I made a delightful batch of oatmeal cookies yesterday. I started with the recipe in Simple Treats for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and changed it to make use of what I had onhand. Here are the changes I made:
subbed granulated sugar for maple syrup (you need to increase the liquid in your recipe if you do this)
subbed whole wheat pastry flour for barley flour
subbed dried currants for raisins
There were no earth shattering substitutions but if you're new to cooking or just rigid in your cooking technique, these changes may seem shocking. The trick is to look at the purpose of each ingredient.
The barley flour binds the cookie together, whole wheat pastry flour will do the same. But the recipe already calls for you to grind up some of the oatmeal into oat flour. Why not just use oat flour in place of the barley flour. The oat flour will not bind things together well. You'll wind up with a very crumbly cookie.
The maple syrup provides sweetness and liquid. Sugar can provide sweetness and soymilk (or other liquid of choice, even water) can make up for the lost liquid.
The raisins provide a texture and a sweetness. Currants can do the same. In fact lots of dried fruits would work in this recipe. Use what you like.
You can do this too! Find a recipe that you have most of the ingredients for and go for it. Tell me how it goes.
BTW, I've finally taken down the Cut the Crap banner, a mere 16 days after the challenge ended. Thanks to Chile for inspiring us all. We're still crap cutting around here but I think its just an integral part of our existance. Once people know you're frugal they tend to deposit their excess stuff with you. This is a mixed blessing. Stuff comes in and we need to make sure that stuff we can't use goes out. I guess that means I have to come to terms with the fact that no one wants to pay for the karate sparring gear that I put on craigslist. Off to the thrift store it must go.