Saturday, December 24, 2011
Traditions in Cookies and Muffins
In the past week, I've baked 7 different types of cookies! Whew! They were all deliciously fun to make. I among the most interesting were these brown sugar chocolate cookies, and these maple nutmeg sugar cookies -- I even used freshly grated nutmeg for the first time! Score! I made some old favourites : peanut butter cookies made with all natural crunchy peanut butter, oatmeal cranberry cookies for our school's healthy holiday bake sale (as if I it wasn't enough to be up to my elbows all morning in gingerbread, icing sugar and sprinkles!) and these salty-sweet additively delicious oatmeal butterscotch cookies -- thanks goodness the majority went into a jar to be given as a gift!
I also found these -- rosemary maple pecan cookies with chocolate chunks. If you've ever made this popcorn, or these spiced nuts, you'll love these cookies. And they're vegan! The recipe is via a blog I found through Tastespotting: Bittersweet. You have GOT to make these cookies, stat!
I know I'm a little late in posting cookie recipes, but when I was little and living at home, I'd always bake at least one batch of cookies on Christmas day. While they were in the oven, we'd sing Christmas carols or watch The Sound of Music again. A lovely tradition, that we've kind of kept up with. I now usually bake up a batch of something breakfasty to take to my parents' on Christmas morning. So I thought I'd leave you with 2 recipes: cookies and muffins, and you can make your own tradition on Christmas morning.
Orange-Scented Sugar Cookies
These cookies are lightly sweet, crisp, buttery and fragrant from the orange zest. Lemon or lime zest would be perfect as well .. even grapefruit. Why not? If you refrigerate the cookies for a bit once they're cut out before you put them in the oven, they'll hold their shape nicely. A sprinkle of coarse sugar on top would make these sparkly and extra special.
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1/3 cup of sugar
zest of one small orange
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1.5 cups of all purpose flour
1. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until well-combined. Add the egg and mix vigorously until everything is incorporated.
2. Add in the orange zest, baking powder and flour. Mix well.
3. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
4. Working in batches, roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/8 of an inch. Use as many fun cookie cutters as you can to cut out your cookies. Place them on a baking sheet and chill briefly in the fridge -- chill them while your oven is pre-heating.
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges get brown. Cool and enjoy!
Clementine and Spice Christmas Muffins
makes 24 mini-muffins or 12 regular muffins
These muffins are the perfect wholesome breakfast treat to wake up to on Christmas morning. They have a beautiful tender crumb and an almost crunchy exterior. Made with oats, whole wheat flour and honey so there's no need to feel guilty at all! They're also egg-free so it's easily veganized.
1/3 cup of milk (I used soy)
1/4 cup of yogurt
2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 cup of rolled oats
zest of three clementines
3 tablespoons of canola oil
1/3 cup of brown sugar
a little grating of fresh nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
a pinch of cardamom
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cranberries
1. In a large bowl mix together the yogurt, milk, honey and oats. Let stand for ten minutes.
2. Add the oil, sugar and zest. Mix well. Sift in the spices, baking soda and flour. Stir until just combined. Add the cranberries and mix once last time.
3. Spoon into muffin tins and bake in a 350 oven. Mini muffins should only take about 15 minutes, and regular muffins about 20.
4. Enjoy with coffee. Happy Holidays!