Saturday, June 26, 2010

Road Trip Prep!

For the past three years, Brian and I have road-tripped up to Oregon to attend the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. This is my most favorite thing to do in the summer! It's a long drive (6 hours!), but completely worth it. Every season is exciting, innovative, and beautifully executed. It doesn't hurt that Ashland has awesome restaurants (more on that later)!

To fuel us on our road tip, I packed a few snacks for the road, including two new baked treats. The first came from Julie at The Family Kitchen. Her Camper's Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies with Dried Cranberries sounded like something my husband's sweet tooth would appreciate, and I was right! I made these slightly larger than I think the recipe intends and got about 18 cookies. I gave half to my father-in-law as a (late) Father's Day gift and Brian dutifully munched on the rest during our trip! Julie says that the recipe is easily halved and that the dough freezes well too. I am tempted to whip up another batch and freeze the balls of dough, but that might be downright dangerous! These cookies were seriously good. Dense and flavorful, they made the perfect road trip snack! I imagine they would be equally delicious with white chocolate or peanut butter chips. Yikes! Definitely not super-healthy, but decidedly super-yummy!

Campers Chocolate Chip Cookies with Granola and Dried Cranberries
adapted from The Family Kitchen

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

2 large egg
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda 

1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups granola

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped mixed nuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and stir until almost combined; add the granola, cranberries, nuts and chocolate chips and stir just until blended.


This dough is delicious! I had to eat a peach to keep me from eating all the dough before it got in the oven!


Drop spoonfuls of dough an inch or two apart onto cookie sheets that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until barely golden and set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 Makes about 2 dozen cookies.


My second snack came from a recent Food & Wine article on Spike Mendelsohn (from Top Chef!). We saved these for breakfasts since, this year, we camped in Ashland! I liked these muffins, but I'm going to try them again with a few additional modifications. First, I added raisins this time, which I liked, but I think I might try dried cranberries next time instead. Also, they were a bit dry (even for my healthy tastes!), so I might substitute part (or all) of the canola oil with applesauce next time to add some moisture. Overall, though, I really enjoyed these muffins. They were not too sweet, but the honey (I actually used half honey, half agave because I realized too late I didn't have enough honey) adds a nice subtly sweet flavor.

White House Honey-Oat Muffins
adapted from Food & Wine

3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the oats with the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, coriander and salt.

In another bowl, whisk the honey with the buttermilk, canola oil and eggs. Pour the honey mixture into the dry ingredients; mix just until combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for about 18 minutes, until they're golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Finally, here's a quick picture of all the snacks we took with us, just for fun. Oatmeal, coffee, and muffins (for breakfast), pitas, apples, peaches, cookies, muffins, carrots, cucumbers, and hummus. Just tryin' to keep it healthy on the road!


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