Partridgeberry Chewies

cookie, newfoundland, partridgeberry, oatmeal, raisin, spices, dessertWhata yat?  It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, so I wanted to get you all up to speed.  I had a tooth removed so I wasn’t feeling the best for a couple of days.  The dentist told me that I had to eat soft foods.  You know, like oatmeal, soup, yogurt, and the like.  At least I know what it will feel like when I’m put in the home later.  Nothing could be too hot or cold, as it would cause me discomfort.

So I found this chewy oatmeal cookie.  The dentist said I could eat soft foods and this cookie is nice, soft, and chewy.  The partridgeberry jam gives it a bit of a tang, and the spices round out the flavour.

If you’re wondering what the heck are partridgeberries, they are a berry that’s common to the Atlantic provinces. They grow on bushes low to the ground and are very hearty.  The flavour is similar to a cranberry, but can be a little bitter on the finish.  You won’t notice the bitterness with this cookie though.

First preheat your oven to 350F.  Cream the shortening and the sugars with the paddle attachment on your stand mixer.  You want to get this mixture well blended and then add the egg and vanilla.  Whip for about two minutes so it’s nice and fluffy.  These cookies bake flat so you’ll want to get them nice and aerated.

While that is mixing combine the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and spices.  Mix the dry ingredients together to distribute evenly.  Turn your mixer to low and slowly add the dry mix to the creamed batter.  Then add your oatmeal, jam, and raisins.  Spoon tablespoons onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.  They will spread a bit so leave a couple inches between each.cookie, newfoundland, partridgeberry, oatmeal, raisin, spices, dessert

The cookies will look a little moist when they come out of the oven, but they will continue to bake slightly when they are cooling.  Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Partridgeberry Chewies

Chewy oatmeal cookies with the slightly tart taste of partridgeberry jam
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup partridgeberry jam

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and both sugars. Cream well until blended. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until fluffy, about two minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl mix your dry ingredients together: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Blend so all is distributed evenly.
  4. Slowly add the dry to the creamed mixture with your mixer on low. Then add the oatmeal, raisins, and jam. Mix until blended. Do not overmix.
  5. Scoop about a tablespoon full (#30 scoop) on parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will be slightly moist in center. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the pan and transfer to a rack.

Partridge Berry Mini Muffins

partridgeberry, mini, muffin, dessert, sweet, berry

If you visit Newfoundland during the summer and early fall you may see people parked by the side of the highway.  They will be sitting there in metal lawn chairs with plastic ice cream buckets at their feet.  Those buckets are probably filled with freshly picked berries.  When we were kids, my brother and I would pick wild blueberries for our nan’s pies.  We would take a plastic margarine tub and was told “Don’t come back until it’s full!”  She still insists we have some pie when we visit.

Newfoundland is unique in that the soil is fairly acidic, making it perfect conditions for acid loving fruit.  The most common fruit one can find is blueberries, raspberries, dogberries, partridgeberries, and bakeapples.  You may not have heard of the last two.  Bakeapples, also known as cloudberries, look like a pale orange raspberry and grows in boggy areas.  Partridgeberries, also known as lingonberries or cowberry, are hearty and the plant can survive temperatures as low as -40C.

partridgeberry, berry, newfoundland,, plant
By Dawn Endico from Menlo Park, Ca.

The fruit is quite tart and can have a slightly bitter aftertaste.  Both berries are perfect as a jam or in a sweet dessert.

That’s why I like these mini muffins.  They are the perfect size for a quick snack.  The partridgeberry jam in the center gives you that little tartness, coupled with the sweetness of the muffin.

If you want to make them as a regular muffin, then you’ll have to bake them a little longer, and of course, add a little more jam.

Check out the recipe below and tell my your thoughts.  If you don’t have partridgeberry jam you can use your favourite flavour of jam you have on hand.  If you’re close to a certain Scandinavian furniture store, they carry lingonberry jam.  It’s the same thing but with a different name.


