Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lower Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

First I just need to say thank you to the positive repsonse I got yesterday and this morning. It was the encouragement I needed to keep going!

Those who know me can attest that I love to bake and more so, love to consume baked goods. In the last five months I have been trying to find lower sugar versions of my favorite sweets. Back in March we had a scare with my youngest concerning his glucose levels. After weeks of testing and doctor visits, his pediatrician has determined, that right now he's okay. He's still being monitored and will be for a while. I've been educating myself more about type 1 diabetes and about a lower sugar diet. Brandon's doctor has explained to us, that there is nothing we can do to stop type 1 diabetes. That being said, she also helped to educate me on the benefits of a low sugar diet to keep glucose levels more consistent. We have been doing our best making sure all our meals are balanced with protein, veggies, fruits and good carbs. But, Brandon still likes his "treats", so goes my quest of sweets that are kinder to his glucose levels and also taste good.

I have discovered many recipes on the American Diabetes website and also found a cookbook written by Marlene Koch, called Eat What You Love. (That will be the next addition to my cookbook collection.) I borrowed the book from the library and started making recipes and trying them out on the boys. Adam loves the Vanilla Cake Batter Milkshake, and Brandon loves the Chocolate Pudding Milkshake. The book uses Splenda, as it's main substitute for sugar. The preface of the book is wonderful explaining how to use Splenda in your recipes and exactly what to change to make them work.

Yesterday I decided to change my oatmeal cookie recipe to see if there was a difference in taste. After my little helper, Brandon, and I finished baking the cookies, the verdict is: No difference in taste! This was great, sometimes I find the sugar substitutes can give a funny after-taste, but not on this one. Before I post the recipe, I just want to say, it still has brown sugar in it, so it's not a true "approved" diabetic recipe. However the white sugar has been replaced, making it lower in total sugar. The book suggests to leave the brown sugar in tact in a cookie recipe so it doesn't change the texture of the cookie. This recipe is for a basic oatmeal cookie and by all means, if sugar is not an issue in your lifestyle then leave in the white sugar. Also become your own little scientist and change the nuts to dried cherries or change the chocolate chips to cinnamon chips.

lower sugar oatmeal cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup Splenda (you can use white sugar)
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups oats, quick or old-fashioned
2 cups of add-ins (chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon chips)

preheat oven to 375 degrees. in a large bowl or mixer cream brown sugar, butter and splenda. add eggs, vanilla, and milk and beat until creamy. slowly add flour, baking soda, salt until just combined. then on low or by hand stir in oats and add-ins. drop by tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 9 to 10 minutes for chewy or 12 to 13 minutes for crispy. allow to cool on a baking rack and store in an airtight container. Yields about four dozen. tip: every cookie baker i know does this, but it's worth mentioning for the novice, use an icecream scoop for uniform cookies.

Tomorrow I'll give a pampering gift idea!

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