There are tons of unlikely duos out there when it comes to food. Such as cheese & jelly, chocolate & salt, broccoli & Cheetos, Mango & chili, goat milk & caramel, sriracha & peanut butter. A personal favorite of mine is peanut butter and pickle sandwiches-it’s an acquired taste, I’ll admit, but so good! Well, I seem to have stumbled upon another unlikely duo; Nectarines and Aronia berries! They are delicious together.
Aronia berries are a fun ingredient to experiment with. Sunset Valley Organics’ Aronia berries are unique in that they are so packed full of nutrients that the brix (natural sugar content) is actually a lot higher than average (which is around 15-18, while Sunset Valley Organics is averaging 22), and this makes the tannins in the berry not so much at the for front of the taste. Instead a sweetness starts to come through, which is highlighted more through any heating process. Not just baking, but also jams, syrups, or juice.
Typically this is a good indication of nutrition in our foods across the board; nutrition=more flavor. Have you ever had a strawberry that was really bland? What about a carrot? Or if you’ve ever grown your own garden there is a huge taste difference, that would be from the minerals in your soil compared to the soil of the farmer selling to the supermarket.
So I’ve been baking, and experimenting with Aronia berries, since they are so foreign to so many. I’ve developed two yummy recipes for Aronia berry oatmeal cookies. One is a super healthy, gluten free version, but today I’m starting off with a twist on a classic. The Oatmeal Rasin Cookie get a little make over! (I’ll post my gluten free recipe next week sometime.)
- 1 C. All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 TSP Baking Soda
- 1/4 TSP Salt
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened to room temp
- 1/2 C Brown Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups Old-Fashioned Oats
- 1 C Dried Aronia Berries
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.
- Slowly mix in the flour mixture and continue mixing until just combined, then mix in the oats and raisins until fully combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Cover the cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- Once the dough is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and scoop out 2 tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough and dropped onto the prepared baking sheets. Make sure to leave a little room between each ball of cookie dough as they will spread a little while they bake.
- Bake in separate batches at 350 F. for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden brown and the top is set. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
-Prep time includes 30 minutes of chilling time
-Cookies may be stored on the counter in an airtight container for up to 5 days.