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I have a sneaky feeling that the creation of gravy happened somewhere at the intersection of accident and eureka.
In my imagination, it starts as a little grease fire in a pan. When cook notices, she grabs a handful of flour left over from kneading the breakfast bread and tosses it into the pan to smother the flame. As the fire abates, she adds a little water to make sure the flame is dead or to keep the mess from sticking too hard, and, curious, she dips her finger in for a taste. Voila! Gravy.
Of course, that’s all early morning conjecture, but the history of food is rife with accidental creation not too dissimilar from this imagining. A quick survey of the inter-webs will tell you that Crêpes Suzette and corn flakes are both the results of happy accidents.
Perhaps it’s merely a eureka moment when inspiration strikes cooks and inventors. But in the kitchen, I can’t help believe that for every “ah-ha” moment, there are many more ideas born of frugality at times when every bite counted.
It can be hard for some of us to understand frugality in the kitchen. It’s easy to get used to throwing mistakes away and starting over without even wondering, “how can I salvage this?” And that’s a real waste because it robs the world of some of the most potent and practical creative impulses: ideas born of necessity, the great mother of invention.
What is a pâté de campagne except an inspired assemblage of odd bits? And those Crêpes Suzette? They’re a brilliant accident that went onto a plate instead of into the trash after the sauce caught fire.
Mistakes happen – even in careful kitchens. It’s what you do next that counts.
The cooks and bakers at our sister, Flour Head Bakery, are a precise lot, but accidents happen to the best of us. Like the time when two different kinds of granola found themselves in the same mixing bowl. Not a great tragedy, I suppose, but it did mean there was a lot of unsalable granola hanging around. Fortunately, someone said cookies. And that’s how this recipe came to be.
It’s a hearty combination of some of our favorite things and, though I’m sure nobody felt good about mixing up all that granola, the mistake mixed with a little inspiration made for a pretty fabulous cookie. And that’s how to turn a kitchen frown, upside down – all without throwing anything away.
Flour Head Bakery’s Appalachian Trail Mix Cookies
1 stick Unsalted Butter, Soft
½ cup Granulated Sugar
½ cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 Large Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
2 cups All Purpose Flour
½ tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Clove
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
1.75 cups Flour Head Bakery Granola
1 cup Dried Cranberries
½ cup White Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of your stand mixer beat together butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg, followed by vanilla and beat until mixed.
Whisk together flour, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the granola, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips and mix until well mixed.
Drop the cookies by the spoonful or scoop out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand and bake for 12 minutes until the edges are light brown.
Cool cookies and serve.
Dough can be scooped and frozen for up to 4 weeks. Thaw and flatten before baking.
Makes 12- 24 cookies depending on size.