Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Cookie Project (Laura)

I have amazing friends. They are all brilliant, talented, and they don't mind my occasional breakdown. Most of all, they are all so unique. Life can be so busy and crazy that I don't think I show my appreciation nearly enough.

Have you ever thought about what different muppets or what different Golden Girl your friends are? Well, recently, I've been thinking about what different cookies my friends would be. Over the next few months, I will bake a different type of cookie representing each of my wonderful friends and give them out, as a way of saying "Thank You for Being a Friend." (Yet another Golden Girls reference!) Welcome to The Cookie Project.

Laura is one of my oldest friends. I've known her for about 11 years, which is a pretty darn long time for a youngin' like me. As I thought about what type of cookie best defines her, I knew it would have to be comforting and familiar yet unusual. She's very strong-willed, so I thought a substantial oatmeal base would be appropriate. When I was last at Trader Joe's, I picked up some sweetened dried hibiscus flowers, which look delicate, but have a subtle tart flavor. Perfect. I added some white chocolate chips to add a surprising sweetness. I found Laura's cookie.


I based the cookie on a Cooking Light recipe for White Chocolate, Strawberry, and Oatmeal cookies, made a few variations, and voila. Since the original recipe used less butter and sugar than traditional oatmeal cookies, they are surprising light. Again, perfect for my tiny friend. The next time I make these, I'll decrease the amount of white chocolate used to about 1/4 cup and possibly increase the salt by a bit. I think this cookie suits her, and I hope she does as well.


Laura's Hibiscus-Oatmeal cookies
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 c. coarsely chopped dried hibiscus flowers
1/3 c. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Cream sugar and butter in a stand mixer using medium speed. Add vanilla and the egg and beat well. Add half the flour mixture and beat until blended. Add the other half and again, beat until blended. Add the chopped flowers and chips, and either beat at a low speed or mix by hand.

Drop tablespoons of the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool the cookies on wire racks.

Yield 2 dozen.

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