Archive for the 'Cookies' Category



What’s Black & White & Striped All Over?

I’m done with my finals! And all of my student teaching. It was incredibly sad yesterday to say goodbye to all my five-year old students. I was choking back tears all day as they made me the most lovely and thoughtful gifts, and gave me hugs and asked why I have to leave them – Next semester I’ll be student teaching in a third grade class at a different school, which they don’t understand. One child said to me “But we have third grade here!” and another sweet girl told me with a completely straight face that I must be so smart because they’re sending me to third grade straight after Kindergarten. That was pretty classic and sort of made my heart melt.

I was sad to leave my students, but I’m excited about having a little time off right now! I’m going to spend it mostly outside, taking hikes and bike rides, going to yoga, sleeping, having fun with friends, and of course baking. And, of course, updating my blog! Now I will have time to post recipes for all the cookies I’ve been baking!

These cookies take some preparation time, so be aware of what you’re getting into when you begin! It’s not much labor but a lot of freezing/hardening time in between each step. They are worth the effort though, because they look very fancy, and are incredibly tasty. I’ve seen variations of them in many holiday cookie books. In fact, my mother likes to make a checkerboard version that is ultimately exactly the same, just a different way to roll and slice the cookies. The Almond Dough is easy to adapt to your favorite flavor; you can take out the almond extract and add extra vanilla instead to have a very traditional cookie. One of my mother’s popular choices was to add orange rind into the dough to make a chocolate-orange combo, and I’m sure adding mint extract would be delightful. No matter what flavors you use, or shapes you create, these are perfect gift-giving cookies, since they are easy to stack and wrap, and they keep pretty well when in a covered container or wrapped tightly in plastic.

Almond Dough Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer, blended with 2 Tblsp. warm water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 Tblsp. ice water

Chocolate Dough Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4  cup Earth Balance, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer, blended with 2 Tblsp. warm water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tblsp. ice water

To prepare the Almond Dough, lightly spoon 1 1/4 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup Earth Balance, and blended Egg Replacer in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons ice water over surface of dough; beat just until moist. (Dough will be slightly crumbly.) Press dough into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover and chill 1 hour or until firm.

To prepare the Chocolate Dough, lightly spoon 1 cup flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 3/4 cup flour and cocoa, stirring well with a whisk. Place 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup Earth Balance, and Egg Replacer in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually add cocoa mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons ice water over surface of dough; beat just until moist. Press dough into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover and chill 1 hour or until firm.

Prepare a piece of parchment paper over your rolling surface. Unwrap and place chilled Almond Dough on the paper. Cover dough with and additional sheet of parchment paper. Roll dough, still covered, into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Place dough in freezer 5 minutes or until plastic wrap can easily be removed. Remove top sheets of parchment paper.

Prepare another piece of parchment paper over your rolling surface. Unwrap and place chilled Chocolate Dough on the paper. Cover dough with an additional sheet of parchment. Roll dough, still covered, into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Place dough in freezer 5 minutes or until paper can easily be removed. Remove top sheets of parchment paper.

Place Almond Dough on top of Chocolate Dough, paper side up. Remove paper from Almond Dough; turn dough over onto a lightly floured surface. Remove plastic wrap from Chocolate Dough. (***To make Spirals, see directions below. If you want to make Stripes, continue reading here***). Cut dough stack in half crosswise to form 2 (8 x 6-inch) rectangles. Stack one rectangle on top of the other, alternating Almond and Chocolate Doughs; wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze 10 minutes or until firm and plastic wrap can easily be removed.

Cut the dough crosswise into 6 (6 x 1 1/3-inch) strips. Stack 2 strips on top of each other to form a stack, alternating Almond and Chocolate to form a striped pattern; wrap in plastic wrap, pressing gently. Repeat procedure with remaining 4 strips to form 2 stacks (there will be 3 stacks total). Chill 30 minutes or until very firm.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Working with 1 stack at a time, unwrap dough. Carefully slice each stack into 12 slices. Place dough slices 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

***If you want to make Spirals:
Roll your double-layer of dough in a tight spiral shape, starting from the long (12-inch) side. When you have rolled your dough, press down lightly on the edge so that it sticks. Cut your log in half, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes or until very firm. Preheat oven to 375° and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice your logs in 1/4-inch slices, and place each slice 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Hazelnut Shortbread

