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Honey-Oatmeal Cookies with Sicilian Cinnamon Chocolate

27 Sep

If that isn’t a mouthful! So, the weather here in Rome has finally cooled down and we’re even having a bit of gray skies and rain this week. As a native of the Seattle area, I have to confess that I love it. Fall is definitely my favorite time of year, and hallelujah for turning off the A/C, putting away the tank tops, and getting out the warm and woolen things to wear. The change of season is great for inspiring a baking frenzy, and today I decided that for a cloudy, rainy day, a batch of oatmeal cookies would really hit the spot.

I actually wanted to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but alas, I live in Italy, and bags of Nestlé Toll House Morsels are nowhere to be found. So, what do you do when faced with that kind of a challenge? You scrounge around looking for chocolate somewhere in the house to make your own chocolate chips.

Luckily, a gift from my mother in law came to the rescue. She was in Sicily this summer and brought us back a very indulgent stash of “Cioccolato di Modica” from the Antica Dolceria Rizza. Modica chocolate (named after the town in Sicily where it’s made) has a really unique taste and texture.

Inside, as you can see above, it looks kind of porous and sponge-like. You can almost crunch down on the crystally grains of sugar that are left behind in the final chocolate bar, and the flavors are very distinct.

My pal Ms. Adventures in Italy posted a little blurb about it in this post from January, and her picture is to die for. Rightfully so, as I’ve seen her in action at her house in Milan photographing food for her blog… the work that goes into it and the awesome camera she uses are evident in the continual “food porn” results she gets.

I happened upon the last box of Modica chocolate left in the house… cannella (cinnamon). We had already devoured the vanilla, hot pepper, and ginger. I decided to chop it up and throw it in the mix and see what would happen.

Well, the results are in, and I have to say that these were the perfect cookies for a fall day.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
2 cups oatmeal
1 3/4 cups flour
(1 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Chocolate chips or chocolate bar shavings or broken into chunks

Heat oven to 375°F (190°C). Mix sugar, shortening, eggs, and honey. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake until light brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.

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21 Responses to “Honey-Oatmeal Cookies with Sicilian Cinnamon Chocolate”

  1. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy September 27, 2007 at 5:17 pm #

    Mmmm…I still have a bar left in my cupboard!!! Oatmeal cookies are good – I can find the Quaker oats in Esselunga now!

  2. Barbara September 27, 2007 at 5:28 pm #

    I LOVE that Sicilian chocolate, and your cookies look delish! What a great combination…and a nice way to warm up the house now that the days are getting cooler!

  3. Shelley, At Home in Rome September 27, 2007 at 6:53 pm #

    Sara: I forgot to mention, the oatmeal… I had a little can of Quaker Oats that I had picked up either at Castroni, or the last time I was in the UK, I can’t remember… I still haven’t seen oatmeal in any Italian grocery stores here in Rome.

    Barbara: Thanks! The smell was heavenly… I wish I could have made it into a candle!

  4. Shelley, At Home in Rome September 27, 2007 at 6:56 pm #

    Also, one other thing… not like you can find Crisco shortening around here either… I got a little tub of it at that Castroni-like shop in Trastevere near Piazza S. Cosimato, you know the one. They have all kinds of stuff. I bought it last Christmas to make Christmas cookies. But I *think* you can substitute butter or margarine? You might know better than me on that one. Just mentioning in case other expats in shortening-deprived areas want to make the cookies.

  5. Tui September 27, 2007 at 10:29 pm #

    Omigosh, those cookies look divine! And I know what you mean about the weather; I’m from the Seattle area, too.

  6. nyc/caribbean ragazza September 27, 2007 at 10:31 pm #

    Those cookies look amazing. I would have eaten half the batch (probably in one sitting).

  7. marina September 28, 2007 at 6:00 am #

    Oh what beautiful cookies! I’d like to give it a try at making them 🙂

  8. Michael Kovnick September 28, 2007 at 9:28 am #

    …and was just about to suggest you check Castroni for the chocolate chips. Oh well… what was I thinking?? 🙂

  9. lucy September 28, 2007 at 3:22 pm #

    I will definitely try to make these tonight.
    Our weather too has cooled in Toronto.

  10. tinkerblue September 28, 2007 at 7:38 pm #

    I’m drooling. They look so good.

  11. Meg September 28, 2007 at 8:25 pm #

    The bakery in the Jewish ghetto, near Ottavia’s gate, does a passable chocolate chip cookie (although really, nothing beats warm and home-made). But… maybe they’d tell you where they get their chips. Those cookies look scrumptious.

  12. finnyknits September 29, 2007 at 12:07 am #

    Cinnamon oatmeal chocolate chip cookies on a chilly fall day?? OMG. That’s the best. And so serendipitous that you had the cinnamon one left – that’s perfect.

    I could use one of those today. It’s finally turned cold here in NorCal, too. I’m wearing my new coat. It’s fab. Bye summer! *tear*

  13. Buda Baby September 29, 2007 at 12:45 am #

    Yum! Maybe it IS the weather – I’ve been craving freshly baked cookies lately too! Can you get dried cranberries in Rome? They are great in oatmeal cookies, if you are a raisin hater like me and don’t have chocolate chips/chunks on hand.

  14. Farfallina ...a roam to Rome September 29, 2007 at 9:14 am #

    Oh my that looks yummy! It just started raining here in California! I’d love to bake these cookies for the children 😉

  15. Shelley, At Home in Rome September 29, 2007 at 10:00 am #

    Buda Baby: I’m 99% sure I’ve seen Craisins (Ocean Spray dried cranberries) at Castroni (Via Cola di Rienzo 196). I can’t remember for sure, but if anyone in Rome would have them, they would.

  16. Isma September 29, 2007 at 1:59 pm #

    Arrrrgggg They look so yummy !!!
    I baked a pear cake yesterday so no other sugar treat allowed for the week end ;-)) but I’m keeping your recipe for the next time !

  17. Wanderlust Scarlett October 1, 2007 at 7:55 am #

    Wow… that looks SO good.
    No nestle? Are there Italian chocolate chips of any kind? Hershey’s?

    What do you do for a pure chocolate fix? That bar your mother in law gave you looks interesting… does that do the trick?

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  18. Shelley, At Home in Rome October 1, 2007 at 9:40 am #

    Wanderlust Scarlett: We have a ton of different kinds of chocolate bars here, esp. dark chocolate, so no problems for getting a pure chocolate fix… just no “chips,” at least not that I’ve seen around!

  19. lisa October 1, 2007 at 9:11 pm #

    mmmmmmmmmmmmm i totally can’t wait to try this recipe! i love chocolate and cinnamon….oatmeal choc chip is my favorite!

  20. Jon - The DC Traveler October 3, 2007 at 8:06 pm #

    Oh, if we only had a place like this in Washington, DC!!!

  21. Jackie October 4, 2007 at 8:03 am #

    these look really good! i have to admit, though, that i didn’t quite warm to the taste of modica chocolate when i tried it last–maybe the texture was just too different for me. but maybe in cookies, it’s another story. anyway, looks delicious!

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