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Entries in agave (1)

Saturday
Mar032012

Naughty and Nice Cookies

NAUGHTY = Oulton's Applewood Smoked Bacon, 2 sticks of Butter, Chocolate Chips

NICE = Agave Nectar, Flax Seeds, Oats

Naughty and Nice Cookies (adapted from my mum's Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe - makes about 4 dozen depending on size)

DRY - 2 C flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp kosher salt

WET - 1 C (2 sticks) butter (soft/room temp), 2/3 C Agave Nectar, 1 C packed brown sugar, 2 eggs (room temp), 3 tsp vanilla

ADD INS - 6-8 strips of bacon (cooked crispy then chopped), 3 C rolled oats (instant or not doesn't matter), 1 C chocolate chips, 1/2 C flax seeds

  • Preheat 350
  • Mix DRY together in a bowl
  • Beat butter until light and fluffy - add Agave Nectar - beat 5 minutes
  • Add brown sugar - beat 5 minutes
  • Add eggs one at a time - beat until well incorporated
  • Add vanilla - beat 1 minute
  • Mix DRY + WET by hand with a wooden spoon then mix in your ADD INS by hand (prepare for your arm to get tired)
  • Drop by the teaspoonful onto a parchment lined cookie sheet - bake 11-12 minutes until lightly golden on top (cookies will look underdone but they'll set-up as they cool)

I learned a few things making these cookies, which is why I love playing around and experimenting with recipes.

1. This was my first time using Agave Nectar. My friends went to Mexico to get married two years ago and brought home a bottle for me but I had no idea what to do with it, so it's been sitting, waiting in my pantry, for me to build some baking courage.

Last weekend, I was talking to the fabulous Kathy Jollimore of eatHalifax! at the first meet-up of Halifax Baking Club. Of the many things we chatted about, Agave Nectar was one. I was inspired by our conversation so I did a little research and read that 1 C white sugar = 2/3 C Agave Nectar. I adjusted my recipe and after two long years - cracked open the bottle. I really didn't know what to expect. Turns out Agave Nectar is quite thick - like honey but not as sticky. I dipped my finger in to taste and I was instantly transported to family Christmases of long ago when I'd wake up before my parents, open my stocking (we were allowed to open our stockings before mum and dad got up) and find a bag of Roberston's Clear Toys inside. Clear Toys are hard barley candy that's been poured into toy-shaped molds on sticks - we called them never-ending suckers because sometimes you could start one on Christmas night and not finish it before you went to bed - you'd get up the next day and could keep going with the same sucker. Agave tastes like Clear Toys.

2. Butter beaten with Agave Nectar looks EXACTLY like mayonnaise. It was really weird to look in and see what looked like a huge bowl of Hellman's.

3. When you are adding packed brown sugar to a mixer, you should stop, or at least SLOW DOWN, the mixing speed (unless of course, you WANT brown sugar sprayed all over you kitchen floor?).

I took two dozen Naughty and Nice cookies to work and gave Sean two dozen to do the same. Everyone loved them and agreed that the combination of salty, smoky bacon, semi-sweet chocolate, chewy oats and crunchy flax was a winner (although it wasn't hard to tell since they were devoured in about 6 minutes). I think next time I would even up the amount of flax to 3/4 C or even 1 C for a little extra crunchy-goodness. So there you have it! Naughty and Nice Cookies.