Recipes, Photography, Musings

Tag: chocolate chips

Chocolate and Chia Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are moist, rich in flavor, and full of good things like oats, chia seeds, chocolate chips, cinnamon and vanilla.  They somehow bridge that gap between healthy and luxurious, and they always disappear quickly at my house.

The weather has definitely turned in the past few days, and it feels more and more like fall and less and less like a lingering summer.  The blustery wind is blowing leaves off the trees, and the trees themselves are becoming so colorful, seemingly overnight.  The sunsets have been stunning and dramatic lately, and they are occurring earlier and earlier.  Now I get to watch the sunsets as I am walking with my soccer-mom walking buddies, and our kids end up practicing soccer in the twilight, not stopping until dark.  Last night’s sky was especially dramatic, with windswept clouds turning from gray to dark orange, making the colorful leaves look even more vibrant in the glowing light.  There is something cozy about spending time with friends outside in the dark, while our kids run and chase and laugh.

oatmeal cookies with chips 7Chilly days and nights call for jackets, hats, gloves, and cookies!  This cookie recipe is a favorite of mine, because the cookies turn out so delicious, and there are some healthy ingredients in there too.  It is based on a recipe I found on the inside of the lid to my Quaker oats container, though I have made a few changes, including adding chia seeds and chocolate chips.  I have noticed an improvement in the taste and texture of my baked goods since I have been using butter from grass-fed cows (I have mentioned this before), and the nutritional value of such butter is improved.  The oat and whole wheat flour provide fiber, vitamins and minerals, while the chia seeds contain vitamins and minerals, protein, antioxidants, and Omega-3 (good) fatty acids.

oatmeal cookies with flowers 3Just like with everyone, there is a lot going on right now, a lot of balls in the air, so to speak, and sometimes I find myself worrying about things I cannot control.  Although I know I am not supposed to do that, sometimes I do it before I realize I am doing it.  That’s when it’s important to be aware of my thoughts, take a step back, and get some perspective.  We all have different ways of gaining perspective.  For me it helps to go outside and exercise, bake, talk to a trusted person, or read.  And this dramatic weather is really something that can make a person feel emotional. It is sometimes essential to just drop everything and get out into the gorgeous autumn and be in the present moment.  There is nothing like the present moment to give a person some healthy perspective.    red mapleI always turn to one of my favorite poems at this time of year to put this feeling into words, and I know I shared this excerpt last year in October.  But I will share it once again, because I love it so much, and it is so fitting right now.  It is the third stanza of “A Vagabond Song” by Bliss Carman:  “There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;/We must rise and follow her,/ when from every hill of flame/ she calls and calls each vagabond by name.”  I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and that you get a chance to get out and experience the beauty of October, along with the comforts of warm cookies and a cup of your favorite drink.oatmeal cookes with flowers and chipsoatmeal cookies with flowers and chips overviewI am sharing this recipe over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Effie at Food Daydreaming and Lindy at Lindy Mechefske.

Oatmeal Cookies With Chocolate and Chia

  • Servings: about 4 dozen cookies
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  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) plus 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat pastry flour if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 3 cups of old fashioned rolled oats, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl, mix (I like to mix them by hand, but you can use an electric mixer if you like) the butter and the sugars until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and stir vigorously, until well-combined.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and chia seeds.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the butter mixture.  Stir until well-combined.  Then stir in the oats.  Mix again until the oats are incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips, until well-combined.

Drop the dough by rounded spoonfuls onto baking sheets.  Bake in your 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.  Let them cool 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Once cool, store them tightly covered.  Enjoy!

Cocoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

cookies, raspberries, and mug 1I had the urge to make something with chocolate today, and I wanted to share a fun adaptation of a recipe that has become a favorite at our house.  It has been very cold and snowy this week, and the driving has been precarious at times. The air is fresh and the snow is beautiful though, and it feels good to come in from the cold and have something warm to drink and a chocolate cookie to eat.  cookies in the snowMy kids are on a hot cocoa kick lately, so we have a lot of hot cocoa packages in the pantry.  My daughter and I love to experiment in the kitchen, and she is the one who actually came up with this variation of the traditional Nestle’s Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies.  We have tested it several times, and it has become a favorite winter treat.  We replace 1/4 of the white sugar with hot cocoa mix (I buy the kind sweetened with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup, and try to see that it is ethically sourced cocoa) and we add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the batter, which gives a hint of cherry flavor.  Serve these cookies with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee or tea, and a little bowl of fresh raspberries.  They are the perfect treat to take the edge off the stress of the week! “As with most fine things, chocolate has its season.  There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U, is the proper time for chocolate.” –author Sandra Boynton

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Cocoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: about 48 cookies
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  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt (if you are using salted butter, cut the salt to 1/2 teaspoon or omit completely)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweetened hot cocoa mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Vigorously stir the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, hot cocoa mix, vanilla extract, and almond extract in a bowl until creamy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well as you add them.  Gradually stir in the flour mixture until everything is combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until cookies are done.  Cool for a couple minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from the traditional Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe