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ManyTracks Homesteading 
Sue Robishaw

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How-to  ~  Ideas  ~  Inspiration
 From more than thirty 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 (more or less depending on taste)
1 cup water, milk, or juice
2 1/2 cups whole grain flour (white flour will probably do though I've never tried it)
3 cups rolled oats (old fashioned organic rolled oats are worth it for better flavor)

Optional Additions - put in or leave out as your pantry or desires dictate

1 to 2 cups dried fruit (we like raisins)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts
1 or 2 eggs (when we had chickens I used eggs but haven't in years)
Peanut or other nut butter
Spices such as cinnamon or vanilla or dried ginger (try a teaspoon to start with)
Fruit sauce or cooked squash in place of the water (makes a chewier, moister cookie)

Mix all the ingredients together except the rolled oats
          adding flour until you have a thick pudding-like consistency
Let set for a bit for the whole grain flour to soften and, if wheat, develop the gluten
Mix in the rolled oats. Add more flour if needed.
Place teaspoonfuls onto an 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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NEW!  "Homesteading Adventures" is now available as an eBook! Click on Book for More Info

updated 04/03/2014
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