A few months ago, I made a Nutella Cake for my friend Becca’s birthday. I also made her Hazelnut Nutella Sandwich Cookies that I decorated the cake with, and that she could give out to friends to celebrate. I posted the recipe for the cake, but never for the cookies! Very bad blogging behavior. I’ve been getting a few requests for this cookie recipe, and I decided it was about time I responded, just in time for holiday festivity baking. This is a pretty standard shortbread dough, with ground hazelnuts mixed into the batter. You can eat them plain, dip them in dark chocolate, or sandwich them with whatever your favorite spread is – I used a vegan nutella that I had, but any chocolate, vanilla, or even fruit spread would pair well. Enjoy!

Hazelnut Shortbread Ingredients:

2/3 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped or ground*

*I often put my nuts in the food processor, and grind until they are nearly a flour – but not so much that they turn into paste/butter-like consistency.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.
Combine Earth Balance and sugar in a large bowl. Cream the mixture together until light and fluffy.
Add 2 1/4 cups of the flour and mix until blended. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup flour by the tablespoonful as needed to make a smooth dough.
Stir in the hazelnuts until incorporated.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Pat it into an oblong shape, then roll it out with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of 1/2 inch.
Using a knife, cut the dough into 2 1/2-in squares, or use whatever cookie cutter shape you want!
Using a lightly floured metal spatula, lift the cookies and slide them off onto the prepared pans, placing them at least 1 inch apart.
Bake on the 2 middle racks of the oven for 15 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cookies are light golden brown.
Let cool completely on the baking sheets, set on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

The Finals Crunch, Sweetened with Agave

The end of the semester somehow snuck up on me (can you believe it? It’s already December! The first night of Hanukah is tonight!) and I’m in the midst of the finals crunch at school. I have so much work it seems unbelievable, and of course this cold, rainy weather is tempting me every minute to drop my work and just cozy up and bake cookies! There’s nothing I want more than a comforting, healthy, sweet snack to eat with tea or coffee while I study and write final papers, so I took the plunge and started baking with these simple delicious treats. Of course, I got seriously distracted, and completely caught up in the pre-holiday baking whirlwind, and made a dozen or so other truly sinful sweets. Unfortunately my papers won’t seem to write themselves, as much as I hope that will magically happen overnight, so I’m going to have to wait a few days to post the photos and recipes till I actually write more and can cross things off my finals to-do list. Most of the other cookies are intensely rich and buttery, with dark chocolate, rum, sugared ginger, and icing – just what you’d expect (and want!) from holiday baking sessions. Please check back soon to see these exciting morsels! But for now, I hope you enjoy these healthier cookies which are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, protein-packed, chewy delights.

Apricot Almond Quinoa Chews

Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond milk
2 Tblsp. ground flax seeds
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3-1/2 cup dark agave, depending how sweet you want the cookies to be
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 Tblsp. arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup quick-cooking quinoa flakes
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
Additional chopped almonds and apricots for decorating cookies

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mizing bowl, whisk together the almond milk and flax seeds and let sit for 1 minute.
Then, stir in the agave and vanilla until smooth.
Sift in the quinoa flour, brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, and salt.
Mix to form a thick batter, then fold in the quinoa flakes, apricots, and almonds.
For each cookie, scoop 1 rounded tablespoon of dough onto the baking sheet, keeping the cookies about 2 inches apart.
Sprinkle the cookie tops with a few chopped almonds and apricots, and flatten the tops with the back of a measuring cup.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and just starting to brown on the edges.
Remove the cookies form the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
Transfer them to wire racks to cool completely and store in a tightly covered container.
These cookies are best eaten the day they are made.

