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Chewy Gingersnap Cookies – gluten free, flourless & vegan

November 28, 2014

The chill in the air has arrived just in time for the beginning of December. The days are shorter and dark, sure, but the early and late afternoons are absolutely gorgeous and glistening. Winter sun is lovely – it’s cold outside but the sun sitting low in the sky makes everything glow at this time of year, making it especially great for taking photos. It’s hard to believe that next week is December 1st! Although I’m definitely guilty of putting up christmas decorations early this year – the tree went up almost two weeks ago, and slowly the other decorations are trickling out of the storage boxes and onto the shelves. 

I’ve been slowly compiling my list of beloved christmas recipes, both old and new, to bake for the holidays. There are definite favourites – the Nanaimo Bar Bites, Salted Almond Butter & Pretzel Cups,  Almond Butter Blossom Cookies,  Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bark, Chocolate Mint SablesChristmas ‘Crack’ and Pizzelles. However, this year I’ve found some new recipes that my tastebuds are eager to try. 

When I saw this recipe online I just knew I had to try it. Last year I baked Butter’s Gingerstamp Cookies, large chewy bakery style cookies, without the ‘snap.’ When I saw these, a gluten-free, vegan version I was skeptical at first. Can they really be just as good? Well, the empty cookie jar and my stomach can assure you they are every bit as delicious as the ‘real deal’ cookies. They have a crisp exterior, and a chewy met in your mouth centre. They flavour is perfect and with no butter, flour or sugar (besides molasses) they are much healthier than the regular version. 

That being said, they still quickly disappear just as quick as the original version. The recipe makes a batch of about 15, and it’s safe to say you will want to double, even triple the recipe for this holiday season. 

I was planning on having this recipe up earlier, however my server/site has been acting up and I cannot upload images. So, I hosted the images on another site and just linked them into the post so I could share this with you. 

Not only are these cookies delicious, the aroma of them makes the house smell like christmas.

Bring it on.

Chewy Gingersnap Cookies
Yields 15
A crispy and chewy spiced cookie without flour, added sugar, or butter.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
12 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/4 cup almond meal
  2. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  7. 2 tablespoons molasses
  8. 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add the almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and spices to a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
  3. Pour in the molasses and oil and mix together well.
  4. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to create small mounds of dough, roll in to a ball. Flatten slightly with a fork or palm of your hand.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned around the edges.
Notes
  1. These keep well on the counter in a container for one week, or freeze easily.
Adapted from The Iron You - paleo gingerbread cookies
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/

Cookies

Pumpkin Biscotti

October 6, 2014

Back to school means back to working with 30 little funny, messy, sticky, gooey students. It also means that everyone gets sick – including the teacher. Being a substitute teacher I work at different schools, meaning I basically can never build up any immunity to the students because I’m usually in a different class each day. 

Last week, I was in one class for the majority of the week as their regular teacher was out sick, with strep throat. Luckily, it meant I got to work all week, unluckily it meant I was probably going to catch whatever cold she caught. And I did. Thursday night I felt it, the sore throat, achey ears congested cough. I quickly self-medicated myself and loaded up on vitamin-c. After school friday I curled up on the couch and didn’t move for most of the night – hello 9 pm bedtime. all. weekend. long.

Thankfully Adam was home this week and went out to get feel-better sushi Friday, because sushi is totally a meal you should eat when sick. Saturday was spent home for the most part, aside from a quick drive down the road to the park to walk the dog – i couldn’t go all weekend without enjoying the lovely sunshine. Sunday we had a pre-thanksgiving dinner with Adam’s family, since most of them are away next week visiting family back east.

My brother and his girlfriend are also away, currently travelling around Italy with my Nonna for the next 3 weeks probably eating cheese, salami, pasta and biscotti to their hearts content before returning home.I went to Europe 2 years ago and I am already dreaming about our honeymoon (hopefully going back to Europe) in 2016 (so. far. away) Since I can’t go to italy, I thought I’d make some biscotti. Biscotti means ‘twice baked,’ because you bake these cookies twice. Once, in a long dough log, then you slice and bake again to get crisp authentic biscotti. These cookies are great on their own, or even better dipped in coffee or espresso. (side note, this espresso cup is like super tiny, the handle can hold like your thump, but looks massive in these pictures – so deceiving)

Pumpkin Biscotti // bakeaholic.ca

Adam had to tease me, since I don’t drink coffee (i know, i’m like not grown up enough yet to enjoy its dark caffeinated substance) however, I let him know that “i’ll drink anything if I can dunk a cookie into it” – and I will. Biscotti being one of them. Its dry, almost stale crunch is the perfect partner for a glass of hot coffee, or even tea. 

I’m not sure you’d find ‘pumpkin biscotti’ anywhere in Italy, and I’m sure my Nonna would prefer the regular anise biscotti, but I love this version for Fall, apologies to my heritage. The cookies are great by themselves, and if you want to indulge go ahead and drizzle some chocolate on top. They also freeze well, make them ahead and take out for company. 

 

Biscotti might look daunting to make, but the cookies come together quickly and easily.

