Tag Archives: cookies

almond jam thimbles

Here is n, but festive looking cookie that is not only delicious, but also relatively healthy. I know a lot of people are still settling into the new year with more whole grains, less refined sugar, and fewer animal products so I wanted to highlight a few recipes with those qualities in mind. Coconut oil is one of my favorite oils to cook with and is solid below body temperature, making it perfect to use as a butter substitute for baked goods. Jam thimbles or thumbprints are also a great way to showcase homemade jam! Instead of rolling these cookies in ground almonds, I think shredded coconut would also be tasty, but watch them so they do not burn in the oven. Also, if you use chocolate instead of jam in the centers, I won’t tell anyone.

Almond Jam Thimbles

Adapted from lottie+doof

1/3 c coconut oil or butter

1/2 cup applesauce. I used a quick homemade pearsauce.

1/2 cup sugar or sucanat or brown sugar

1 flax egg, 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water, mixed and let stand until thick

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp almond extract

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

pinch salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup almonds, ground until almost fine in a food processor or blender

about 1/4 cup jam of your choice. I used some of my blackberry apricot jam.

Preheat oven to 325 and grease a large cookie sheet.

Cream together coconut oil or butter and sugar. When creamy, add the applesauce. Beat until smooth. Add the flax egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until well incorporated. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until the dough comes together. Roll the dough into tablespoon size balls. Roll each ball in the milk and then in the ground almonds. Place on baking sheet. With the handle of a wooden spoon, make a same indentation in the center of each cookie and fill with a bit of jam. Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on a rack and enjoy!

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gingerbread whoopie pies

It is no secret that I love a good ginger dessert. Every year, I make batches and batches of different types of ginger cookies, ginger snaps, and gingerbread. Here is a great old fashion cookie that is soft, pillowy, and cake like. Perfect for whoopie pies! I remember seeing (and eating) whoopie pies growing up because we lived near Amish Country. The whoopie pie is having a a bit of a revival this year and I have been seeing them in more and more bakeries. And why not? They are just like two cupcake tops with some frosting squished in between. The traditional flavor is a chocolate cake with a vanilla, marshmallow-like filling. This is a great seasonal twist on the classic whoopie pie, gingerbread filled with cream cheese frosting. These were very well received at a Christmas party we attended last weekend, so make room for these on your holiday cookie tray.

Gingerbread Whoppie Pies

adapted from eat live run

Cake:

1/2 cup butter, soft. (You can potentially use 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup butter)

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup molasses (yes, 1 cup)

2 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 1 cup water

2 cup all purpose flour

2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Frosting:

4 tbsp butter, soft

1 package, 8 oz cream cheese or neufchatel cheese, soft

1 tsp vanilla

2 cup sifted powdered sugar

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 400. Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Once well creamed and fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time. Stream in the molasses and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, salt, and spices. Alternate the flour mixture with the hot soda water into the butter mixture. Drop by the tablespoonful on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. My oven runs a bit hot, so these got a bit too dark for my liking. Definitely keep an eye on these while they are in the oven. Cool completely before filling.

For the frosting:

Cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Gradually incorporate the powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy. Sandwich the frosting between two cookies and enjoy!

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ginger chocolate cookie ice cream sandwiches

last week, i ate my last mission burrito, avocado enchiladas, and breakfast tacos in houston and moved to seattle. luckily, this past weekend was picture perfect northwest summer weather and filled with a trip to gasworks park, ice cream bars, and guacamole. i am not sure what i will be doing with my life, but i hope to keep up with this little blog, get a patch at a community garden, and continue to cook delicious, (mostly) healthful food. and with the slow seattle spring, i get more of my favorite spring produce again. shaved asparagus salad, strawberries, and morels in cream will all be eaten soon.

one of the last things i made in houston were these ginger chocolate cookies from super natural everyday. i had to use up some unsweetened chocolate so they turned out to be not quite sweet enough, but perfect for ice cream sandwiches. i omitted the chopped apricots since i didn’t have them on hand and used sucanat instead of plain sugar. these are definitely grown up cookies with a spicy ginger kick and deep chocolate flavor.

and thoughts on super natural everyday? heidi swanson’s blog 101 cookbooks has long been one of my favorites and i adored her other cookbook super natural cooking. all of the recipes are full of whole grains, seasonal produce, and quirky little touches. the photography is beautiful and everything that i have made delicious.

ginger chocolate cookies

1/2 cup turbinado sugar (i wound up not using all of it)

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped very finely

2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed

1/4 cup molasses

2/3 cup sugar or sucanat

2 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger

1 egg, beaten

 

combine the turbinado sugar and chocolate in a small bowl. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt. heat the butter in a saucepan until just melted, stir in the molasses, sugar or sucanat, and fresh ginger. whisk in the egg (make sure the butter mixture is not super hot). add this to the flour mixture and stir until combined. chill for about 30 minutes.

preheat the oven to 350 and line/grease two baking sheets. scoop out the dough by tablespoon and roll in the chocolate and sugar mixture. place on the baking sheet and squash gently with the bottom of a glass and bake for 7 to 10 minutes.

fill with your favorite ice cream for ice cream sandwiches, which, in this case, was blue belle vanilla.

