A “Girls Only Road Trip” happened this week for my daughter, grand-girls and myself.  We travelled to North Bay together to have a long over-due visit with some family members.  O.K. to be honest, one fellow was allowed to come.  Our dog Max.  Max is a quiet, well-behaved traveler and because Ron was working, we decided it was best to include him in our little get-away.

Road Trip with Grand-Daughters and Max

Our few days in *The Bay* were jammed packed with family and fun.  The grand-girls were so busy and very happy hanging out with their cousins and second cousins. Time was spent experiencing a few new things for them as well.  A trip out on Uncle Jason’s boat for the first time included a tour of Trout Lake along with a stop for a swim and some minnow catching.

Boating Along Trout Lake North Bay Ontario

 

Sophie Trout Lake

Family gatherings were filled with plenty of deliciously prepared food, tons of laughter and loads of outdoor playtime.  Thanks to Uncle Jason the grand-girls had a chance to ride on big and little four wheelers, motorized jeeps and a even back-hoe ride with Uncle Richard!

Jeep Ride

 

Four Wheeling

Back Hoe Ride

A fun afternoon at The Waterfront at Lake Nipissing was enjoyed by all.  The grand-girls strolled along the pier with their cousins, time spent at the large playground right opposite the sandy beach, rode the little train together and went ’round and ’round on the two beautiful carousels overlooking the lake.  It was a wonderful few days!

Ella Carousel

Sophie Carousel 1

Whenever we take a road trip, we like to pack a lunch along with some cold drinks to have at the ready.  I made some cookies for a snack after our lunch and they were delicious!  I based the recipe off of Quaker’s Chewy Oatmeal cookies and went from there.  Chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and the following flavours of Craisins were added:  Pomegranate, Blueberry and Cherry.  I’ll admit to pinching a few fingertips of raw dough while baking these.  Can you blame me?

Chewy Chockful Oatmeal Cookie Dough

If you are looking for a chewy cookie that’s packed full of flavour, these definitely make the grade.

Chock Full and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Craisins, Chocolate Chips, Pecans

 

I hope you give them a try.   Let me know how they stack up to your favourite oatmeal cookie.

Stacked Chock Full Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

 

Recipe: (note:  omit the pecans and these are a great cookie to pack into the kid’s lunch boxes)

Ingredients

2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (if using salted butter omit the 1/2 teaspoon of salt listed below)

3/4 cup of dark brown sugar (packed)

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)

1 1/2 cups of unbleached flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3 cups of large flaked oats

1/2 cup of Chocolate Chips (I used Semi-Sweet)

1/2 cup of Craisins Pomengranate

1/2 cup of Craisins Cherry

1/2 cup of Craisins Blueberry

1/2 cup Pecans (chopped)

Instructions:

Cut butter into 1″ squares and mix until creamy.  Add in brown and granulated sugars and mix until combined.  Add egg and vanilla bean paste and mix well.  Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a small bowl and stir with a whisk.  Add to butter mixture, stir on low until combined.  Add oats, all the Craisin varieties, chocolate chips and pecans and mix well.  Using a cookie scoop, drop onto prepared cookie sheets (six to eight per sheet) and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 9 minutes.  Cookies will be very soft when they come out of the oven, let cool on sheet until firmer before removing to cooling rack.  Store in an air-tight container.  Yield approximately 3 dozen cookies.

 

 

 

 

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There’s a little story that goes with why I made these cookies.  A few weeks ago my 4 year-old grand-daughter Sophie and her big sister Ella were going on a little car trip with their parents.  Their drive would take about 4 1/2 hours and as always, their Mom made sure that pencils, markers, sketch pads, iPhone and i-Pads were all packed in the car and easily accessible.  Additionally, each of the grand-girls were allowed to purchase a new book for their mini-vacation to Toronto.

Well, Sophie decided that she wanted to buy The Gingerbread Man.  She was so excited to read the story that she couldn’t wait until the day of their trip and instead, begged her Mom to read it to her the night before, at bedtime.  Well, Mom did and Mom also forgot the ending of the story as it had been years since she had read the book herself.  Snuggled up in her bed next to her Mom, Sophie was a very attentive little girl as each page revealed the latest adventure of The Gingerbread Man.  As they came to the end of the story, Sophie was quite devastated to see that the wolf did indeed catch the Gingerbread Man, caught him and ate him all up!

For the next several days, Sophie carried her book very close to herself, probably thinking that if she hung on to it, the hungry wolf would not be able to eat her Gingerbread Man.  When my daughter told me all of this, I immediately decided that I would bake little Sophie her own Gingerbread Man cookies.

Run, Run, As Fast As You Can Gingerbread Man Decorated Cookie

Now, I don’t have a *Running Gingerbread Man* cookie cutter so I used a large boy cutter and did some improvising once the cookies was cut.

Gingerbread Man Cookies Cut and Shaped

The cut cookie on the right is the original.  On the left is the modified cookie.  I made a small cut between the legs and then arranged the left leg to look as if it was running.  To make the right leg look as if it was lifted off the ground I bent it back, cut the foot off and re-attached it in the reverse position.

Running Gingerbread Man Cookie Piped and Flooded

The baked and cooled cookies were then piped and flooded with dark brown piping and flood icing.  The cookies were left to dry overnight.

Decorated Running Gingerbread Man Cookies

The next day, using white piping icing the arms and feet were decorated with wavy lines.  Red piping icing was used to make three buttons, black piping icing to make eyes, noses, and smiling mouths and blue and white icing to make polka-dotted bow ties.

Little Sophie was quite happy with her own personal Gingerbread Man cookies and I guess she was over her trauma of reading that the wolf gobbled him all up as she wasted no time in biting off both his arms and little legs before devouring the rest of him herself!  Run, Run, As Fast As You Can!

Running Gingerbread Man Decorated Cookie with Bag Topper

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Santa and the Grinch

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