Trying-to-Be-Sonja’s Chewy Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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One of my friends (and now classmates!), Sasha, had a birthday yesterday! Since we had a long day of student teaching and then classes of our own, I knew she was going to need some treats to keep the day fun. One of her favorite cookie recipes is the Post Punk Kitchen’s Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies, and one of my favorite kinds of cookies is my friend Sonja’s Mint Chocolate Cookies, so I decided to meld the two together and create Chewy Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. I used the PPK’s recipe (which is simple and quick!), and instead of 2 teaspoons of vanilla I used only 1 teaspoon vanilla and added 1 1/2 teaspoons of mint extract to the batter. The cookies are dark and chewy just as promised, with a strong hit of mint. They are not quite as thick as Sonja’s cookies but to my memory, they taste just as good. Mmm. They were eaten with gusto by many of our classmates and professors, and I got a big grin and hug from Sasha – which was definitely the biggest incentive for making them!

Happy Birthday With a Kick!

This birthday treat was going to be a surprise for my little brother (who, I have to admit, is not so little anymore), but I decided to let the cat out of the bag early by way of this post. My parents are visiting him this weekend, so I’m entrusting them to deliver the goodies…Jesse, if you read this, I’m sorry I didn’t get to spend your birthday with you, but I hope these cookies make up for it, till I see you next. And, I know they’re reaching you nearly a week after your birthday, but they come in good hands! I hope you enjoy them.

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I got this Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodle recipe from Isa and Terri at The Post Punk Kitchen. It’s a preview recipe from their upcoming cookie cookbook which I am eagerly looking forward to seeing/baking from/tasting when it comes out in November. I didn’t have any canola oil in the house (oops!) so I substituted softened Earth Balance margarine instead. I also used only half the amount of cayenne, because I was opening a new package of it and wasn’t sure how intensely spicy it would be – I think next time I can use the full amount, the spicy kick is great. These cookies are deliciously chocolaty, thanks to the chocolate extract, and have a great crunchy exterior and melt-in-your-mouth chewy middle. The added spiciness will hopefully help dissuade my parents from eating them all on the airplane ride before the cookies reach my brother.

Rugelach

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My grandmother used to make the best Rugelach; growing up, I remember visiting her once or twice a year, and the sweet cinnamon smell of the cookies would fill my senses. My dad remembers her baking them all the time when he was growing up as well. She would make them in different shapes, sometimes in the horn shape (of which Rugelach gets it’s name from), or sometimes she would roll the dough into one long log and then slice it into bite-sized pieces, like mini-cinnamon rolls. My dad also remembers her baking it in the log shape and then eating it that way, in one long cookie roll! That must have been the ultimate treat for a kid! Whatever shape you want to make them in is fine, although if you make the long roll you will have to adjust the baking time. I chose to make mine into the horn shape, which is the most labor-intensive but I find it to be the most aesthetically appealing.

The more traditionally filling is cinnamon-sugar with raisins and walnuts mixed in, so I made half of my cookies that way. But because I’m a chocolate-fiend, I filled the other half of the dough with chocolate! If you want to make a batch that is all chocolate, or all cinnamon-sugar, simply double the amount of filling ingredients listed and forget about the other type of filling ingredients.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup Earth Balance margarine, cold
8 oz. (1 package) Tofutti vegan cream cheese
1/3 cup vegan sour cream

For Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
1/2 cup finely ground walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins, chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. cinnamon
1/8 cup Earth Balance margarine, melted

For Chocolate Topping:
1 cup finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1/8 cup Earth Balance margarine, melted

Combine and mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl or in a food processor. Add the sour cream to the flour. Cut the Earth Balance and cream cheese into small pieces and cut them into the flour using a pastry cutter, or pulse with the food processor. Your dough will be creamy and a little gooey. Divide the dough into 4 equal balls, and gently flatten each into a disk shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate the disks for 2 hours.

While the dough is chilling, you can prepare the fillings. In one small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and golden raisins. Set aside until your dough is chilled. You can set aside your finely chopped chocolate as well.

Once the dough is ready, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Pull out the disks of dough one at a time as you’re ready to roll it (in order to keep the dough cold and easier to work with). The dough is a little sticky, so be sure to lightly flour your work surface as well as your rolling pin. My dough was particularly soft and creamy and therefore sticky, so I placed my disk of dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and rolled over it that way. Roll each disk into a 9-inch circle.

