Julie Lyles Carr: No-Baking with 6 of 8

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No-Baking with 6 of 8

flax2I didn't really plan to blog any recipes.
For one, there are so many amazing cooking sites out there, replete with amazing recipes and gorgeous photography.

And for another, most of my 'recipes' aren't really recipes at all, just culinary taste bud experiments with vague instructions tucked onto the dusty shelves of my memory, alongside the mental post-it notes about returning that blouse and trying to find that missing dance shoe.

In other words, I'm not sure I'd make a great cooking blogger.

But I do love to cook and it is definitely a part of my personality profile. If I love you, I'm gonna feed you. If I like you even a little, I'm gonna feed you. If you live within walking distance of my kitchen, I will keep you stuffed with pumpkin bread and sugar cookies.

I bake, therefore I am.

In trying to keep things coming from my kitchen fairly healthy, I made the decision a few years ago to focus on the things that tend to be staples in our diet. While I have a deep passion for sugar and caffeine and welcome their sustaining presence in my life, I do try to sneak in the good, nutritious stuff where I can. I began grinding organic wheat and making bread and also began purchasing organic milk. I figured if I could at least keep our bread and milk clean, then I could justify that vat of Crisco lingering on the pantry shelf. I also include a lot of whole grains in our diet, even when it comes to dessert.

The kids have always loved my whole grain concoctions, particularly when they get to help out. 6 of 8 was all Hollywood when we made these no-bake flax seed cookies. She's not big on clean-up, but she does love the culinary spot-light.

This recipe originated with my precious, uber-healthy, skinny, triathlon-fit buddy Kimmie. It's a good thing she's so sweet, because with all those gorgeous lean muscles and lithe figure, well, she can be a little intimidating in that super-healthy, got-it-all-together kind of way. I've adapted her original recipe a bit, but all kudos go to her.

Here are the base elements, folks.
3/4 c. ground flax seeds
4 TB dry oatmeal (extra for rolling the cookies)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 TB peanut butter (smooth or chunky is fine)
1/2 c. honey or molasses


Flax seed is a phenomenal source of Omega-3 acids. The dietary fiber content of flax is very high and there is evidence to suggest that flax can stabilize blood sugar. It is important to grind the flax seed to receive the dietary benefit.

I grind mine in my coffee grinder, but you can also find pre-ground flax seed in the grocery store.


It's also a great way for the kids to see the how a seed or kernel can be milled into a different texture.


I've found that when the kids are involved in the making of a recipe that may stretch their taste buds a bit, they are far more enthusiastic in the sampling if they have been the 'chef'.

I like to mix the ingredients in my mixer.  It's a fairly sticky substance, so the blades make quicker work of the mixing than I can with a spoon.


Next, add the oats and spices.


6 of 8 has a thing for cinnamon...


She's like her mama that way...


Go easy on the cloves, though.  Just trust me.  Cloves can clear your sinuses...and not in a pleasant way...

Next, add the honey or molasses.


Dump in your peanut butter of choice and get to blending.


Blend the 'batter' until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.


We've found the easiest way to form the mixture into balls is to use a cookie dough scooper sprayed with a little non-stick spray.  Plus, 6 of 8 gets to strike this infomercial pose to show you the scoop...


Place your cookies on parchment paper.


Now here's where you can take some creative license.  We like to roll our cookies in more steel-cut oats.  We've rolled 'em in cocoa.  Pecans.  Walnuts.  Brown sugar.  Pick your mix or just leave 'em au naturale.


It goes a little faster if you let your brother help you...even if it means he's stealing a bit of the spotlight from your photo shoot...


You can place your no-bake cookies in the refrigerator for a bit to help them firm up ...


But we usually have to do some taste-testing first...



Looks like the chef approves...and now from the impartial jury...


Happy No Baking!

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