Hye Thyme Cafe: September 2017

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

In a long, convoluted series of events, I somehow recently ended up with a food storage container belonging to my sister's best friend. Always looking for an excuse to cook or bake something new, I decided to follow that old adage of never returning a container empty - despite the fact that it wasn't me who had emptied it. During her last visit here, my sister had left me with a container of quick-cooking steel cut oats. Although I always make my oatmeal with steel-cut oats, I have to admit to never having seen the quick-cooking version before and wasn't sure what to make of them - literally or figuratively. Sounds like an oxymoron since steel cut oats are the least processed version.

Because I typically like to play with a mixture of old fashioned and quick-cooking oats when baking cookies, I decided to throw some of the quick-cooking steel-cut oats into the mix and try these Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies. Don't worry, you can use whatever type of oats you have on hand - they will still be plenty tasty, only the texture will be different. I got a chuckle later when I received a text from my sister's friend saying that her husband wanted to send me some more containers. 😊

1 1/2 c dried cranberries
1 large orange (juice and zest)
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 c Crisco shortening
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
3 c oats (I used 1/3c each quick and quick-steel cut and 2 1/3 c old fashioned)

  1. Start by zesting your orange and setting the zest aside, then placing your cranberries in a medium sized mixing bowl and squeezing the juice from the orange over the cranberries. This will allow them to plump up and not dry out while baking. Set that bowl aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, Crisco, and sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. To the butter mixture, add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated, then the orange zest, so the zest will permeate the butter with its flavor - since fat carries flavor.
  4. Now that the cranberries have had a few minutes to soak up some of the orange juice, stir the oats in with the berries to soak up the rest, and set aside for the moment. Letting the oats soak up the additional liquid will prevent the juice from gumming up your flour mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and clove, to make sure the spices are evenly distributed, then add to the butter mixture, at little at a time until incorporated.
  6. Stir in the oat and cranberry mixture last.
  7. Using a cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon, drop dough onto ungreased baking sheet and lightly pat into rounds.
  8. Bake at 375 for 12-15" until golden and set.
  9. Slide a spatula under the cookies to release them from the tray, but allow them to cool in place for a few minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely. If you transfer them to racks immediately, they will still be soft and are likely to bend and fall through the racks.
Makes approximately three dozen cookies.

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe
Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

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