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strawberry oat bars

somehow it is now the beginning of may, the end of architecture school(!), and the middle of strawberry season. i made these over charrette week for some studio mates in need of some quick energy but wanted something a little more wholesome. these bars reminded everyone of granola, but in a good way. i made some quick strawberry-cranberry jam-like filling for these (based on the ingredients i had on hand) but i imagine that the fruit filling can change based on the season. an all cranberry and orange version would be a welcome change from all of the usual holiday cookies. a blackberry with lime filled cookie with good vanilla ice cream could be a great ending for a july evening supper. the original version of these bars come from the ever popular Baked cookbook and were titles “raspberry breakfast bars.” not sure if these would make a the most healthy breakfast, but they do contain fruit and oatmeal, at least.

thinking about berries always reminds me of those pacific northwest summers and buying half flats of delicious mixed berries (boysenberries, marionberries, and loganberries, oh my!) from my favorite farmers market stand and eating them while sitting on the curb until my fingers are stained bright purple. while i can’t wait to move and settle in seattle, houston will always hold a place in my heart. a tribute to the city of live oaks, expansive freeways, and all the tex-mex, viet, and indian food  you could want coming soon.

ps- these would be easy to make vegan by swapping out the butter for either earth balance or coconut oil.

strawberry oat bars

adapted from the baked cookbook, via smitten kitchen with some influences from oh she glows

crust and topping:

1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose)

1 1/2 c oatmeal (old fashion rolled oats or quick oats)

1/2 c sucanant or dark brown sugar

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

light grating of nutmeg

1/4 c maple syrup (grade b if you can find it)

1 stick plus 2 tbsp butter, chilled and cubed

fruit filling

1 pound strawberries, hulled if fresh. i used frozen strawberries and they worked well.(i also used a handful of frozen cranberries because i was sort on strawberries)

3 tbsp to 1/4 c brown sugar, depending on sweetness of berries

1 small lemon, juiced and zested

1 tbsp of cornstarch or arrowroot starch

preheat the oven to 350. grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

for the crust and topping:

combine flour, oatmeal, sucanant or brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. cut in the cold butter until loose crumbs form. stir in the maple syrup.* i may have also stirred in a tiny splash of milk at this stage also, but dont quite remember. if the dough looks too dry, add it. if not ignore this.

reserve about 1.5 cups of this mixture. press the rest of it into the greased pan. bake about 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

meanwhile, make the filling:

in a small saucepan, heat together the berries, zest, and sugar. cook until the berries begin to break down. stir together the cornstarch or arrowroot starch and the lemon juice and stir it into the berry mixture. bring to a boil and stir until thick. remov from heat and cool. you could also stir in a tbsp of butter here if you want a richer filling.

once the crust is baked, pour on the filling. sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture and sprinkle with some sesame seeds or crushed nuts, if desired. bake 35-40 minutes, rotating every 15 minutes until the filling is bubbly on the edges. cool and slice into bars.

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homemade (vegan!) samoa cookies

it is still girl scout cookie season here in houston and while i like to indulge once a year, i feel like the girl scouts still have nothing on a homemade cookie.  samoa or “caramel delites” (depending on where you are in the country) have always been my favorite due to the combination of coconut and chocolate.  you can take or leave the shortbread base, but the coconut and chocolate makes the cookie.  i also try not to look at the nutritional label or ingredient list of girl scout cookies.  making your own (and these are super easy) lets you control the quality of ingredients (65% dark chocolate and organic coconut).

next time i might add a tiny bit more flour to these so they are a bit more cookie-like instead of macaroon like and (if feeling especially indulgent) drizzle with a bit of salted caramel.  i like that this recipe uses coconut oil instead of butter to intensify the coconut flavor and uses toasted coconut (my most very favorite dessert type flavor in the world).  these cookies take about 10 minutes to mix up and 8 minutes to bake so you can on your way to girl scout cookie heaven in no time.

 

vegan samoa cookies

adapted from the baking stone

2 cups shredded UNSWEETENED coconut (i usually get it in the bulk bins at WF)

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted

1 cup brown sugar or sucanat or 1 1/2 cups if you like it sweeter

1/3 cup non dairy milk (i used soy, but i think you can use dairy milk)

1 tbsp ground flax (if you do not need these to be vegan, i think 1 egg can be used in place of flax)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt (generous)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (i used 65% dark chocolate)

1 tbsp coconut oil

preheat oven to 350.

in a large skillet over medium heat, toast the coconut.  watch it and stir frequently!  when it smells very delicious and golden remove from the pan. and cool slightly.

meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the coconut oil, sugar, milk, flax, and vanilla.  sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt.  fold in the toasted coconut.

drop tablespoons of dough on a well greased cookie sheet.  bake for 8-9 minutes or until the edges are just starting to get brown.  the cookie should be very soft when it comes out.  use the end of a spoon or chopstick to poke a hole in each cookie when it comes out.  cool for a few minutes of the sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.

when the cookies are cool, make the chocolate drizzle my melting together the chocolate chips and coconut oil.  i just used the microwave in 30 second bursts.  place the cookies of a rack over a sheet pan and drizzle with chocolate.  allow the chocolate to set (in fridge or other cool place) and feast!

