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Freeze-dried fruit in cookies?

j
jen223 Jan 24, 2014 06:29 AM

I've been on a cookie-baking bender lately, and now I'm looking to make more of a "healthy" cookie. I also visited Trader Joe's lately and bought various bags of freeze-dried fruit, which I love and think is much better than regular dried fruit.

So I'm thinking I'd like to make a cookie with freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries, but I'm wondering if I should alter my recipe at all. Will the fruit soak up moisture from the batter, making the batter less moist? Along the same lines, will the fruit end up staying crunchy or becoming soft after baking? I have my theories but am curious as to what everyone thinks.

I'm thinking about making oatmeal cookies with freeze-dried strawberries/raspberries, a few chocolate chips, and maybe Rice Krispies thrown in there for extra texture (although, would the cereal stay crunchy after baking??). And maybe some powdered milk to give it a "strawberries 'n' cream oatmeal" feel.

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  1. pinehurst RE: jen223 Jan 24, 2014 06:45 AM

    Jen, I don't know about cookies but I had used freeze dried strawberries in a lower-carb muffin batter. They definitely got moist. They were delish, but I don't know if you're looking for moist in the cookies.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pinehurst
      j
      jen223 RE: pinehurst Jan 24, 2014 07:58 AM

      Thanks, pinehurst. I'm indifferent to moist, but if they did soften up, I'd want to add something crunchy/hard for texture.

      Muffin batter is more liquid-y than cookie batter, so maybe the drier batter will keep the freeze-dried fruit from softening up.

      Care to share your muffin recipe? I'm thinking freeze-dried strawberries in a healthier muffin sounds delicious!

      1. re: jen223
        pinehurst RE: jen223 Jan 24, 2014 08:25 AM

        Sure! Do a trial run before serving these to An Important Audience since I'm giving you cooking times for my ancient oven.

        Note: I have also added a couple of leftover, roughly chopped squares of dark eating (not baking) chocolate to this (usually the 70-82%) with nice results at the same time I add the nuts...sort of a "clean the odds n ends" muffin.

        Lower Carb Muffins

        1 cup almond flour
        ⅛ tsp baking soda
        pinch of salt
        1 tsp vanilla extract (but you could use a bit of almond or even a bit of lemon extract, to your taste)
        1/3 cup coconut milk
        ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
        2 tbs coconut oil, melted
        1 large egg
        ¼ cup freeze dried strawberries
        ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

        Preheat your oven at 350°F
        In one bowl mix the dry ingredients – almond flour, baking soda, salt, coconut flakes. Incorporate well.
        In another bowl mix the wet ingredients – coconut milk, egg, vanilla and coconut oil
        Add the wet to the dry ingredients and gently mix the batter using a rubber spatula. It will be lumpy and that’s fine.
        Fold the strawberries into the batter, and walnuts/chocolate shards if you’re using them
        pour batter into greased muffin pan (or paper lined cups in muffin pan) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops turn golden brown.

    2. MidwesternerTT RE: jen223 Jan 24, 2014 08:43 AM

      For your reference/comparison, I made this cookie in December with freeze dried strawberries and white chocolate w/strawberries bar. It was good although very sweet, the strawberries did soften some but the overall cookie stayed on the crisp / not chewy side. http://kirbiecravings.com/2013/07/str...

      2 Replies
      1. re: MidwesternerTT
        j
        jen223 RE: MidwesternerTT Jan 24, 2014 09:07 AM

        Ooh these are pretty - thanks for the input. I think I might go with the freeze-dried strawberries, oatmeal, milk crumbs a la Momofuku, and maybe a few chocolate chips or Rice Krispies or pretzels thrown in. They're getting less healthy as I keep thinking about them, but I think they'll look pretty at least!

        1. re: jen223
          Ttrockwood RE: jen223 Jan 24, 2014 02:25 PM

          I've found the pretzel pcs keep their texture really well in cookies- the freeze dried fruit will get softer and kind of chewy, which is great, but not crispy.

      2. greygarious RE: jen223 Jan 24, 2014 03:13 PM

        The freeze-dried will absorb moisture and become close in texture to regular dried. Rice krispies can be used and do retain some crunch. Steel-cut oats, preferably the small, pinhead variety, can be used for crunch in oatmeal cookies but best in combination with old-fashioned oats. Treat the pinheads like chopped nuts. Powdered sour cream is better than powdered milk if you want a fruit-and-cream cookie.

        I like to add freeze-dried bananas and berries to rice krispies treats. I recommend googling Nikki's Healthy Cookies. They're triffic and not overly sweet. I'm not vegan so I add an egg to hold them together better.

        2 Replies
        1. re: greygarious
          j
          jen223 RE: greygarious Jan 24, 2014 03:40 PM

          Thanks! Where does one find powdered sour cream? I've never heard of such a thing!

          1. re: jen223
            greygarious RE: jen223 Jan 24, 2014 04:07 PM

            I get it online. Barry Farm is one source.

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