Monday, October 10, 2011

Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy Cookies

I apologize for the lack of posting lately.  Things here have just been, well, busy.  Life seems to get away from me before I even realize it has begun.  My girls are absolutely beautiful and wonderful and make every day worth living (and every night worth waking up several times).  But, they are a handful.  There never seems to be a moment when everyone is happy.  Unless, of course, everyone is sleeping.  But, even then the moments are fleeting.  Baking is typically my refuge, but there just does not seem to be enough hours in the day to bake the things I want.  You should see the list of recipes I've been planning to try - it grows daily!

Despite our wonderful (and reliable) chaos, I have been working on a chocolate nut-free, milk-free macaron with a pretty amazing milk-free filling.  I have the taste down, just not the aesthetics.  So, hopefully that will be on here soon enough.  In the meantime, though, I did whip up these chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  There's a bit of a back story, and you may find it irrelevant, but well, it's my blog and I feel like telling it (so there)...

*If you are a guy, or are not, or have never been, a nursing mother, you really may not care about this next part.  In fact, you may find it a little TMI and be annoyed by it.  Whatevs.  Just skip on down.*  

As I've mentioned 8000 times before, I am nursing my milk-allergic infant.  We had a bumpy ride the first few weeks (cracking, bleeding, mastitis twice and a nasty case of thrush. Yuck.), but overall things have gone smoothly.  For some reason, though, in the last few days I have become a bit worried about my milk supply.  Truthfully, I have no reason to be concerned.  I've always had oversupply.  If my little one pulls off before let-down has subsided she gets a shot to the face.  And she usually ends up drenched.  But, she's now 6 months old and my supply is evening out a bit.  Instead of waking up leaking and engorged, things are fairly controlled now.  But, I've also been spending lots of time in the gym and I know I'm not drinking the water I should.  As any nursing mom knows, this can all lead to panic.  Where's my crazy-huge supply?  Why am I not walking around with two giant, painful rocks anymore??  What have I done????  Mah poor bay-bay!!!

I know.  And you're right.

But, in order to calm my nerves, I decided to eat me some oats.  Yup.  Oats.  I have read in several places that oats can help to boost your milk supply.  And by several I mean KellyMom.  But, the thing is, I hate oatmeal.  HATE it.  It's just so mushy.  And gross.  Yuck.  But, oatmeal cookies?  I can get behind those.  So, there you have it.  The reason I randomly made oatmeal cookies at 9pm on a Sunday night.

Okay, so if you've made it this far in the post, just bear with me as I quickly explain these cookies...  These are out of the book, Presidential Cookies.  It includes a cookie, or sweet treat, from every administration through President George W. Bush.  (I do not know if a new version has been released since the latest election, so please do not go crying foul over lack of inclusion.)  I have been making Laura Bush's Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy Cookies out of this cookbook for a few years now, and they are always a hit.  But, somehow, I managed to forget about them and it's now been over a year since I last baked them.  Horrible!

But, these are so yummy.  In fact, in the middle of baking these, I went to nurse my daughter back down to sleep, and when I came into the kitchen again, there were suddenly four less cookies.  In ten minutes.  Obviously, my husband likes them a little.  

Mrs. Bush's recipe calls for coconut and nuts.  Because of our food allergies, I don't use either, but I will include them below so you can add them if you'd like.  Also, I halved her recipe.  The original quantities make either an enormous cookie or an enormous amount of cookies.  Mrs. Bush recommends using a 1/4 cup dough per cookie for giant ones, or 2 Tbs. per cookie for smaller ones.  I just used a large spoon to scoop them and even with the recipe halved still made 25 very large cookies.  If you would like to make her full recipe just double everything (you will need 3 eggs for the full version).   

Laura Bush's Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy Cookies:

1 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
scant 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon  (full recipe also calls for 1 Tbs, but I used nearly the full Tbs. in the recipe)
1/2 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 Tbs. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks Earth Balance vegan butter, at room temp (or, regular butter)
3/4 Cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1 egg, 1 egg yolk (3 whole eggs for full recipe)
1/2 Tbs. vanilla
1 1/2 Cup milk-free semi-sweet chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life
1 1/2 Cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Cup sweetened flake coconut
1 Cup chopped pecans (4 oz.)

Preheat oven to 350.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In the the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Slowly add in the sugars and beat for an additional two minutes.

Add in the egg and yolk, beating well.  Add in vanilla.  On low speed, slowly add in chocolate chips.  Add flour mixture on low speed and mix until just combined.  Add in oats and mix on low until all ingredients are well incorporated (but do not over mix).

Scoop out approx. 2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie (or, 1/4 cup dough per cookie for giant cookies, leaving 3 inches between each) and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 12-17 minutes for smaller cookies (it took mine 13.5 minutes), or 17-29 minutes for the larger cookies.  Makes 2-2.5 dozen using 2 Tbs. dough per cookie.


Source:  Adapted from Presidential Cookies Cookbook by Bev Young.


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