Trust Issues

Today is Camp Day at Tim Horton’s so after I dropped Grady at school I decided to zip through the drive-through for coffee. Camp Day is kind of a big deal, though, so there was a lineup of cars and I had lots of time to read about the new lemon Timbit. Lemon anything is my jam so when I got up to the intercom to place my order, I requested a box of assorted Timbits with lots of lemon ones. The person on the other end asked if I wanted a box of assorted Timbits or a box of lemon Timbits and in that moment I realized it was kind of a dick move of me to make special requests on Camp Day when the lineup of cars was literally backed out through the parking lot and into the street. I told them assorted would be great, pulled up and paid, and went on my merry way. 

But it reminded me of a drive-through incident I experienced probably 15 years ago, which I believe is the root of my drive-through trust issues. Tim Hortons used to have a full-sized doughnut and a Timbit called the Dutchie, a glazed doughnut full of raisins. The Dutchie was bullshit. My drive-through order always included the caveat “no Dutchies” whenever I ordered Timbits or a box of doughnuts. 

One day, I placed my order at the drive-through window, specified no Dutchies, paid, and drove away. I was blocks away before I cracked open my box of Timbits and found nothing but Dutchies. It was the day my drive-through innocence died.  

Now I am 100% that bitch who opens her bag and checks her drive-through order before driving away and I do it completely without shame. I’ve been burned before, pals. I’m not going to let it happen again (even though the Dutchie was discontinued years ago for being pure trash).

Blueberry Oat Crumble Bars

We're fortunate enough to live five minutes away from a blueberry farm. Our fridge is overflowing with blueberries. We've gone through twenty pounds of blueberries in the last two weeks. I'm not exaggerating. Poppy has had some truly horrific diapers.

These bars are rich and buttery but the blueberries add a fresh element so they're not too heavy. They're great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream, but they're also a lovely summer breakfast with a little yogurt and an iced coffee. These bars are versatile is what I'm saying.

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Blueberry Oat Crumble Bars

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup cold butter
4 cups fresh blueberries
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease 9" x 13" pan.

In large mixing bowl, mix together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until mixture is uniformly crumbly. Reserve 1-1/2 cups mixture and press the remaining into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In another mixing bowl, gently stir together blueberries, lemon juice, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp salt. Pour blueberries over crust. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top of the blueberry mixture.

Bake for 45 - 50 minutes until blueberries are bubbly and top is lightly golden.

 

Spicy Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies do not make any sense. Let's start with the name: Spicy Oatmeal Cookies. Spicy, to me, means hot like a chili pepper. These cookies are not hot like a chili pepper. They're spiced. They contain nutmeg and cloves and taste a little bit like autumn. But they're not spicy. They don't even contain cinnamon, which I would consider the "spiciest" oatmeal cookie spice, you know? Next, they contain no chocolate. None. No cocoa powder, no chocolate chips, nary a chocolate chunk in sight. What even is the point? Also, these are crunchy cookies. I definitely prefer to stay in the land of ooey, gooey, chewy cookies.  Finally, the most egregious abuses of baked goods: they contain nuts. Not almonds or pecans, the less offensive of the nut world. Walnuts. The worst. 

And yet, when my sister texted me a picture of the recipe card where she recorded Mom's Spicy Oatmeal Cookies we remember so fondly from childhood, I couldn't wait to get baking. The only substitution I made was to use butter in place of shortening; the rest I kept exactly how my mom used to make when we were kids. And they are perfection. Grady won't eat them because of all the bits, Poppy can't eat them because she's allergic, and Shawn just looks confused whenever he bites into one and realizes all over again that these are non-chocolate cookies, but I don't care. They are exactly how I remember them.

A quick note: you might be tempted to skip the almond extract because it seems a bit fuss-ass to have both vanilla and almond extract but please, for the sake of your cookies, resist. Use both and revel in the tastiness. 

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Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
7/8 cup all-purpose flour (whaaaaat? I know. I just used my one cup measure and scooped out a heaping tablespoon. Old recipes are weird.)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup medium shred, unsweetened coconut
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. 

Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture just until combined.

Add coconut, oatmeal, and walnuts.

Form dough into small balls. Flatten slightly. Place on baking sheet spaced approximately 1.5 inches apart.

Bake 12 - 14 minutes until lightly golden.

Enjoy! 

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies. 

Half & Half Chocolate Chip Cookies

Shawn and Grady's favourite cookie is the classic chocolate chip cookie but for Father's Day, I wanted to give the classic a little oomph. I didn't want to fundamentally change the basic chocolate chip cookie, but I did want to make it feel a little more special. These half & half chocolate chip cookies look impressive but don't take much more time to make than regular cookies. The recipes can be made as standalone cookies or they can be combined to make a fancier-but-still-classic chocolate chip cookie.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I tweaked this recipe slightly to suit my purposes.

Ingredients

½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Melt butter.

Stir in sugars and salt until a smooth paste has formed.

Whisk in the egg and vanilla until combined well.

Stir in flour, baking soda, and chocolate chips gently until combined. Do not over mix. 

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour, preferably overnight. (I know. I know! What a pain. But it honestly results in tastier, more flavourful cookies.) 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾  cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions

Melt butter.

Stir in sugars and salt until a smooth paste has formed.

Whisk in the egg and vanilla until combined well.

Stir in flour, baking soda, cocoa, and chocolate chips gently until combined. Do not over mix. 

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour, preferably overnight. 

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Half & Half Cookie Assembly

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop spoonfuls of chocolate chip cookie dough onto prepared cookie sheets. (I use my 1-teaspoon cookie scoop and the cookies are the perfect size.) Scoop similar-sized spoonfuls of double chocolate chip cookie dough and then roll the two balls together in your palms to create one ball of cookie dough that is half plain chocolate chip cookie dough and half double chocolate chip cookie dough. Flatten slightly and place two inches apart on cookie sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely. Enjoy!

Makes approximately 40 cookies.