Pumpkin Biscotti
Yields 24
A twice-baked lightly spiced pumpkin cookie, perfect for dunking in coffee or espresso.
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Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 cup of sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  5. big dash of cinnamon
  6. dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  7. dash of ginger
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
  10. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Sift together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet pumpkin mixture into the dry flour mixture.
  5. Using a spatula, stir toy incorporate the ingredients, the dough will be loose and crumbly.
  6. On a clean floured surface, lightly knead the dough for a minute or two, until a slightly-elastic dough forms.
  7. On a lined baking sheet, form the dough into a large log, about 15-20 inches long by 3-5 inches wide. The loaves should be somewhat flat, only about 1/2 inch high. You can cut the dough in half, and bake the two side by side on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
  9. Transfer to wire rack and let biscotti cool for 5 minutes.
  10. Carefully transfer to a cutting bird, and with a serrated knife slice at a 45° angle about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.
  11. Return the slices back to the baking sheet face up, and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
  12. Cool completely, you want the cookies to be crisp. You can keep them on the counter overnight to dry further.
Notes
  1. Alternatively, you can use pumpkin pie spice. You can top the biscotti with almond slices before baking, if you like.
  2. To drizzle with chocolate, melt dark chocolate with a tsp. of coconut oil, stir and pipe or drizzle on top. Allow to harden on counter or in fridge.
Adapted from Nonna's Recipe
Adapted from Nonna's Recipe
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/

 

 

 

Cookies

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 12, 2014

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Wedding planning has commenced and is in full force the past couple of weeks after a brief pinterest hiatus. I’ve been making appointments to see photographers, organizing things into binders to keep track of paperwork and ideas, and I’ve even visited my first bridal gallery to see what type of dress style I like. I’m pretty excited to make appointments in the coming months to actually try on dresses – and ‘say yes to the dress’ 

The biggest decision has already been made, and that’s booking the venue. The location was something I had actually not wanted or considered from the beginning, saying I did not want to have my wedding there. However, I absolutely loved it. It has a feel like being in Whistler, but staying within the city. We had though about venturing out to a ‘destination-like’ wedding in the Okanagan but few places could hold the abundance that is Adam and I’s large family. The numbers are rolling in for the save-the-dates that I have to mail out at the end of the month and It’s definitely up there. I knew it would probably be a large wedding, but naively thought we could keep the numbers at bay. As of right now the number is up to 160… (sorry Adam) :)

I guess we’ll have to wait and see next year what the actual count will be!

The next big thing is the ceremony location. While I’m not a ‘practicing catholic’ I would love to have a church wedding, and I did attend Catholic school when I grew up. I love the idea of a church wedding and hope that we can get this happening as well. Which means I’m going to start going to church more often with my Nonna. The church also reminds me of my dad. There was a lot of memories with him at that church, midnight mass on christmas, easter egg hunts in front of the church, my first communion, where we said goodbye – and in a way I’ll feel like he’s there with us on that day. 

It’s particularly hard to plan a wedding when the groom-to-be works out of town for 2/3 of the time, home only for a week out of every 3. But, we’ll make it work. 

Another big thing is sticking to the budget. When we first got engaged we drafted up a budget  with the approximate values we wanted to spend on things. It’s easy to see how quickly things add up that you never even thought about – and how everything with the word “wedding” in front of it makes the price double (wedding flowers, wedding photographer, wedding decor, wedding shoes, wedding makeup and hair..) 

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For now, I’m going to try and focus on the big things, and worry about the small decisions next year when we’re a little closer. It’s easy to get sucked into the world of wedding planning on Pinterest. One of my dilemmas right now is flowers – i have horrible allergies and will probably need some fake florals in my bouquet, however sourcing them out is difficult. 

When it’s all said and done, I can sit back and relax with a good ol’ chocolate chip cookie. I actually made these for my good friends Bachelorette weekend away last month. I used pastry flour in the dough and it made them extra buttery, almost like a shortbread/pastry cookie that melts in your mouth. I threw on some pretzels to give it that sweet & salty taste. 

These are definitely not healthy cookies. However, I figure a bachelorette weekend calls for a little indulgence. 

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 + 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup Pastry Flour
  3. 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  6. 1 light brown sugar
  7. 1 cup granulated sugar
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (natural, not artificial)
  10. Good quality dark chocolate, cut into chunks.
  11. Sea salt
  12. mini pretzels (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. Whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. 2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just barely combined. Don’t overmix. Mix in chocolate. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 12-36 hours (you can skip this part, cookies will have different consistency)
  3. 3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  4. 4. Using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, create golf-ball sized balls and place onto baking sheet. Sprinkle raw dough lightly with salt and bake until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes. You can also press a small mini-pretzel onto the top before baking.
  5. 5. Let cookies cool, then remove and cool on rack.
Notes
  1. Can freeze, allow to that slightly and scoop out. Increase baking time accordingly.
Adapted from NY Times Cookies - Jacques Torres
Adapted from NY Times Cookies - Jacques Torres
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/