shortly before incorporating the remaining combined dry ingredients into the batter. To the dry ingredients 1 tsp baking powder was added, to bolster up the extra ingredients I had tweaked in. 

Just as I was about to wrap things up per the original recipe's basic instructions, Sam wandered into the kitchen from his nap and asked if there were any nuts in the batter. "The recipe doesn't call for nuts," I said. Moving like a sleep-walker, he pulled the pecans out of the freezer and chopped a cup of those, then slipped quietly from the scene. Following his lead, I added another 2 oz of organic toasted and chopped mixed nuts. 

Sam wanted crunchy, so the banana idea caused me a bit of pause. But, in view of the added oatmeal and other dry ingredients (the protein powders, primarily) which were not in the original recipe, I felt persuaded the extra moisture was needed to keep the batter cohesive. Pleasant and hoped for surprise!...the natural sugars in the banana contributed to no loss of crunch. Plus, the nutrients in the fruit were part and parcel to the nutrition-mission that I had set out upon. The banana flavor melded cooperatively into the other delectable flavors anticipated in a good chocolate chip cookie...only slightly detectable. And the proteins added muscle without muscling-in any undesirable flavors. All was so harmonious. So, we unanimously named these circles of delight...
SON Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Symphony Of Nature Chocolate Chip Cookies)
viva Organic!

Variations may emerge...since the very word organic is innately seeded with creativity. For instance, some of our guests may not eat nuts; which leads my thoughts to a cookie imbedded with dried fruits, such as cranberries and mulberries, sans nuts.
You can always default to the original recipe on the chocolate chip bag,
but I must say, these cookies, to our nutrition conscious family,
are superb with the tweaking. 

Oh, I also used Rapunzel brand organic whole unrefined cane sugar (it's brown but granular) and Madhava organic coconut palm sugar, to replace the two sugars noted in the original recipe. Coconut sugar, produced from the nectar of tropical coconut palm blossoms, is one of the lowest glycemic index sweeteners available, with an index of 35 (whereas cane sugar's index is 68). 

Organic ingredients are much superior nutritionally to conventionally grown, as detailed in an article by the Organic Consumers Association...

For Your Health: Organic versus Non-Organic

Update - The cookies pictured below were made with dried fruit (organic cranberries and organic mulberries) replacing the nuts, for guests who preferred fruit in the cookies for their picnic breakfast. Since the fruit is moist, 1/4 cup Bob Red Mill's organic 7 Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix was added to the batter. Of course, the entire 10 ounce bag of chocolate chips jumped right in there, too...makes the children happy!
Footnote - An ice cream scoop with a release tongue was employed for measuring and shaping the dough and was handy for plopping the cookie pods onto the cookie sheet...also making for a nice large evenly shaped cookie. In this way, the recipe makes 33 to 34 cookies. Between dips, I sprayed the inside of the ice cream scoop with coconut oil spray. At our altitude of 5,500 feet I adjusted the oven temperature to 370° and baked the cookies for 14 minutes. 

Mountains To Prairies Bed and Breakfast
bed and breakfast hospitality inn
hill city - central black hills national forest - south dakota
convenient lodging location near
mount rushmore - 1880 train - custer state park
- wind cave national park - jewel cave national monument
- crazy horse memorial - black elk wilderness
- mountain lakes - harney peak - norbeck scenic byway
- george s. mickelson trail - the centennial trail
- historic downtown hill city - antiques