Coooookies

 

 

 

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I’m with Buddy 🎄🍪 But my cookies were a little more complicated, and well, I baked them. I have a cookie exchange to attend this week!  A cookie exchange, in case you never hear of one is where several people bake batches of cookies for the party. At the party based on how many attend, each person can take x amount of your cookies. And you do the same with theirs. It’s a great way to get a variety of cookies for the holidays! Plus, another reason for a party!! I decided to make three kinds of cookies. Pecan & Chocolate Turtle Cookies, Peppermint Chocolate Drop Cookies, and Decadent Cranberry & White Chocolate Sugar Cookies. Now I’ll warn you. The lighting in our apartment needs serious help I’ve come to discover, for photography. After the new year I’m hoping to fix that because I plan to create and post a lot of recipes this coming year. I still wanted to share the recipes for my cookies with you, so don’t dwell on bad photography. I swear they are delicious!

 

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Pecan & Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup earth balance butter, softened
½ cup coconut sugar
dash of coconut milk if needed
1½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ cups mini chocolate chips
1½ cups caramel bits
Roasted pecan bits or crushed pecans
Instructions

Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Using a standing mixer, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until it is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes on med/high. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for 2 more minutes or so. If you don’t like the consistency add a bit of coconut milk.
In a bowl add your dry ingredients, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour mixture until it has been fully incorporated. Remove the bowl from the standing mixer and add the chocolate chips, pecan bits & caramel bits. Gently mix by hand. The batter should/will be sticky and thick.
Drop about 2 tablespoons of the cookie dough or use a medium cookie scoop and place the cookie dough ball onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown. Turn off the oven and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes, keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies You can sprinkle with a little sea salt over each, but this is optional.

 

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Peppermint Chocolate Drop Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup earth balance butter; room temperature
1 cup granulated coconut or regular sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut or almond, milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup + crushed peppermint candies or candy canes OR peppermint chips (found here)

Instructions
Cream butter and sugar at high speed with a hand mixer. Slowly add in milk, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Combine baking powder with flour and slowly add to butter & sugar mixture, be careful not to over mix. Dough will be crumbly. Use plastic wrap to form log shape. Refrigerate dough for at least 45 minutes. {Can also be put in the freezer for later.}
Remove dough from fridge and slice into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices. {You can also roll dough and use cookie cutters. But if you do, allow the dough to warm a bit so you can work with it).
Place cookies on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Made 26 large cookies.

 

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Decadent Cranberry & White Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
1 cup earth balance butter, softened
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped dried cranberries
½ cup ghirardelli white chocoklate chips
Instructions
Preheat oven to 325ºF. In a medium bowl, cream together with a large spoon butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add flour and salt, stir until combined. Stir in dried cranberries & Ghirardelli chocolate chips . Divide dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into 1 1/2″ x 4″ log. You can use plastic wrap to help with this. Wrap tightly in plastic. Chill 45 minutes. With a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool sheets on wire racks.

emiej

 

Too late

I already did

while making cookies!! 

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Oil & A Recipe

coconut-oil

 

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COCONUT OIL PIECRUST

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) refined solid (not liquid) coconut oil
  • 8 tablespoons ice water

Place flour and salt a food processor and pulse briefly to combine, or combine by hand in a large bowl. Add coconut oil and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, making sure there are no large pieces of coconut oil remaining. Or, cut coconut oil in by hand with 2 table knives or grate coconut oil into the flour mixture using a box grater.

Add ice water a couple of tablespoons at a time, and continue to pulse, or mix by hand with a fork, just until dough begins to come together.

Turn dough out onto a cutting board or a smooth surface and form into a flattened disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface when ready to use.

Pumpkin Season

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 Pumpkin Puree

Tip: Choose the lighter colored pie pumpkins or what they call sugar pumpkins, they are sweet and less watery than the orange ones you usually buy to carve..

Cut the top from the pumpkin and scrape out the stringy membranes and seeds.
Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and place in a roasting pan.
Pour ½ cup water into the bottom of the pan and cover with foil.
Bake 45-60 minutes or until pumpkin is soft and easily pierced with a fork.
Scrape the soft pulp from the skin into a food processor or blender and puree.
Leftover pumpkin puree may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 12 months.
Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Rinse seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings.
Place seeds in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and, if desired, sprinkle with your choice of no-salt seasonings.
Bake at 225 degrees F. until lightly toasted, about 45 minutes, checking and stirring frequently.
Sprinkle on salads, mix into healthy baked recipes or use as a topping for soups and entrees.

 

Cinnamon & Sea Salt Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups pumpkin seeds
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In a strainer, wash the seeds until all the guts are washed away. Let dry for 20 minutes over a paper towel to absorb excess water.

In a mixing bowl, toss seeds with coconut oil to coat. Spread evenly in a baking pan (use one with sides, like a brownie pan, to make stirring easier) and bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and toss with cinnamon, all spice and salt. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.

rowofpumpkins

 

PLANTING, GROWING, AND HARVESTING PUMPKINS

Whether you use them for carving or cooking, pumpkins do not disappoint.

Note that pumpkins do require a lot of food and a long growing season (generally from 75 to 100 frost-free days) so you need to plant them by late May in northern locations to early July in extremely southern states.

Do not plant this tender vegetable until all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warmed, as the seedlings will be injured or rot. (See the Almanac.com/Gardening page for frost dates.)

That said, pumpkins are easy to maintain if you have the space.

Here’s how … Farmer’s Almanac

Almond Butter Baked Apples

featured
baked-apples-700x1050Almond Butter Baked Apples- sweet baked apples stuffed with vanilla almond butter, pecans, cinnamon and sea salt then drizzled with pure maple syrup. Makes for a delicious guilt-free snack or dessert! (vegan + gluten-free) It’s finally starting to feel like fall in California! It was cloudy all day today and I loved every second of …

Source: Almond Butter Baked Apples