The Holidays are well and truly upon us! To celebrate, a group of us – eight of us, to be exact – decided to bring back one of our old traditions, a Holiday cookie roundup. We’re calling it “Cookie Freaks”. Which, you know, is right up my alley. This is Week One, and of course, I’m already late. But I have an excuse, Teacher! I had to try out the new Nutri Ninja | Ninja Blender System that the nice people at Ninja sent me to review. I swear – there really is a cookie connection!
You’ve seen all the commercials on TV, right? But, all they show you is smoothie-making. So, okay, I made a few smoothies. Not green ones, ’cause you know I can’t stand green ones. And yes, the Nutri Ninja | Ninja Blender System makes fabulous and smooth smoothies. And it comes with three different sizes of blender cups.
Which, by the way, I used mostly to chop nuts and grate Parmesan cheese. The Auto IQ pulse function counts the number of pulses, which all but prevent you from overdoing it. But this bad boy comes with a food processor and huge blender pitcher together with double blades. The husband and I put those functions through their paces over Thanksgiving weekend, and I admit that I was impressed. We chopped chunks of stale bread and veggies for the turkey stuffing, made frozen beverages and more. The double stacked blades made sure that the food on top got chopped as well as the food on the bottom, and we rarely had to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. And, there were no chunks of unchopped food hiding in the mix! For me, that’s a big deal. We also really liked the Auto IQ functions. The base knows which attachment you’re using, and only the appropriate functions for that attachment are activated. And when you select one of the IQ buttons for, say, Food Puree, it times and pulses itself, to make sure every bit of food is pureed perfectly. That is one smart appliance!
The only thing that kind of disappoints me, is that it doesn’t have the ability to shred food. So if you want to shred potatoes for hash browns or cheese for tacos, you’ll either have to use a box grater or another food processor. On the plus side, however, you can use every bit of the work bowl’s capacity. The bowl sits on a narrow pin, rather than a large post, so there’s no big hole in the center to allow seepage of liquid (or liquified) ingredients, and you don’t have to try to hold the blade in place with your finger when dumping the contents into another bowl. That’s also a big plus, from where I stand.
We’re coming to the cookie part, now. The food processor attachment also comes with a dough blade. And the recipe booklet that came with it, contains a recipe for Cranberry Oat Cookies, which falls right into this week’s Cookie Freaks theme: Fruit and Nut Cookies! Perfect for one last test! Alas, once you add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, the dough blade and function don’t really work any better than the ones on my old Cuisinart, so I had to finish the process by hand. *Sigh*
On balance, however, the Nutri Ninja | Ninja Blender System is definitely worth your consideration, either for yourself or as a holiday gift for someone you love, and has earned its parking space in my appliance garage. The old “11 cup” Cuisinart and its multitude of dangerous blades are leaving the building. I think I’ll hang onto the small one though, for shredding cheese.
Now, for the cookies! I did have to make a couple of modifications, however. First, the original recipe calls for coconut oil. I found that the flavor could have benefited from using butter instead – I made it both ways, so it’s completely your choice. The original recipe is also gluten-free and calls for “gluten-free flour blend” instead of flour. I used all purpose flour. The original recipe calls for dried cranberries, which I didn’t have, so I chopped up some fresh ones. Once I added all of the dry ingredients, I found the mixture to be a bit too dry, so I added 1/4 cup of almond milk, and that made it the perfect texture. The original recipe says that it makes 16 cookies. I got 30. Go figure. The recipe that follows is my modified version. Use a regular electric mixer.
Cranberry Oat Cookies
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk, or soy milk)
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup whole cranberries (fresh or frozen), chopped fine (may substitute dried cranberries)
Preheat your oven to 350º F.
In a large bowl, blend together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Add the brown sugar and white sugar, and blend thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients, except the cranberries. Add half of the dry mixture to the wet and blend completely. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix in the rest of the dry mix. When completely blended, add the cranberries and mix (or fold by hand) into the dough until distributed evenly.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (or your favorite silicone baking mats), and scoop the cookie dough by tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets, 2 inches apart.
Bake for 14 – 16 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. The hot cookies will be very soft, so leave them on the cookie sheets for several minutes. They’ll set right up and you can then remove them to a rack to finish cooling.
*Variation: For a change of pace, substitute 1/4 cup peanut butter or other nut butter of your choice for 1/4 cup of the coconut oil or butter!
Thank you for stopping by – you’ll love these cookies and everything else I’ve got coming up in the next few weeks! Visit often – surprises are in store!
Please visit the rest of the Cookie Freaks crew and see what delights they’ve baked up for you!
Diana Cannone, To Di for Bakery, http://todiforbakery.com/news/
Dianne Simmons, Dianne’s Dishes, http://www.diannesdishes.com/
Judy Chiappini, No Fear Entertaining, http://www.nofearentertaining.blogspot.com/
Mandee Racer Pogue, The Kitchen Wife, http://www.thekitchenwife.net/
Marye Audet-White, Restless Chipotle, http://www.restlesschipotle.com/
Sandy Smith, Eat Real, http://www.weeatreal.com/
Sherri Jo, The Adventures of Kitchen Girl Jo, http://kitchengirljo.blogspot.com/
I was sent a Nutri Ninja | Ninja Blender System by the manufacturer for the purposes of review. I was not compensated in any way for writing this post. All opinions, adapted recipes, text, and photographs are my own and original to RJ Flamingo and her real-life alter-ego, and are copyrighted materials, not to be reproduced in any form without express permission from the author.