From the Culinary Underground: Robbie’s holiday cookies

by susan on December 21, 2012

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[This is the latest in an ongoing guest series brought to you by Southborough’s Culinary Underground. This week Chef Lori shares a recipe that would make a perfect holiday treat for your favorite four-legged friend.]

The end-of-year holidays are a magical time for me. Not enchanted magical – spooky magical. You know what I’m talking about. Normally cheerful people go full-on Scrooge, while their chronically grumpy counterparts visibly perk up and start humming carols. Skinflints morph into spendthrifts; high-rollers blatantly re-gift. It’s a tinsel-draped parallel universe, my friends. And most puzzling are the people who never fondled a rolling pin catching the Christmas cookie-baking bug.

Exhibit A: Suzanne, one of our chef-instructors, who would rather serve Spam to Gordon Ramsey than engage in any dessert-related baking. So imagine our horror when we caught her in the CU kitchen y yesterday, whipping out a batch of Christmas cookies for Robbie..the dog. And for the dog’s pals. Was it the the spirit of Christmas or Christmas spirits driving this? The Alcohawk Breathalyzer results were negative, so we concluded that it’s merely that time of year.

Suzanne’s an admitted Pinterest fan, found a recipe there, and tweaked it quite a bit to make it even easier for once-a-year bakers. She found that you don’t even need a rolling pin: the dough is easy enough to pat out by hand. Bouillon paste in a jar is just the thing for homemade dog biscuits, adding a more concentrated, meaty flavor than just chicken stock alone. And these cookies are full of nice, healthy ingredients plus being delicious. (The nice thing about homemade dog biscuits? Cookie-loving humans can eat them, too.) We feel in love with the Scottie-dog cookie cutter. After packaging them in red bone-sprigged boxes, they were ready for Robbie and her canine buds.

This Christmas baking miracle so inspired us here in the holiday mirror-world that we may swap out the Festivus pole for a real tree this year. But don’t count on it; that would be too spooky.

Robbie’s Peanut Butter Cookies
(4-5 dozen)

1-1/2 Cups old-fashioned rolled oats
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste, such as Better-Than-Bouillon brand
1-1/4 Cups boiling water
1 Cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 Cup whole wheat flour (all-purpose is fine, too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine oats, oil, bouillon paste, and boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Thoroughly stir in peanut butter and egg. Mix in flour to form a stiff dough.

Knead dough briefly – 10 or 12 turns – on lightly floured surface, adding a little additionally Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Divide dough in half on a lightly floured counter. Roll each half to about 1/8”. Cut with cookie cutter. Arrange 1” apart on prepared pans. You can reroll the scraps and cut more cookies, too.

Bake 30-35 or until lightly brown around the edges. Cool completely before storing airtight up to 12 months.

Culinary Underground School for Home Cooks is committed to furthering the art and craft of home cooking through engaging and educational hands-on and demonstrations classes. Using the best seasonal ingredients, mastering techniques, minimizing prep, and maximizing flavor are the focus of their classes. For more information and a class schedule, visitculinaryunderground.com.

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