I say yes.
One of the perks of my little gig in Ottawa was coming home with some freebies… freebies in the form of chocolate. Are there any better kinds of freebies? I think not. The amazing part of that is that I still have quite a bit of it left. Like the Lindt Orange Almond bar that is only half eaten in my freezer.
I also had a packet of Droste Chocolate Pastilles, which I like but they were milk chocolate and I find these days that I prefer the darker stuff… such a refined palate I’m developing <insert laughter here>. Plus, look at them… wouldn’t they make the perfect cookie topper?? I think so!
So I started thinking about cookies and rhubarb. You don’t see many recipes for rhubarb cookies. It seems rhubarb gets relegated to crisps and crumbles and pies or is occasionally stewed or roasted. But no cookies. So what about an oatmeal rhubarb cookie? We know they go together because crumbles and crisps always have oatmeal in them… ooooo… and how about chocolate too!
So I dug out a trusty oatmeal cookie recipe and subbed rhubarb and chocolate for raisins and then waited 12 minutes to see what happened.
They were deeeelishus. Really. They got a resounding thumbs up by all who sampled them. Soft and chewy, full of oatmeal chocolate goodness with an awesome rhubarb tang. I did half the batch with Droste pastilles on top and the other half without. All of them had chocolate chips in them. Both were delicious but, the ones with the Droste toppers were just a little bit more special – especially when there was a rhubarb piece right underneath them and they sorta melted together. Sooo good.
And then I found out why there aren’t a lot of rhubarb cookie recipes out there…
Left overnight, the rhubarb made the cookies a bit soggy. The good news is it wasn’t too bad and I was able to freeze most of them (I like eating frozen cookies). But my recommendation is, eat these fresh out of the oven while they’re still warm and the chocolate is melt-y, because the flavour combo is definitely worth making. It also forces you to share, which is a good thing with cookies!
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1½ cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups quick cooking oats
- 1¼ cups finely chopped rhubarb (1/4 inch pieces - split fat stalks in half lengthwise if necessary. You don't want big chunks of rhubarb)
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 36 chocolate pieces or buttons (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Mix together sugars and butter until light and fluffy
- Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix well
- Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and slowly add to butter mixture
- Stir in oatmeal, rhubarb and chocolate chips by hand until well combined
- Drop by large tablespoons onto a greased or lined cookie sheet, well spaced
- Top with chocolate pieces - gently press the chocolate pieces into the batter but don't flatten the cookie - they will spread while cooking
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden
Food Photography Notes
It’s been a while since we talked photo specifics and I’ve been playing a bit lately. I found a few new things in Lightroom that have helped me and last weekend I took a Photoshop workflow class with Dave Cross, one of the best Photoshop instructors on the planet. Seriously… if you ever get a chance to take a class with him, jump on it. This was my third class with Dave – my other two were in lecture halls with 500 people. This one had 10. It was awesome.
Image 1: f/4.0, 1/50th, 50mm, ISO2000.
In my last post I talked about using my mobile phone more and more as a precursor to shooting with my DSLR. This was on of those times. I initially took this photo with my Blackberry and processed it on my iPad. I liked what I saw so I set up for an SLR photo. I used a reflector to the right as I really wanted to keep this photo light and airy.
In post processing I actually desaturated the entire image a tiny bit to give it a softer feel (unusual for me as I usually like full on bright). I’ve also been experimenting with the Region sliders lately and I find it’s making a huge difference for me with colour adjustments. I did move this photo into Photoshop to clean up the chocolate a bit. After being crushed in my suitcase, it was a bit worse for wear. And I also experimented with the new straighten and crop tool and added some Gaussian blur to the background (I didn’t set my f-stop properly for the shallow depth of field I wanted)
Image 2: f/2.8, 1/60th, 100m macro, ISO2000
This was essentially out of the camera. A few tone curve adjustments and sharpen in Lightroom and a tiny chocolate cleanup in Photoshop
Image 3: f/18, 1/100th, 100m macro, ISO800
I shot this with a very high f-stop to keep as much of the image in focus as possible which is usually key when shooting overhead. Photographing outside really helped me keep the ISO low at such a high f-stop while doing this hand held. I also kept the setup in the shade to avoid harsh light. The only work I did in Lightroom besides a few of the usual sliders was using the desaturate brush on the checked napkin to tone down how vibrant it was.
Image 4: f/5.0, 1/400th, 100mm macro, ISO320
This one got a crop and straighten and a few tweaks with the usual contrast/clarity sliders and a sharpen. That’s it!
Coming up soon… rhubarb butter tarts and… I’m taking suggestions for tutorials. I’m thinking about a few on some of the specific tools in Lightroom but if you have things you’d like to see, be sure to let me know in the comments!