Brush a thin layer of the melted Earth Balance on top of each disk. Evenly divide and spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture on two of the four disks, and sprinkle the chocolate pieces over the other two. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut each disk into 12 evenly sized triangular wedges. Gently pull out individual wedges and roll the dough from the widest edge towards the pointed end, so that the pointed end is on the outside. Place cookies on the prepared pans, with the triangle points stuck gently under the cookie, so that they don’t unroll during baking. Brush a bit of extra melted Earth Balance on the tops of each cookie roll. Put pans in the center racks of your oven.

Bake the rugelach for 22-23 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

Vegan Nutella Cake and Hazelnut Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

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For Becca’s birthday I made her something that I knew she would love. I’ve been planning it for awhile, knowing that her birthday coincided with her first day of classes (she’s starting school to become an American Sign Language interpreter!). She wanted me to make her something that she could take with her, to celebrate her birthday with her new classmates. Since she has to commute, she needed something easy to pack and carry, so it was easy to decide to make sandwich cookies. But, you can’t have a birthday without a birthday cake, and I made her a cake to match her cookies. I know that Becca loves nuts, especially hazelnuts, so that had to be included in the recipes. The cake I made had three layers of Vanilla Sponge Cake, with a rich Hazelnut Creme in between each layer. Mmm. And then the whole cake was smothered in vegan Nutella Buttercream Frosting.

I sandwiched together the Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies with a dark vegan Nutella cream in the middle. Because she’s studying ASL, I made them in the shape of hands! Aren’t they cute? I put some of them around the outside of her cake for extra decoration, and to unify the two birthday desserts.

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I’ve had a request for the Nutella Cake recipe, so I’m going to do my best to post it here. Unfortunately, the vegan nutella itself was not homemade, so I can’t share a brilliant recipe for that with you. In Holland, they have vegan nutella (not the brand name variety) stocked in all grocery stores. When I went there this summer, I couldn’t resist bringing back a few jars with me. I’ve already nearly run out – I wish I could just go back and get some more but the fact that I just started graduate school means that I just don’t have the time (or the money, let’s be honest). If you don’t have the luck to have been in Holland recently, you can find a recipe for vegan nutella here, it looks delicious!

The cake itself was a vanilla Sponge Cake from Hannah Kaminsky‘s cookbook My Sweet Vegan.* She uses it as a base for her Green Tea Tiramisu. I just doubled the recipe for cake batter and baked it in three 9-inch round pans. It is a delicious recipe; a dense (but not heavy) golden cake that certainly holds it’s own –  it’s sweet and bright flavor makes it easy to adapt since it pretty much supports any flavor you want it to. I’d say it actually brings out more complex flavors in whatever you combine it with. It would be great with a light fruit sauce or jam spread on it, but since this was going to be a birthday cake, I had to make it rich! I made a Hazelnut Creme to go in between the layers, and then made a more traditional vegan Buttercream that I then added the vegan nutella to. The recipes for the spreads are below. If you can’t find hazelnut butter in your grocery store, you can buy regular hazelnuts or filburts and roast them in your oven till they are lightly toasted. Grind them in a food processor until they reach a smooth peanut butter consistency.

*If you don’t have Hannah’s cookbook, you could use your favorite golden vanilla cake recipe and it would be just fine. And I stress just fine. Your cake will still be delicious and hazelnutty and totally satisfying! But, if you want a drop-dead-perfect birthday-celebratory cake, go out and buy Hannah’s cookbook because this cake is GREAT and so is the whole book! You’ll be finding excuses to bake her desserts all the time!

Hazelnut Creme Ingredients:
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 cup hazelnut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Tblsp. plain unsweetened almond milk (or a little more)

Cream Earth Balance with electric beaters in a medium sized bowl. Add the hazelnut butter and combine thoroughly. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar, beating in between additions until fluffy. Add the almond milk very slowly while continuing to beat with electric beaters, until creme has reached a spreadable consistency.

Vegan Nutella Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1/4 cup vegan shortening (I use Earth Balance brand)
3/4-1 cup vegan nutella/chocolate-hazelnut spread (to taste)
1 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 Tblsp. plain unsweetened almond milk

Cream Earth Balance and shortening with electric beaters in a medium sized bowl. Add the nutella and continue beating. Add the confectioner’s sugar and flour, and beat until fluffy. Add the almond milk and combine thoroughly. Spread on top of cooled stacked cakes.

