Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rainy Day

I was home without a car today and it was cold, grey and rainy so what else would I do but cook? I made a double batch of my favorite granola from my Mom's recipe and a double batch of chocolate chip cookies from my own recipe.

This is the granola I grew up with so I'm sure that is at least partly why I'm partial to it but it is also because it is a good mix of flavors and it's not too sweet.

Here is Mom's recipe.

Mom’s Granola

5 Cups Oats
1 Cup Each of the Following:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Coconut
- Wheat Germ
- Soy Flour
- Almonds
- Oil
- Honey

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Toss them around to evenly distribute.

Pour the oil then the honey into a large measuring cup. By pouring the oil in first the honey will not stick to the cup. Try to mix them together as best you can with a whisk.

Drizzle the oil and honey mixture a little at a time over the dry ingredients giving a healthy toss with each drizzle. Do not pour too much at a time or the granola with clump. Some clumps are inevitable. Once I finish pouring the oil and honey over the dry ingredients I rub the granola between my hands to work out most of the clumps.

Distribute the granola evenly on a jellyroll pan. Don’t pile it up very high or it won’t cook properly; you will need to bake a batch at a time.

Bake in a 325-degree oven for a total of 25-30 minutes or until nicely golden brown. It is important to stir the granola around on the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking. I like to use a wooden spatula to turn the granola as the side of it is good for chopping up clumps when I’m turning the granola. Keep an eye on the granola for the last few minutes as once it browns it burns quickly.

After you have baked all the granola, toss in a cup of raisins or other dried fruit. Do not bake the granola with the raisins or they will take on a bitter note.

A few notes-

I use Bob's Red Mill Organic Oats. They are the best tasting and cooking oats I've ever had.

I also use Bob's Red Mill wheat germ and soy powder.

I buy nuts and seeds from Trader Joe's. The price usually can't be beat and I can't get fresher nuts anywhere in Cleveland and I like that Trader Joe's lists the country of origin on all of their nuts and dried fruits.

For the powdered milk I use Organic Valley. Theirs is my preferred brand of organic milk to begin with based on taste and the way they operate as a company and I also like the taste of their milk powder. I've had other brands that had not so great tastes to them.


When Steve travels for business he is partial to Hilton hotels because we get great advantages from their rewards program. One of the Hilton brands, Doubletree, gives warm cookies at check-in. I am a fan of their cookies and I tried to duplicate them at home. My recipe is a blend of the good old recipe on the back of the Nestle Toll House Chips bag and the recipe I found on line for the Doubletree Hotel cookies with a few of my own tweeks.

Diane’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Cup Softened Butter
¾ Cup Dark Brown Sugar
¾ Cup White Sugar

Lightly blend the butter and sugar. Do not over-blend. You don’t want to beat it, do it with a wooden spoon or your hands.

2 Eggs
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Lemon Juice

Add the liquids to the butter and sugar and lightly blend.

½ Cup Oats, chopped in the food processor
2 ¼ Cup Flour
1 ½ tsp. Baking Soda
¼- ½ tsp Cinnamon, depending on your taste
1 tsp. Salt

Mix the dry ingredients into the butter, sugar, liquid mixture.

Then add:

1 ½ Cup Chopped Walnuts
1 Bag Chocolate Chips

Bake 13-16 minutes in a 350-degree oven or until your desired brownness.


  1. Thanks for the recipes. What quantities for the oil/honey in the granola?

    I made the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the NY Times (the one I posted on FB) Sunday night and baked some up last night. They're pretty good!

    It's interesting that your recipe doesn't call for the sugar and butter to be creamed before adding the other ingredients.

  2. That surprised me too, Edsel! (the creaming of the sugar and butter)

  3. Edsel, one cup each on the oil and honey. Also, I will check out your FB post to see the NYT recipe.

    Edsel and Tino, I have found that I like the texture of the cookies better when the sugar and butter are not "creamed" with a mixer. I guess you could say that I semi-cream them by hand but there is still more texture than not from the sugar. Basically I use a wooden spoon until the sugar is barely evenly worked into the butter and not to the point of creaming. Give it a try sometime and let me know what you think.

    P.S. This is the only cookie recipe for which I don't actually cream the butter and sugar.

  4. Have you ever let the cookie dough sit for a day or two (wrapped up in the fridge) before baking the cookies? It really makes a big difference in the texture. There was an article in the NY Times about this and I've been making my chocolate chip cookies this way ever since (using the NY Times recipe here: )


  5. Oops! Should have read Edsel's comment first -- looks like we've been using the same cookie recipe!


  6. Patti, I always make at least a double batch of chocolate chip cookies because I like to share them so much. It occasionally happens that I don't get all the dough baked and it needs to go into the fridge for a day or two. I always like the way the cookies turn out after that.