 

 

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fig newtons

fig newtons are my favorite store bought cookie, especially for fueling long hikes and bike rides.  when i saw this recipe for homemade fig newtons, i (almost) immediately went out and purchased dried figs.  i wanted to use mission figs, but my small hometown grocery store only had the dried green calimyrna figs.  i also did not buy enough figs in my excitement and wound up using a mixture of 1/2 figs, 1/4 dates, and 1/4 prunes.  this worked out well because the dates naturally sweetened up the fruit filling and the prunes helped smooth out the mixture.

these are even better (as expected) than store bought.  i bake some cookies a bit crispier and liked the contrast between the soft filling and crunchier exterior.  and, with whole wheat flour, most definitely fits into your new year’s resolutions.

whole wheat fig newtons

adapted from eat live run who adapted it from the healdsburg downtown creamery (where you should definitely stop by for a snack if you are there)

cookie dough:

2.5 c whole wheat flour (i used the white whole wheat flour from king arthur)

3 oz butter, soft

1/2 c packed dark brown sugar

1 tbsp cream or milk

2 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp salt

filling:

1 cup dried figs, stems removed

1/2 cup dried dates, pit removed (i used medjool dates)

1/2 cup dried prunes

enough water to cover

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

for the dough:

cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  add the cream, then eggs one by one.  in another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt.  add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.  combine until a soft dough forms and lightly knead it together with your hands until a ball forms.  wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for a least 1.5 hours.  the whole wheat flour seems to make the dough easier to roll out.

meanwhile, make the filling.  place the dried fruit in a small saucepan and cover with just enough water and add the sugar.  bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or when everything is soft.  pour into a blender and puree until smooth.  let cool.

preheat the oven to 350.  when the dough is chilled, divide in half, flour the board, and roll each half into a large rectangle.  spread half of the filling and fold the edges towards the middle, slightly over lapping the long edges together over the middle.  cut into individual cookies.  transfer these to the baking sheet, brush with egg wash and dust with sugar.  bake for 15 or so minutes or until golden brown.

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(brown butter) spoon cookies

a long weekend is the perfect time to do a little baking.  i forget how much i enjoy baking things that require a little more work and patience than the usual oatmeal chocolate chip cookie or cornbread.  these little sandwich cookies filled the kitchen with the crazy wonderful scent of brown butter (buerre noisette!) and melted dark chocolate.  the dough for this recipe couldn’t be simpler and you don’t even have to dirty too many dishes!  it does take a little bit of time to shape the cookies in the bowl of a teaspoon and carefully slide them out onto a baking sheet, but aren’t these spoon cookies or the person you are making them for worth just a little bit more effort?

for more in depth instructions on making brown butter, look here.  also, when i have a dinner party, you can pretty much count on seeing this.

spoon cookies

pretty much perfect from gourmet

the original recipe calls for sandwiching jam in between cookies, but i filled half of them with melted dark chocolate and they were very well received. the texture of these cookies are pretty sandy shortbread-like but if you wait a couple of days, the cookies develop more flavor and become a bit moister.

2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt, slightly rounded
fruit preserves (i used blackberry but i think raspberry would be better) or enough melted dark chocolate to fill

in a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  it will start to foam a bit and then slowly start turning brown and smelling nutty.  keep an eye on it; it will take about 10 minutes.  let the butter cool for a bit, stirring.  add the sugar and vanilla.  in another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  stir the flour mixture into the brown butter until it starts to form a ball.  cover and rest for 1 to 2 hours to let the flavors develop.

preheat oven to 325.  find a deep teaspoon.  i think the old fashion spoons work better than new spoons.  carefully fill the bowl of the spoon with a small amount of dough and slide off onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  the dough is pretty crumbly but will hold together when pressed.  bake the cookies for about 10-15 minutes or until pale golden.  cool on the sheet for a couple minutes and then transfer the cookies from the sheet to a rack and cook completely.  repeat.  i wound up with about 50 cookies total.  while the cookies are cooling, heat the fruit preserves and strain out any seeds in needed and cool.

when you are ready to assemble, spread a layer of jam or melted chocolate on the flat side of a cookie and sandwich with the flat side of another cookie. repeat until done.  let them set on a rack and them store in an airtight container for a couple of days before eating (if you can resist!)

note:

i wrapped each cookie like a piece of salt water taffy in some waxed paper because i was shipping them and didn’t want any breakage or crumbling.  the cookies were very well received.

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