Writing a food blog comes with benefits. Food, invitations, packages in the mail... it's all good. What I've come to value most though, are the relationships I've formed with readers and bloggers all over the world. This post is dedicated to two of my special blog friends, Jean, from Lemons and Anchovies, and Christiane, from Taking on Magazines.
First off, without Jean and a random instagram post a few months back this post would not have happened. Perusing Instagram one evening I stumbled across a photo of a few cookbooks she was catching up on. The one entitled "Pure Vanilla" jumped right off the page and immediately into my Amazon cart... all in the name of research, of course. Many thanks to Jean for increasing my cookbook collection with her fabulous recommendation!
Arriving in the mail a few days later, Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques, by Shauna Sever, proved indeed to be purely exceptional and too good not to share.
Filled with an eye opening history of vanilla along with interesting vanilla lore, this book boasts gorgeous photos of many of its recipes making one want to run immediately to the kitchen and prepare each and every one of them. With chapters covering Breakfasts, Cakes and Pies, Cookies and Bars, Candies and Confections, Custards and Creams and last but not least Drinks, just about all areas of vanilla use are featured. Recipe after recipe caught my eye, but it was the Salted Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies that sent me to the kitchen.
Here's where my friend Christiane comes in. Believe it or not, Christiane is not a fan of chocolate. I know, I know... who doesn't like chocolate? But since her blog pumps out fabulous recipe after fabulous recipe (even though most don't include chocolate) combined with the fact that she is extraordinarily witty, super supportive and ever so nice, I've let the chocolate thing slide.
Once Liv tasted these beyond awesome Vanilla Oatmeal Cookies she said, "Hey Mom, I bet the lady who doesn't like chocolate would love these!". And I think she's right. As such, these Vanilla Dreams are dedicated across the country to Christiane, who I wish lived a little closer so we could actually share a plate with Jean over a cup of coffee.
Vanilla Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate
Printed with permission from Shauna Sever from the book Pure Vanilla (it's a must have for your bookshelf), we have made these cookies 3 times in the last month. Adapting them to be dairy-free for my son, he's proclaimed them to be a new favorite, as... well, I hate to admit this, he's not really a chocolate fan. Filled with wholesome oatmeal and the essence of vanilla, these cookies are a keeper.
Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques - page 89 - Salted Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (not in the original recipe... see note below)
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp (we used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 Tbs Vanilla Fleur de Sel (I didn't have this so we omitted)
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets wtih parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda and salt to blend well.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until blended and creamy. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the oat mixture, then the white chocolate.
Scoop the batter, 2 Tbs at a time onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle a bit of the vanilla fleur de sel onto each cookie.
Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges but still a bit soft in the centers, 12-14 minutes, rotating sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking. Do not overbake. Let the cookies cool on sheets for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool competely.
Liv Life Note: ~By accident I added 1/2 tsp of baking powder - mixed it up for the baking soda. The cookies turned out beautifully, so I thought I'd mention that I had added it to my version.
~The only other changes we made to the recipe were to use the Earth Balance Sticks to omit the dairy, and we didn't salt the tops of the cookies, though someday I'm going to have my own Vanilla Fleur de Sel (Shauna talks all about it in her book!). And once we added 2 Tbs of chia seeds... just because they were there. We liked them.
|Have you ever seen a Canada Goose?? These beauties live just down the road from Christiane and she sent me this shot after I told her I'd never seen one. They look peaceful, but I hear they can give quite a honk if irritated with one another.|