Full Belly Sisters: December 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

One-Ingredient Honey Lollipops

My little guy has a cough. We were up most of last night; mysteriously, my son is super chipper this morning, so I guess his cough didn't disturb his sleep as much as it disturbed mine and my husband's. Kids are so much more resilient, right?

Anyway, I remembered this neat idea I'd pinned a while back and decided to give it a try. It's from The Chick n Coop and it sounded simple enough. Click here for her full set of instructions. You could totally use this technique to just make cough drops, but I think the lollipop is safer for young children.

Honey is no joke when it comes to soothing throats and reducing coughs. One study of cough remedies found that "honey produced the greatest improvements when it came to better sleep and reduced cough frequency and severity." My son ate a few spoonfuls of honey last night—less work than making lollipops—but announced he didn't want to do that any more today. Kids are as fickle as they are resilient, I suppose. 

I actually used just 1/4 cup of honey and came out with 10 lollipops. I didn't have to boil them for as long as she did in the original recipe. My silpat mat worked great; I suspect parchment paper would work well, too.

The funny thing is that I'd bought a candy thermometer back when I'd first pinned this idea, but I have no idea where the heck I put it. So, I winged it and they still turned out fine. I did use the technique mentioned in the original post; I put a few drops in cold water and they were solid, so I knew it was ready.

They turned out this lovely amber color. And the caramelized taste reminded me of a toasted marshmallow! 

I stored mine in a large jar with pieces of wax paper in between, so they don't stick to each other. I think they'd be fun to use as stirrers in hot tea, too! 

UPDATE: Got this review on our Facebook page: "Just made these for my daughter who's been coughing / wheezing all day after being out last night at a living nativity. Gave one to her while my husband was combing her hair after bath. Within 5 min she wasn't coughing. And she just ran over to give me a bear hug cause she feels so much better. Thanks!"

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Apple Raisin Cookies

My son's friend came over for a playdate and they decided they wanted to bake oatmeal raisin cookies. I was short on the raisins—not sure how that happened because we always have a huge stash—so I decided to throw in some dried apples. The kids found this to be hilarious, for some reason. But they also really loved them.

I adapted this from Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies; her stuff is always great and her blog is just fantastic. I made some changes: whole wheat and almond flour instead of white flour, less sugar, a bit more dried fruit. But I think my version is true to the spirit of hers.

yield: about 20 small cookies
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 T flax meal
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I used some fancy vanilla bean salt I got as a gift: YUM)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried unsulfured apples, chopped small (raisin-sized)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, Sucanat, egg and vanilla. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and ground flax in another bowl. Stir the dry mixture into the butter and Sucanat mixture. Then stir in the raisins and apples.

Smitten Kitchen chills her dough before baking, to ensure a thick cookie. I like mine a bit flatter and crispier, so I skipped this step and just went straight to scooping. Keep the cookies a couple of inches apart. Bake on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat for easy clean-up afterwards.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before putting them on a rack to cool completely. 

Full disclosure: this is not my favorite kind of oatmeal cookie; I like mine super thin and crispy (and with chocolate instead of fruit. I'm naughty like that). But the kids loved these thicker, chewier, not-too-sweet cookies. And I was happy to give them a treat I could feel good about.

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