Partridge Berry Mini Muffins

These mini muffins are a great quick snack when you want something a little tart.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk any fat will do (whole, 2%, 1%, or skim)
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup partridgeberry jam also known as lingonberry

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F. Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with a wire whisk. In a medium bowl, beat the milk, melted butter, egg and vanilla extract with a fork until well blended. Add the milk mixture to the the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  3. Using a #30 scoop (1 oz) scoop a level amount of the batter into each mini muffin pan cup. Take a disposable plastic bag and add the jam. Cut a small piece off one corner and squeeze a little bit of jam into the middle of the muffin batter. You'll only need about 1/2 teaspoon per muffin, if not less. Bake for 20 minutes and check with a toothpick for doneness.
  4. Allow the muffins to cool in the pans completely. Remove from the pan and sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve immediately. If you want to serve them later, then hold off on the icing sugar as it will get absorbed by the muffin and disappear.
    partridgeberry, mini, muffins, dessert, sweet

Recipe Notes

You may substitute your favourite jam if you can't find partridgeberry.

Snowballs

Well, it’s the start of December and all the magazines, shows, and shops are filled with the sights of the season.  If you haven’t already, it’s time to start with your holiday baking.  I know that some of you have already started, possibly even started in the summer, but this quintessential Newfoundland Christmas treat is a must have for anyone.

One of the things you will always find in every Newfoundland cookbook for the holidays is a recipe for snowballs.  For as long as I remember these have been a requirement for holiday baking.  My mother would make dozens for the holidays and keep them in a metal tin on the freezer lined with waxed paper.   Every couple of days my brother and I would go to the freezer, grab one each, and sloppily rearrange the remaining so you couldn’t notice one had been takeSnowballsn.

The lovely little bites are a mixture of chocolate, oatmeal, and coconut.  The recipe I use is found in the Purity cookbook and is originally meant as a bar.  The snowballs are offered as an alternate way.  Personally, I’ve only known people to make them as balls, so feel free to try them out as a bar.

These are great slightly chilled, as they get a bit too soft when left to warm to room temperature.  Truthfully, there’s enough coconut and sugar in them, they don’t really freeze solid.  So, I’ve enjoyed them straight out of the freezer.  They’re called snowballs for a reason, right?

Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan under medium/low heat.  You don’t want the chocolate to scorch, so if the butter starts to bubble it’s too hot.  Add the sugar and mix until dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and beaten egg.  Also, if the chocolate is too hot the egg will cook too fast and you’ll have little bits of egg whites throughout your mix.  If you like, you can temper the egg and vanilla with a little chocolate mix in a separate bowl and then add it to the saucepan.  Then add your oatmeal, coconut, and optional nuts.  I personally don’t add the nuts because I like the chewiness of the oatmeal and coconut.  Also, it makes it a lot easier if you’re doing this for a potluck or Christmas party.  You don’t have to worry about anyone with a nut allergy if you leave them out.

Now, you’ll have to let this rest for a little while for the mixture to cool down and for the oatmeal to absorb a bit of the moisture.  I like to make a batch and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  If you do this, take it out about an hour before you need to make the balls.  Otherwise it’s too hard to scoop.

Now, with a small scoop, make a ball about the size of a golf ball and roll it in the shredded coconut.  Place on lined cookie sheet and put back in the fridge or freezer.  When the snowballs are solid, you can put them in a container.  Separate layers with waxed paper to prevent them from sticking together.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Snowballs

These lovely bitesize coconut, oatmeal, and chocolate morsels will be a hit at any holiday get-together.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut plus extra for rolling
  • 1 cup quick oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan under medium low heat until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  2. Remove pan from heat and add beaten egg and vanilla. Mix in coconut, quick oats, and optional nuts. Chill until firm a couple of hours or overnight. If overnight, let the mixture sit on counter to warm slightly to room temperature for about an hour.
  3. With a small scoop, make a golf ball size ball and roll in shredded coconut. Chill until firm on lined cookie sheet. Place in container with waxed paper between the layers.

Recipe Notes

If you want to make this a bit more adult, use cream de cacao or coconut shnapps instead of vanilla.  The small amount of alcohol will heighten the flavours a little.