Hazelnut Shortbread on FoodistaHazelnut Shortbread

Gluten Free Agave-Sweetened Peanut Butter Cookies

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A lot of people in my life have been trying to cut down on the amount of processed sugars, wheat, and/or gluten in their diets. I’m always excited and interested in baking experiments, and want everyone to be able to have a treat, so I decided to bake some cookies that my friends could eat. I knew that one of them specifically loves peanut butter cookies, and another loves peanut butter in any form, so I decided that more peanut butter baking was the way to go. Usually when I bake gluten-free desserts, I use a mix of rice flour and almond meal, but having neither on hand, I had to get creative. I made a mix of gluten-free flours that was very nutty, and was a little worried that the cookies would turn out too heavy and dense. I used coconut flour and quinoa flour (both protein packed!) and threw in some tapioca flour to lighten it up. In the end, I decided that the coconut flour really complimented the PB very well, so I’m glad I went with that. The cookies were not too heavy and they were chewy just the way a regular peanut butter cookie should be.

While coming up with the recipe, I realized that I’ve never actually baked using agave as my primary sweetener. I planned to use it this time, but when looking through my cupboards I happened to have some dried dates in the house, and had seen some recipes using date paste as a sweetener, so I decided to mix the two in this recipe. I think they gave the cookies a really nice natural flavor, yet they didn’t make them taste too “healthy”.

The cookies had a great reception (and they were even appreciated by friends who eat regular sugar- and wheat gluten-laden desserts! Some even said they couldn’t taste the difference).

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Ingredients:
*This recipe makes 2 dozen cookies

Wet Mix:
1/2 cup plain unsweetened applesauce
2 Tblsp. coconut oil, melted
1 cup unsweetened, natural, peanut butter (try to use a kind where the oil doesn’t separate out)
3/4 cup dried pitted dates
1/2 cup medium agave
1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer powder + 2 Tblsp. warm water, blended till frothy
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

Dry Mix:
1 1/3 cup coconut flour
1 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup quinoa flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your cookie pan with a silpat baking sheet.
Place about 3/4 cup dates in a bowl of boiling water, and set aside for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Set aside.
Pour out the hot water from the bowl of dates, and place dates in a blender along with about 1/3 cup of new water. Blend on high until it forms a paste (add a little more water if needed).
In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Pour into the dry mix and stir with a large wooden spoon. You may have to work the dough with your hands in order to fully combine all ingredients.
Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place the balls on your prepared pan 1-2 inches apart (these cookies will not spread).
Slightly flatten the dough with a fork in a cross-hatch pattern.
Bake 11-13 minutes. Let cookies sit on pan for 5 minutes to set, and then remove with a spatula and cool on wire racks.

Rustic Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches

I saw an amazing looking ice cream sandwich on the cover of this month’s Gourmet Magazine. The ice cream looks decadent and creamy, with a fruity blackberry sauce swirled into it; I was inspired. I wanted to create something different, but something that would still carry over into that creamy and sweet, yet mouth-puckering at the same time flavor combination. And with the added crunch of the cookie slabs on either side of the sandwich, I thought I would be in heaven! So many textures and tastes in each bite. Mmm!

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First, I created a lovely lemon ice cream. It was not too sour, and I used almond milk as it’s cream base so it had a nice creamy texture. My dad and stepmom recently went on vacation to Alaska, and they brought me back a lovely gift of Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup. The jar says it is great on pancakes but I decided that it would be even greater as an addition to this lemon ice cream. I swirled it in after I took the ice cream out of the ice cream maker, gently stirring so that it didn’t get completely combined, and you could still taste all the elements individually. Divine.

