Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Criss Cross Applesauce

I'm the type of person who loves to bake but doesn't necessarily like to eat the baked goods. However, today my body was craving something sweet, some sort of delectable baked good but not your typical chocolate chip cookie or fudge brownie, instead I was aiming for a healthy, sweet, delicious dessert and that is exactly what I got. Since I am not really into cooking with butter, I began to do research for recipes with butter/oil substitutes and I stumbled upon the perfect replacement - applesauce! Applesauce as a replacement for butter? You probably think I am crazy! And I might be crazy, but this recipe was legit and it did not need an ounce of butter or a drop of oil. 
A friend and I decided to tackle this recipe head on - we began with a large mixing bowl and glanced at the instructions, but rather than following them...we eyeballed it. We poured about a cup and half of golden yellow applesauce into the bowl and followed with a large scoop of all-natural chunky peanut butter. Next came 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract, this was the only direct amount we followed from the recipe, and then sprinkled cinnamon throughout the mixture as we stirred. Then it came time for the dough of the cookies, old fashioned rolled oats! I'm not really sure how much we put in, but we tried to match it to the amount of applesauce so the dry and wet ingredients were harmonized. If you thought I was crazy before, you probably think double that amount right now, but trust me, the outcome was amazing. To add some more sweetness we tossed in some luscious red dried cherries to the batter. We balled up the cookies into a cookie tray and trickled more ground cinnamon on top of the circle shapes. We allowed them to cook for 10-12 minutes and let them cool for about 5, anxious for the taste test. At first bite, our teeth sank into the cookies, the gooey oatmeal mixture melted in our mouths. The golden brown cookies were sweet and tangy from the juicy bursts of the cherries that were bites of pleasant surprises as they were layered into the cookies. What I love about these cookies is the versatility they have - instead of dried cherries, you could switch in dark chocolate chips, walnuts or various types of dried fruit...even all three! Additionally these are non-guilt cookies, perfect around the time of the holidays - they can be eaten for breakfast since they're made from oatmeal, or as a snack, and of course, for dessert. You know what they say - an applesauce oatmeal cookie a day, keeps the doctor away!

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