Two days a week, after getting done teaching 25 second graders, Jamie volunteers at a prison, helping a group of guys prepare for their GED. It’s a good thing she’s 24, but she is pretty darn tireless. Were we all so tireless at that age? Twenty-five seems like so very long ago.
So regularly, she gives the guys a test so she can judge how well they’re picking up the material, and how ready they are to take (and pass) the GED. Since they are in prison, after all, she recently decided that she’d try to give them incentive for doing well on the tests. If they all passed the in-class tests, she’d bring in cookies the next time they met for class.
A few weeks ago, they did well on a test, so she baked them a batch of cookies that her Mom used to make her when she was growing up. She brought over a few for us the next day, and we bit in. She knew I was kidding, but I asked if the cookies were meant to be a reward or punishment. They were a bit … dry. Of course, dry cookies versus no cookies, the men gobbled them up.
And in the meantime, I set about to right the wrong. These men need edible cookies! They had a test on fractions last Friday, so I spent some time this weekend deciding on a new recipe and baking up a batch for Jamie to bring to them today. When I saw the Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies in a recent issue of Cooking Light magazine (January/February 2010), I thought they’d do nicely. Relatively healthy, tasty, easy to transport and, most importantly, not dry.
Originally I gravitated towards these cookies because Jamie’s favorite are these Chocolate Chunk and Cherry ones. I thought they would be a nice healthy alternative. I was wrong. Aside from the cherry ingredient, they’re really nothing alike. That being said, if you’re looking for a quick and easy cookie to bake up that you don’t have to feel guilty about … or if you need to reward a bunch of men struggling to pass their GED … give them a whirl.
P.S. In keeping with one of my Lenten promises, I subbed raisins for the chocolate for this recipe.
Tomorrow? I teased you with a picture recently and then promptly forgot to tell you about the recipe… Savory Caramelized Onion and Bleu Cheese Breading Pudding is coming your way.
A year ago today … decorating class at Pottery Barn.
Four years ago today … an ARF round-up and one of my favorite vegetarian sandwiches.
My kids are crazy. And clearly don’t need toys. Madeline absconded with Nick‘s laundry hamper and threw it over her head. Then she sat on the ground and told Nick to pull her. Around the house they went, giggling and happily shrieking all the way. Crazy.
Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light magazine, January/February 2010
1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
1.5 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/3 cup)
1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.
Nutritional stats: 94 calories and 3.2 grams of fat per cookie.