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Homesteading Life with Sue & Steve

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Homestead Cookies

How-to  ~  Ideas  ~  Inspiration
 From more than forty years having a good time living a sustainable life
in the northwoods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Cookies are an integral part of most folks' lives and ours is no exception. But I prefer a treat with some muscle - slightly sweet but not too, hearty without being impossible to chew, healthy, with soul - a reliable cookie that can be eaten in the car and double as dinner when there just isn't time. Below is my tried and true venerable Homestead Cookie recipe which has stood the test of several decades (the recipe, not one of the cookie's themselves). And another treat that is different enough to be a surprise and good enough to be a special treat. Have fun!

ManyTracks Homestead Cookies

Please note, this is a true homestead cookie - measuring is optional, variations and experimentation commonplace, substitutions assumed, variety expected. You can hardly go wrong unless you burn them to a crisp. And yes, I've done that - if they're really charred they go in the compost bin, otherwise Steve likes them slightly burned (I don't). The vagaries of our woodburning cookstove and my attention (or lack of) means I usually end up with some "Steve cookies" even when I try not to. Works out for both of us.

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey, or brown sugar (add the latter with dry ingredients)
1 or 2 eggs (when I have them)
Peanut or other nut butter
Fruit sauce or cooked squash in place of the water (makes a chewier, moister cookie)
~1 cup water, milk, or juice (or enough to equal 2 cups liquid). Stir all together.

2 cups whole grain flour (white flour will probably do though I've never tried it)
2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned organic rolled oats are worth it for better flavor)
1 to 2 cups dried fruit (we like raisins)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts
Spices such as cinnamon or vanilla or dried ginger (try a teaspoon to start with)

Mix the dry ingredients together
Add the wet mixture. Stir.
     Add more flour if needed, or more liquid to get a fairly wet cookie dough

Let set for a bit for the whole grain flour and oats to soften and, if wheat, develop the gluten. It will firm up some; adjust with flour or liquid if need be.

Place teaspoonfuls onto a lightly oiled or floured cookie sheet
Flatten with a wet fork
Bake in a medium oven until just done.

If you overcook they can get quite hard after cooling depending on the ingredients used. But they are great traveling food; no worry about these guys crumbling apart.

ManyTracks Applesauce Cookie

This cookie comes out firm but chewy (unless you cook them to the almost burned stage which is how Steve likes them). These also hold together well but aren't quite as long lasting and sturdy as the Homestead Cookie above so they're not quite as good for putting in your pocket for a later snack, especially if you're prone to forgetting that you did that.

1 quart apple or other fruit sauce or cooked squash
1/2 cup oil (it can also be made without oil if you haven't any)
2/3 cup honey or maple syrup or brown sugar
3 cups whole grain flour

Mix together all ingredients
Let set a bit to soften and bind the flour (some gluten flour helps hold things together)
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an oiled cookie sheet
          (this is not as tough a dough as the previous cookie)
Flatten thin with a wet fork
Bake in a medium oven until just lightly browned around the edges
Cool flat on a rack

Enjoy eating.

* * * * * * * *

Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Susan Robishaw


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Have you read  "Frost Dancing - Tips from a Northern Gardener"? A fun short read.

or "Homesteading Adventures"    Creating our backwoods homestead--the first 20 years.

and "Growing Berries for Food and Fun"   A journey you can use in your own garden.