Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:holiday-baking

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • i cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar

Directions:

Beat butter, oil, and sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Add egg, molasses and vinegar, beat until combined. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and the dough becomes more firm. (at least 2 hrs or overnight). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough portions one at a time on a floured surface and use cookie cutters to create shapes. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 min.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted organic butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • Parchment paper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a mixer beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Berry Brown Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Directions:
In a medium nonstick saucepan, bring the rice, milk and cranberries to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, until the cranberries are softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon. Cool 30 minutes. Serve warm, or refrigerate, covered, until chilled at least 2 hours.

Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour + a few tablespoons
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the middle of oven. Combine all dry ingredients (excluding cranberries) in a medium bowl. Combine all wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together to form cookie batter. Gently fold the cranberries into the batter. Drop a spoonful of batter onto the cookie sheet and decorate the tops with extra cranberries or nuts if desired. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Cool on racks.

Honey Carrot Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 cups sifted whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups grated carrots

Directions

  1. Cream together butter and honey. Add eggs and apple sauce and beat well. Blend in vanilla, and lemon extracts.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to creamed mixture, and mix well. Stir in carrots.
  3. Drop by teaspoon on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 minutes and cool on racks.

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Low Sodium Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all natural peanut butter (no salt added)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Cream peanut butter and butter. Slowly add white and brown sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, oil and egg. Beat well. Sift together flour and baking powder. Blend into peanut butter mixture. Scoop onto cookie sheet. Flatten with fork in cross-cross pattern. Bake about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool slightly on cookie sheet, then remove and let cool completely.

Coconut Pineapple Delights

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups canned crushed pineapple, slightly drained
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Dough:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 6 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted cold butter
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tso vanilla extract

Directions:

Filling: Cook pineapple, honey and cornstarch over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened (about 3 min). Let cool.

Dough: Using a food processor, finely grind the almonds before adding the confectioners’ sugar whole-wheat pastry flour, and all-purpose flour. Process the mixture well after each addition. Drop butter by the tablespoon through the feed tube on your food processor, processing briefly after each addition. Add oil and pulse once or twice. Add coconut, cornstarch, salt and vanilla and process just until the mixture resembles crumbly, fine meal, but will hold together if pressed. Reserve a scant 1/2 cup of tart dough to use as crumbled topping.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line mini muffin pans with 20 paper cups. Drop a scant tablespoon of dough into each paper cup. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the cup, making a well in the center, to form a miniature crust. Spoon 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of the pineapple filling into each crust and top each with some of the reserved crumbs. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the crust is cooked through (watch carefully toward the end and move the pan to the bottom rack if the top begins to brown before the bottom crust is done), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pans.

Natural Colored Sugar

Instead of buying sprinkles or frosting made with artificial colors, try making your own colored sugar out of these natural alternatives.

Ingredients:

  • White sugar
  • Beet Juice (pink)
  • Juice from soaking black beans overnight (lavender)
  • Turmeric (yellow/orange)

Directions:

In a small food processor, combine 1 cup of sugar and a few drops of the juice. Pulse several times. Add more coloring until the desired color has been achieved. The sugar will be slightly wet, so spread it out to dry for about ten minutes before using. Sprinkle on cookies and enjoy!

Berry-Almond Quick Bread

This wholesome quick-bread recipe is just what you need; whatever berries you have on hand go into a versatile, whole-grain buttermilk batter that can be baked into muffins, loaves or even doughnutlike mini Bundts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Note) or whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp of applesauce (oil substitute)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries, (whole blackberries, blueberries, raspberries; diced strawberries)
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted sliced almonds, (see Tip), plus more for topping if desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F for muffins, mini loaves and mini Bundts or 375°F for a large loaf. (See pan options, above.) Coat pan(s) with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, brown sugar, butter, oil, vanilla and almond extract in another large bowl until well combined.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Add berries and almonds. Stir just to combine; do not over mix. Transfer batter to the prepared pan(s). Top with additional almonds, if desired.
  5. Bake until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes for muffins or mini Bundts, 35 minutes for mini loaves, 1 hour 10 minutes for a large loaf. Let cool in the pan(s) for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Let muffins and mini Bundts cool for 5 minutes more, mini loaves for 30 minutes, large loaves for 40 minutes

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Store, individually wrapped, at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Equipment: Pan options: 1 large loaf (9-by-5-inch pan); 3 mini loaves (6-by-3-inch pan, 2-cup capacity); 6 mini Bundt cakes (6-cup mini Bundt pan, scant 1-cup capacity per cake); 12 muffins (standard 12-cup, 2 1/2-inch muffin pan)
  • Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Find it in the baking section of the supermarket or online at King Arthur Flour, http://www.kingarthurflour.com/flours/.
  • Tips: No buttermilk? Mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice into 1 cup milk.
  • To toast sliced almonds: cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.