Sunday, December 12, 2010

It’s Crunch Time: Grandma’s Crunch Cookies

When The Hubs and I were married–almost exactly 22 years ago now–all four of his grandparents were still living.  I found that pretty remarkable, considering that I’d long since lost all of my grandparents.  Within the first few years of our marriage, though, three of them passed away.  I didn’t get the chance to know either of his grandfathers very well, but I loved his grandma, Florence.  She enjoyed cooking, and she contributed several of her favorite recipes to our family cookbook.  I’ve been toying with the idea of trying her cream puff recipe–I’m not quite brave enough to try it yet–but, finding myself with a surplus of Rice Krispies after making last week’s Skillet Cookies, I decided to make a batch of her famous Crunch Cookies instead.  (Famous within the family, anyway.)

The fact that this recipe includes coconut is, of course, a big plus in my book.  But even if you’re not a coconut lover, I think you’ll enjoy these cookies–they’re crackled and crunchy on top, chewy in the middle, and their texture is a mixture of those two.  You’ll get lots of crunching pleasure from the Rice Krispies and almonds, which compliments the chewiness that comes from the coconut and oats.  (The almonds are my addition to this recipe, as is the almond extract.  Toast the almonds in a skillet for three or four minutes, until you can smell them, but get them out of the skillet quickly so they don’t burn.)

This is a pretty basic cookie recipe, with one exception:  when you’re creaming together the butter, sugar and eggs, leave the mixer going on high speed for three or four minutes.  Over-beating this mixture is what gives the cookies their crackly surface after they’re baked.

One final note:  this will be the last recipe for sweet treats that I plan to post for awhile (or, at least, until I start thinking about dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner in a couple of weeks.)  Even my well-conditioned sweet tooth is a little tired of the holiday goodies.  I’m sure yours is too.

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Grandma's Crunch Cookies

Ingredients:

1 stick butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups Rice Krispies
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped, toasted almonds

Directions:

Combine the butter, eggs, sugars, oil, and extracts in a large mixing bowl. Let the mixer run at high speed for three or four minutes, until everything is very well combined. While it's beating, combine the oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Stir the dry ingredients to combine.

Turn off the mixer and stir in the dry ingredients by hand with a large spoon. When the dry mixture has been incorporated, stir in the Rice Krispies, coconut and almonds, mixing just until combined. Allow the dough to chill for about 30 minutes before baking the cookies.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use an ice cream scoop to drop the dough on a cookie sheet; flatten each scoop of dough just slightly, using the palm of your hand. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until they're golden brown around the edges.


 

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