Although this ice cream certainly didn’t need to get any more complex, and was perfect on it’s own, I baked the same cookies as I had seen in Gourmet Magazine. I made a few adaptations in order to make them vegan, and was very happy with the result. They were pleasantly sweet, yet not overpoweringly so – they were a little like a butter cookie, and allowed you to taste the complex ice cream easily. I baked the cookies a bit longer than the recipe called for, so my cookies came out crispier, but it was such a nice crunchy outside to enjoy with the lemon ice cream softly sandwiched between.
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Lemon Raspberry-Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream Ingredients:
3 cups plain unsweetened almond milk, divided
2 Tblsp. arrowroot powder
1 cup sugar
1 Tblsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tblsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup Raspberry-Rhubarb Syrup (or other fruity syrup – you can even thin out a fruit jam or jelly by heating it over the stove and adding small amounts of water slowly and stirring well until you get a thin sauce-like consistency)

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup almond milk with arrowroot powder, and set aside.
Mix the remaining 2 3/4 cups of almond milk with the sugar in a saucepan and cook over low heat. Once this mixture begins to boil, remove from burner, and then immediately add the arrowroot cream – You want to make sure that the almond milk-sugar combination is not still boiling before adding the arrowroot, or this will make the arrowroot’s properties ineffective. It should cause the liquid to thicken noticeably.
At this point, add the vanilla extract.
Refridgerate mixture until chilled, approximately 2-3 hours, and then add your lemon juice and lemon zest. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. After being churned in your ice cream maker, pour the ice cream into a airtight container. At this point, place spoonfuls of the Raspberry-Rhubarb Sauce (or whatever type of fruity sauce you choose) on top of your lemon ice cream, and stir it gently in. You don’t want to fully combine it, just swirl it in. Close your container tightly, and place it in the freezer for a few hours until hardened. Eat it plain or make the Cookie Slabs (recipe below) and make into sandwiches!

Cookie Slab Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup Earth Balance margarine
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tblsp. ground flax seed, mixed well in a small bowl with 3 Tblsp. water, to form a jelly-like consistency
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12×17 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl. In another bowl, beat together Earth Balance and brown sugar, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the flax mixture, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing until just combined.
Spread batter on your prepared pan, and into a thin, even layer with an offset spatula.

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Bake until golden brown but still tender, 10-12 minutes. Cool completely on the pan, for about 30 minutes. The cookie will continue baking on the pan while cooling, so it will get slightly harder than when you took it out of the oven.
When completely cool, transfer cookies to a cutting board, and use a sharp knife to cut your cookie into even-sized pieces. I got 16 pieces out of mine.

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Place a 1/2 cup-sized scoop of ice cream onto half of your cookie pieces, and top with the remaining cookies. Squish slightly to flatten ice cream scoops, but be careful not to snap your cookies in half! Wrap individually with saran wrap, and place in freezer to harden.

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Lemon Ginger Sunshine Shortbread

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I had a young friend over at my house last night, and to keep him occupied, my mom and I baked some citrus cut-out cookies. Or, actually, it was to keep ourselves occupied, as Dylan was happy enough following the dog around the house and watering the flowers in the garden…In any case, there was lots of rolling and cookie-cutter-cutting to do, which was quite amusing to my 2 1/2 year old buddy. We made a huge mess (flour was “snowing” all over the counter, the floor, his hair, the dog…) but we had some amazing giggles and huge toothy smiles caught on camera so that was quite rewarding!IMG_0166

I believe that baking is inherited (see the “About Me” section of my blog for my own baking story), and since my grandmother measured things with “tea glasses” (who knows what size they were), when she bakes my mom therefore doesn’t measure things at all! So this recipe is a little approximated, since it is what I could piece together after the ingredients were all mixed together.

Ingredients:
6 oz. Earth Balance, cut into small pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 medium sized lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp. dried ground ginger
1 2-inch long piece of fresh ginger, finely grated

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and rub in the Earth Balance with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Stir in the superfine sugar, ground ginger, fresh ginger, and lemon juice, and bring the mixture together with your hands to make a smooth, firm dough.
On a lightly floured work counter, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/2 an inch. Stamp out sunflowers (or whatever shape you want) with a cookie cutter measuring about 1 1/2 inches across.
Arrange the cookie dough cut-outs on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-13 minutes, until the cookies are a light golden color.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Top with Lemon Icing, or sandwich together.

Lemon Icing:
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1-1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 medium sized lemon, juiced

Cream together the Earth Balance with the confectioner’s sugar, and when combined well and fluffy, add the lemon juice. You can add more sugar to reach your desired consistency.


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July 2020
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. Photos, Original Recipes & Text ©cookiesandcandids 2008-2010 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. If you repost any material from this blog, please give credit by including a link back to me. Thank you!