Friday, December 2, 2016

Zinnegael's Cinnamon Oat Crispies (aka Cinnamon Lace Cookies)

Just in time for the holidays I have a perfect recipe for you.

And a perfect book to go along with it.

Grey Stone
In Grey Stone (the young adult fantasy that I wrote that was released this summer), there's a witch named Zinnegael. She likes to bake and has lots of extinct cats as friends, and the king can't kill her even though he can kill whoever the heck he wants. And did I mention Zinnegael likes to bake? So I stole one of her recipes. It was the right thing to do.

These are soooo good and soooo sweet. They're easy to adapt to gluten-free if that's something you or one of the people on your cookie list is needing this year. They are a thin little cookie that spreads and caramelizes at the edges. Since they spread so much, a batch of batter goes a LONG way and you get a bunch of cookies from them (which actually makes them cheaper per cookie if the cheapskate in you is looking for a way to gift a lot of people something buttery and sweet without breaking the bank. It also makes them less heavy and filling than many holiday cookies. I'm not going to call them diet food, folks, but they're not intensely calorie dense either since they're so thin). You can drizzle them in chocolate or not. You can fill them for an oatmeal cream pie effect. You can even add orange rind or almond extract or coconut flakes for awesomeness. I used cinnamon. Because that's what Zinnegael does.

Cookies are good for everyone. So is the book Grey Stone. But it's especially good for fantasy lovers, especially those in the 10-16-ish age range. So if you've got one of those kids on your Christmas list this year, hop on over to Amazon (or Barnes and Noble) and order your copy today. If you get the hardback, it ships for free. Now check that off your list, Santa.

Grey Stone

Zinnegael's Cinnamon Oat Crispies (aka Cinnamon Lace Cookies)
adapted from Add a Pinch
Makes 50-ish cookies
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5-8 minutes
Cost: $2.25 (that's $.04 per cookie. I didn't even realize how cheap these actually were till doing the math)
butter: 1.25, sugar: .50, oats: .25, egg: .10, other stuff: .15

For gluten-free adaptation, use a gluten-free flour or skip it altogether. You may also need to use oats that haven't been grown or harvested with wheat or gluten-y foods.

1 C (2 sticks) butter
2 1/4 C brown sugar
2 1/4 C rolled oats
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. You must do this. Don't skip it or these will not come off.

Heat butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon  until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in oats, flour salt, cinnamon, egg, and vanilla.

Drop the batter by the teaspoon or half tablespoon onto the baking sheets (did you notice how little those scoops are. They must be little; they are going to SPREAD and if you use too much you will have one huge pan-sized rectangle of cookie at the end).

Bake to 5-8 minutes until the edges have browned (you can make these blonder, but they crumble more easily).

Allow to cool. Then remove from parchment paper.

Store in airtight container. These will last well for several days and freeze wonderfully.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ebates: A Reminder Before You Get to Your Hardcore Holiday Shopping

If you don't use Ebates, you should (if you shop online). It's free money and I like free money.

For more details, have a look at my post from last year right HERE. (The promotions are slightly different right now, but the gist and the setup are the same.)

So suppose you spend $500 this year for Christmas in online shopping and earn a measly 3% back (it's often more), well, then you'll earn $15 for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, except what you would have done anyway.

Want to try it? Use THIS LINK and then you and I both get free money when you make your first purchase.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Secret Recipe Club: Sweet Potato Waffles

I mean, just, yes. These are awesome. Like perfect fall food. Seems indulgent, but actually super healthy. Perfect texture. Easy to make and work with. Makes your house smell like autumnal heaven as they cook. And cheap, totally cheap. So good in every way.

I made these for my Secret Recipe Club recipe this month. I had A Day in the Life on the Farm--a blog written by Wendy who lives on a farm in a small town. Le sigh. I was looking for something homey and farmy for Thanksgiving, but then I saw these, and one day I needed a quick meal. So I made them. And fell madly in love. Madly. I'm still swooning over their awesomeness. You have to make them and eat them and love them.

Also, if you have leftovers, you can pop them in the toaster (they're fairly sturdy) and then they come out perfect all over again. You know what this means, right? You should make a million.

Sweet Potato Waffles
adapted from A Day in the Life on the Farm
makes 12-14
Prep and cook time: 30-40 minutes
Cost: $1.65
sweet potatoes: .50, buttermilk : .20, eggs: .40, butter: .25, flour: .10, other stuff: .20

2 sweet potatoes (on the larger side)
1/2 C buttermilk (or 1/2 Tbsp vinegar and 1/2 C milk, which is what I did since I had no buttermilk)
4 eggs
6 Tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Peel, cube, and boil your sweet potatoes until they're fork tender. Drain.

Put the sweet potatoes in a food processor (or blender if you don't have a food processor). Then add butter and process. Then add the buttermilk, then eggs, then cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Blend. Then add the salt, flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Now you just cook the waffles according to your waffle makers instructions.

Note: I served them with this caramelized pear syrup that was also beyond awesome. I haven't written down proportions yet (coming soon...) because I just throw stuff in and don't measure, but if you'd like an idea of what I do, here you go: Peel and cut the pears. Melt butter in a skillet and then add pears, cooking until soft. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar. When it's cooking and bubbling and smells like sainthood, add a glug of cream and stir. Yeah, it's amazing. But it's not really sainthood...



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