Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Honey Oatmeal Cookies - thanks beez!

Aside from pie and bacon, one of my favorite things is a plate of cookies. But seein' as there is going to be a huge sugar shortage I figured I should learn to bake with all this luscious honey our beez provided last summer. Cookies seemed like a good place to start.

I found this recipe for "Healthy Oatmeal Cookies" and gave it a whirl. They were delicious and using honey worked!

As indicated by the original author, the cookies were not a sweet as "normal cookies" but we really liked being able to taste the oaty goodness.  And I don't mind having less "sweet."

I modified the recipe quite a bit tho. I tossed the idea of spices and raisins because, lets face it... the dough part of any cookie is really just a vehicle for chocolate and/or butterscotch chips. But I imagine this would be a great base recipe for cranberries, apple, dates, or whatever. I like the idea of using applesauce (instead of the oil) and this would make a good apple-y cookie.

My ingredient list ended up being:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose
3 cups of old fashioned oats - NOT quick oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt  (I liked the extra salt but my hubby did not)
a lot of chocolate chips
a lot of butterscotch chips

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter (but next time I might use lard and butter.)
1 Tablespoon Molasses
1 egg
1 tsp Vanilla

And I skipped chilling the dough. The additional oats made the dough the perfect consistency to scoop onto parchment paper and bake at 325* for about 8 minutes (in my oven). Then remove to a cooling rack.

I learned a couple things about cooking with honey. First, is that there is a scientific method to replace sugar with honey in any recipe. I just chucked that I did what looked right. Next, that the oven needs to be at a lower cooking temperature.

I'm going to take another run at making these again this next week. But this time I'll back off on the salt to 1/2 teaspoon and I may add 1/4 cup brown sugar to see if it improves the caramelization.  And I'll try using some lard.

Now you are ready for the impending sugar crisis. Does everyone know that a lot of the sugar in the grocery store if from sugar beets and not sugar cane? If that doesn't ring your bell you can always check the label for sugar from cane - not beets. And be sure to support local honey. Apparently there has been some "honey-like-product" that comes into this country under dubious circumstances. A local producer is your best bet for real honey. Or just get your own beez and have fun like we do!

Now we just have to worry about the impending chocolate shortage.  I have no idea how to solve that problem.


Heather said...

Oh I LOVE this- thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I can't wait to try it. Wish I could have bees but my man in allergic. :(

Mama Mess said...

I've long been intrigued with keeping bees. My grandpa did back in the day and my Ag teacher in high school kept bees. I had no idea you'd get 5 gallons of honey from one hive! Thatssalotta honey! You make it sound much easier than I've heard. I too think less is more and like low maintenance critters. Hmmmm, to continue perusing my bee books..........

Beth of the Rocks said...

Okay I'm checking the label on my sugar bags. Right now!.......

Okay I checked. Guess what it's made of? Sugar. Right, sugar! It doesn't say cane or beets. I'm so addicted to sugar I'd like to have a sugar beets patch so I can experiment with it. :)


Mama Mess said...

Say, do I recomember you saying that your man made some sorghum? I want to know how to do this on a very small scale at home. My grandfather used to make it but he had a big draft horse powered press, which I don't have. Can you give me the skinny?

IanH said...

Thanks for the recipe. I will give it a try. Your BeeZ link takes me to the chocolate shortage :0)

Chai Chai said...

This post starts out with doom (sugar shortage) and ends with gloom (chocolate cocoa shortage). Genetically modified seeds that don't reproduce and have to be bought yearly is great if the system runs smoothly, but it will be a disaster if hard times ever return. No local seeds means no local food.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Heather! Careful with cooking with honey if he's allergic. Wouldnt want anyone to end up in the ER.. but then.. you'd have a whole batch of cookies for yourself. Genius!

Five gallons! Can you believe it GW? We did better than some folks. The beez in general are still struggling but we were glad with how ours did. I have not done sorghum.. but I will this year.

BABL: sometimes you have to look carefully for "cane sugar" if not its beets. But sure you can grow your own!

Thanks Ian! I fixed the link

Aint that right, Chai Chai. We aren't as industrious as Mr H but we save a lot of seeds. And we strive for "real" varieties that we can keep growing from year to year. The chocolate thing is troubling. Its all fun and games until 150 million US women dont get their chocolate. I'm stocking up just in case.

Mr. H. said...

150 million American women without chocolate could be very frightening...I had better start stocking up.

My wife loves to cook with honey and has done pretty good at replacing the sugar in most recipes with it. Now if we just had our own bees...someday soon I hope. I'm going to make sugar out of beets one of these years...just to see.:)

Chai Chai said...

OFG, It is almost time to order birds for the spring and I wonder if you could answer a few question about turkeys.

Do they put themselves away at night like chickens?

If not do they hang around like goats or sheep so the round-up isn't too difficult?

Do they live in your barn or do they have their own shed?

If they are outside on their own I can't imagine how they would avoid being wiped out here.


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