Christmas Sugar Cookies

For the Christmas season, sugar cookies are one of the most popular desserts to bake. This recipe was one my grandma used to make; it is slightly different from other sugar cookies because it uses powdered sugar, anise, and baking soda. It has a perfect texture, and the dough has perfect consistency for rolling out on a floured surface. Enjoy!

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Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe   – – – –    PRINT

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Almond & Fruit Cupcakes

These Almond & Fruit Cupcakes are simple and fast to make, happen to be gluten-free, and hold very little sugar. This makes them quite versatile, and can be served primarily at breakfast, lunch, eaten even as an after-dinner light dessert, or just snacked on whenever (in moderation).

Enjoy with a topping of your favorite fruit jam.

 

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I based this recipe off of the New York Times Food recipe for ‘Mini Almond Cakes’ which I really enjoyed but wanted to make my own recipe, and make it a little differently. I added egg yolks in addition to the usual fluffy egg white–but not before also fluffing the egg yolks with some confectioners sugar.

The cool thing about these Almond cupcakes is that they are automatically gluten-free, as they use almond meal instead of flour. They also do not use a ton of sugar and taste light, and go especially well with the sweeter fruit jam on the top. Enjoy!


 

Almond & Fruit Cupcakes Recipe   –   –   –   –   –   PRINT

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Apple Blueberry Crisp

Blueberries added with apples make a great twist on the classic apple crisp.

If you want the recipe to make more, then increase the amount of apples and blueberries, and put it in a 9×13 dish instead of the smaller pan.

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Ingredients:

Topping

⅔ cups flour

½ cup oats

⅔ cup brown sugar

¾ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup cold unsalted butter

Filling

4 apples

3 cups blueberries

1 teaspoon cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ cup flour

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons melted butter

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons milk

DIRECTIONS:

Mix together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor, or bowl. Add in chunks of cold butter and process or manually cut in the butter until it is small crumbs. Set in fridge until needed.

For filling, core, cut, and peel apples, and put them a large bowl. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, melted butter, lemon juice, sugars, milk, salt, and vanilla in a small bowl until combined. Pour mixture over apples, and toss to coat completely.

Place apple mixture in an 8×12 pan, and sprinkle all of the crumb topping over it, evenly, until completely covered.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes until mixture is bubbling, and topping is brown.

If you are serving this recipe to more than 6 people, then add 3 more apples to the mixture, and increase the amount of blueberries, and then put the mixture into a 9×13 pan. Bake longer than usual.

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Christmas Spritz Sugar Cookies

These are really cool little sugar cookies that you can give as Christmas gifts to friends and family.

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Ingredients:

(makes 6 dozen mini cookies)

12 tablespoons butter, softened

⅓ cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

1 large egg

½ tsp. vanilla

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 ¾ all purpose flour

¼ whole wheat flour

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whip butter with salt and sugar until creamy.

Add vanilla, egg, almond extract and mix until combined.

Add flours (whole wheat & all purpose) and stir until combined.

Option no. 1: You can roll out the dough and cut out the cookies with cookie cutters.

Or Option no. 2: You can do it the ‘Spritz’ way and use a cookie press (I used OXO cookie press) and press cookies. Place/Press cookies onto ungreased baking sheet or silicone mat on baking sheet.

Add sprinkles if you want to make it look pretty.

Bake for about 8 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.

Cool before serving. Makes 6 dozen small spritz cookies.


Overnight Soaked Flour Sandwich Bread

This Soaked Flour Sandwich bread is healthier than regular bread, in that the flour soaks overnight before baking. This has numerous health benefits, even though it is time consuming. But even though it is ‘time consuming,’ you don’t have to spend a relatively long amount of time in the kitchen; and you can eat healthier. The time is worth it.

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Sally Fallon, author of the book “Nourishing Traditions” explains some of the reasons why soaking your flour before baking is healthier:

-activates the enzyme phytase, which breaks down phytic acid (phytic acid inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc)

-provides lactic acid and lactobacilli, helping to break down complex starches and proteins

-increases vitamin content

-makes the nutrients in grains more readily available

-softens whole grain flour, making it more palatable

 


 

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves):

2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 ¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 cup buttermilk (or make your own, see directions)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ cup room-temp water (or more if too dry)

½ cup oil

¼ cup warm water

2 ½ teaspoons active-dry yeast

2 ½ tablespoons coconut sugar (or honey)

2 teaspoon salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

If you don’t have 1 cup of buttermilk, then you can make some; in a 1 cup liquid measuring dish, pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Then fill the rest of the cup up with milk. Let rest for a few minutes, or until curdled.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, combine flours. Then add buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, ½ cup water, and oil. Mix and stir until thick, tough, and homogeneous. Plastic wrap the bowl, and let rest on counter overnight. (12-24 hours).

The dough, after sitting overnight, will be slightly larger, browner, and less tough.

When ready to complete bread, place the dough in a warm oven (170 degrees) to warm up, for 10 minutes.

In a small dish, combine very warm water (¼ cup) and active-dry yeast, and coconut sugar. Mix, and let rest for 5 minutes, or until yeast has bloomed.

Pour yeast mixture into soaked flour dough mixture, and mix/knead in until fully combined. Let rest for 30-45 minutes, in a warm place.

On a floured surface, turn dough out. Sprinkle over with all the salt, and knead and knead for a few minutes, until all the salt is mixed in, and dough is smooth. Separate dough into two smooth logs. Place each of these logs in two greased loaf pans.

Set pans atop the warm oven, and let rise for another half hour.

When you are about ten minutes away from being done with rise time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When dough is done rising, place in oven to bake for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Take out of oven, and let cool a bit. Take loaves out of pans, and let them cool some more before cutting into slices and serving.

Once loaf is entirely cool, you can store it in a Ziploc plastic bag.


 

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Holiday Molasses Cookies

These Molasses Cookies are perfect out of the oven–crispy, chewy, and full of flavor. Perfect the Holidays. Use this for Molasses Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, in my instructables post: Molasses Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches Have fun baking!

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Ingredients

(makes roughly 2 1/2 dozen)

1/2 cup salted butter, melted

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1 pkg. instant coffee granules

1 cup sugar

1 egg

½ cup molasses

2 tsp. cinnamon

¾ tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. ground ginger

3 cups flour

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In stand mixer, whip butter and sugar together until creamy. Add egg until incorporated. Then add the Molasses.

In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients: cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, ginger, salt, and flour.

Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients in the stand mixer. Mix until smooth.

Pour some white sugar into a shallow bowl. Form dough into 1 inch balls, and roll in sugar until coated.

Place sugar-coated balls on ungreased baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven (350 degrees F) for 10 minutes. Let cool on stove top for a few minutes before serving.

 

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