Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pear, White Chocolate, Almond & Oatmeal Cookies {for Stemilt Growers}

When I think of chocolate chip cookies, I have a go-to recipe that I rarely waver on. It’s one that originated on the back of a bag of chocolate chips and over the years melded into a recipe that better matched my own personal palate... a cookie that is subtly crisp on the outside, though relatively supple on the inside. Not overly sweet. Not wafer thin, not super-sized. And never snap-crackle crisp.

While I always consider that particular recipe a chocolate chip cookie recipe, I can’t remember a time that I made it and not added a good heap of quick-cook oats. That bit of oats makes all the difference in the texture and consistency of the batter… and ultimate cookies. Not to mention the flavor.

So when Stemilt suggested a chocolate chip cookie recipe when it came time to work with a few of their beautiful, ripe pears… I had to rethink my tried and true way of doing things. Adding fruit to cookie batter isn’t new… especially dried fruits. Adding fresh fruit takes a little more thought… for me, at least. A purée of fresh fruit adds flavor as well as sweetness to a cookie batter. It also loosens the consistency so it requires a little balancing of flours, sugars, butter, etc.

And, what about incorporating fresh pear? Well… in many applications white chocolate, almonds and oats pair beautifully with pears... so a chocolate chip cookie didn’t seem too far fetched.

Adding fresh fruit is a sweet option to reducing the refined sugar component in cookies. The trade off is a bit of crispness. The solution is to keep them petite. Fresh out of the oven, with a little rest to cool, they are at their peak level of crispness. They soften a bit over time... but that doesn’t temper their appeal.

In these wee cookies, fresh pear is introduced in both a puréed form and a diced form... the sweetness of which keeps the need for refined sugar to a minimum. The end result is a cookie that tastes like it should be healthy for you... with just a delicate sweetness. Little bits of white chocolate chips and almonds add a delicious pop of decadence and crunch…  subtle reminders that moderation is still the best policy... even if the cookies are tastefully disguised as healthy morsels.

For recipe details, visit Stemilt’s blog, The Stem.

Disclaimer: While I am being compensated by Stemilt Growers as a guest contributor to The Stem, the views and/or opinions expressed on A Savory Nest are my own.

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