Christmas Baking with Fancy Pants (With recipe for Sweep the Floor Cookies)

18 Dec

Greetings after a long hiatus! Cookies on Foodista

Chinese takeout box gift receptacle (cool, huh?) and Starbucks Ginger Molasses Cookies. You can fit four or five in the box.

I’m still getting back in the groove after our seasonal crud and recovery. Things have been hectic, as I’m sure they are for you as well. Tis the season! If necessary, let’s read my last post (the semi-depressive yet redemptive Thanksgiving offering), and we’ll take cleansing breaths together.

The past few days, I’ve eased into my annual tradition of baking for Christmas. All of the kids’ teachers get baked goodies for gifts, sometimes along with coffee, a mug, or something like that. (This year, I think only Morgan’s school teacher got the whole schmear.) This year’s menu:

The Starbucks knockoff Ginger Molasses Cookies were a huge hit last year, so they came back for an encore. They are firm yet chewy, so they pack well in the super cute Chinese-takeout-style boxes I found a while back at Walmart. The link above is to the recipe I used from Recipezaar (now Food.com), with a minor adjustment…use just a dash of ground cloves rather than the amount listed, and add a 1/2 teaspoon or so of freshly grated nutmeg. Use a Microplane for this. Being the total foodie nerd, I have the big, flat one and the little, just-for-nutmeg one that leaves a curved divot in the nut. (Yay, Microplane! I wish they would offer me a giveaway. Hint, hint.)

The Spicy Pumpkin Carrot Muffins you may remember from an earlier post. They were fairly popular at a recent church event, so I thought I would make a few extra to have around. I’m taking some to the DD’s school party tomorrow, for the adults to nosh during the festivities. I made a mini-muffin, non-spicy, non-nut, non-fruit version for the kids. Hey, it’s still got crunchy brown sugar on the top!

I know you’re just dying to know the story behind the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins. Well, maybe not, but I’ll wager that at least one or two GFCF folks will find this by search. It can be hard to find easy, yummy recipes to fit this growing segment of the special-diet population. One of the teachers in our 2yo DS’s mother’s day out class eats this way, along with her daughters. So I set out — with only today to shop and bake — to create something yummy just for her. More on this here…it was such a fun adventure and deserves its own post!

I hesitate to give a recipe for the Sweep the Floor Cookies, because the whole purpose (and its name, coined by the hubster) is to use whatever. You know, those half-bags of baking whatnot you have lying around your pantry and freezer. A half-bag of Craisins? Awesome. Butterscotch chips? Bring it. Forgotten bag of nuts? No problem. My Fourth of July version used white chocolate chips, Craisins and dried blueberries. This week, I used Craisins, walnuts, and these tiny caramel filled chocolate pieces I had squirreled in the freezer. Didn’t work so well, because the caramel seeped out and burned on the baking sheet. So don’t use those.

In any case, the base is pretty much a ranger/oatmeal cookie, with a few foundational tweaks. Then you load it up with as much stuff as you think the dough will possibly hold! One time I added so much junk that I had to mix in a second batch of dough. The end product was so beyond a recipe it was ridiculous…it was good, but I had no idea how much of what was in there! Anyway, here’s the basic idea for you to experiment and enjoy:

Sweep the Floor Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 – 2 TOTAL cups of add-ins of your choosing (choose 2 – 4)
    Ideas: Rice crisp cereal, any kind of baking chips, dried fruit, nuts, crushed or small candy…

Cream the butter in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (medium to high speed) until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and add about half the flour. Add in the sugars, egg, vanilla, baking powder and soda and beat until combined. Add remaining flour and beat until just combined. Turn the mixer off and add the oats, coconut and add-ins. Turn the mixer on in short bursts, just enough to gently mix in the add-ins. Use a #20 disher or drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake about 8 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool for a minute on the sheet before moving to a wire rack to completely cool. YUMMMM!!!!

I think that’s enough for today. Sorry again for being away so long. Lots upcoming, and I hope to get back in the groove of blogging about local chefs and trends as well. Being in school will probably help. And that’s coming soon!

5 Responses to “Christmas Baking with Fancy Pants (With recipe for Sweep the Floor Cookies)”

  1. Alisa@Foodista December 19, 2009 at 10:51 AM #

    Great post!I’ve been looking for cookie recipes to make next week.I came across your site from the foodieblogroll and I’d love to guide our readers to your site if you won’t mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it’s all set, Thanks!

  2. LaCheshireChat December 22, 2009 at 5:49 AM #

    I found you via Foodista, so, thanks for adding that widget!
    I’m also making Sweep the Floor cookies today, however, mine are known as Clean the Cuboards! 🙂

  3. Debbie January 1, 2010 at 12:09 PM #

    We are forming an Arkansas Bloggers group…no obligations…and would love for you to link up. That link is currently on my blog: diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com. Eventually, Arkansas Bloggers will have its own page and the blogs will be listed by location. Happy New Year!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Final Practical Exam in Baking I « Fancy Pants Foodie - April 27, 2010

    […] such as cookies, we made last week so today wouldn’t be so jam-packed. I made my semi-famous Sweep the Floor Cookies, replete with dried cherries and the very finest couverture white chocolate (a score from the dry […]

  2. Doing the Funky Ophelia: Cheese Soufflé for #VirtualDinnerParty | Fancy Pants Foodie - August 15, 2013

    […] Argenta Market! Like I’ve said before, I adore both of these companies (in fact, I’ve wanted to do a giveaway with Microplane for ages!) and would say so whether or not they let us give stuff […]

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