Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Oct 16, 2012

Apple Gouda Oatmeal Cookies

Libations used: 1 Tbs dark rum
Libations left over: None, but you could make yourself this Apple Hot Toddy with rum while those cookies bake...
This past weekend, I went apple and pumpkin picking with a few friends in the Oak Glen region.
It's about 90 minutes away from Santa Monica and it gives me a little taste of fall and memories of home — the leaves barely change color, but they change nonetheless!  I always pick about half a bushel or more so I have plenty of apples to eat and cook with during the season.

We spent a sunny afternoon plucking Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Rome and sneaking some Granny Smiths from the trees at Los Rios Rancho.

Afterwards, we scarfed down chili dogs at Oak Tree Village and listened to a lone cowboy singing some country tunes on stage.  The smell of apple pie seemed to waft everywhere.  It was so tempting to buy one (I mean look at that crust!), but considering we picked so many apples, we decided it would be best to actually bake one ourselves.

Our last stop was Snow-line Orchard for apple cider and fresh, sugared donuts.  Besides immediately whipping up a batch of applesauce when I got home, I also really wanted to bake some cookies.  Namely, these Apple Gouda Oatmeal Cookies from The Kitchn.  I'd been promising my new co-workers for months that I'd bring in a Lush Chef treat, and I finally felt the baking bug.  They're slightly sweet and slightly savory and perfect for any meal.  In fact, they make an excellent breakfast — oatmeal, fruit and some cheese?  I mean, you can't go wrong!  I used one of the Rome apples I picked and happened to find an apple-smoked Gouda at the store.  They'll keep fresh for about five days if you keep them in an airtight container, although you and your friends will probably polish them off before that!

Apple Gouda Oatmeal Cookies - makes 20-24 
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs dark rum (time to bust out my trusty Myers's "Pirate" Rum!)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 medium-sized apple (1 1/2 to 2 cups of shredded apple)
  • 4 oz Gouda cheese, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Whisk the olive oil and egg together in a glass bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Whisk in the rum.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, salt and oats.
- Stir in the raisins.
- Peel and core the apple, and using the coarse side of the grater, grate it into the flour mixture.
- Stir in the Gouda.
- Add the olive oil and egg mixture into the large bowl and stir until everything is moistened (the dough will be loose and clumpy, so don't fret!).
- Drop in large spoonfuls on an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 17 minutes, or until the cookies are golden.
- Make sure you let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.