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       Volume I - July 31, 2009

E. Coli in Cookie Dough
by Alice Osborne & Patty Liston

Courtesy: Tony Corbo of Food and Water Watch

Now, it’s E. coli contamination of all things, Toll-House cookie dough. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 65 people in 29 states have become ill from either eating raw cookie dough or consuming another food item that became contaminated from coming into contact with raw cookie dough.

Eating raw cookie dough is never a smart thing to do because there is always a chance that the dough is contaminated with a food-borne pathogen, but the usual culprit is salmonella from unpasteurized eggs – not E. coli which is more commonly associated with beef products.

So here’s another good reason to cook and bake from scratch — you can monitor quality and you know what’s going into your product. We like that idea and as you know, we have Cook'n recipe organizer software that supports the concept to the max! Now to the fun stuff: To make a healthy batch of cookies from scratch, see this guilt-free chocolate chip cookie recipe:

Guilt-Free Golden Door Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, they do make and eat chocolate chip cookies at the famed Golden Door Spa. Using fruit puree instead of butter and cream is an easy and nutritious way to maintain texture and flavor and cut the fat. Leftover prune puree can be used for other baked goods; store it covered in the refrigerator for four to five days. Or, to save time, use packaged prune puree or baby-food prune puree.

For the prune puree:
1 1/2 cups pitted prune
2 cups water

For the cookies:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup sifted unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine the prunes and water in a small pot set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes, or until the prunes are very soft. Drain, then transfer to a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth. Strain the prune puree through a fine mesh sieve and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and brush with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil each. Place the oats into a dry skillet set over medium heat; toast, shaking the pan lightly, for three minutes, or until lightly browned. Combine the toasted oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl; mix well.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip, beat the brown sugar, eggs and egg whites at high speed, until the eggs are frothy and doubled in volume. Add the canola oil, vanilla, buttermilk and 2/3 cup of the prune puree; mix well. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, and blend well. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon heaping tablespoons of dough about one inch apart on the prepared baking sheets; bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown.

  Download this recipe.

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