Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Cookies!

During the holidays, I love having cookies around to enjoy by the Christmas tree or give as gifts. I've made two great cookies so far, and I "healthified" them a little, although they are still really delicious, don't worry.

Date Walnut Cookies

These cookies have a really wonderful caramel-y flavor from the dates and are pretty chewy and dense, unlike some healthy "cookies," which are more like muffin tops. Make sure you don't skip over the walnuts, they really add great crunch and nuttiness!
Yield: 18-20 cookies

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
2. Mix the flaxseed meal with 2 tablespoons water and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour through walnuts) and set aside.
4. Place the dates in a food processor and process until they become a thick paste. Mix in the oil, milk, vanilla, and flax mixture.
5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
6. Shape the dough into 1-tablespoon balls and flatten on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and set.

Gingerbread Biscotti

These have a real gingery taste and taste exactly like gingerbread cookies, just crunchy and easily dippable. I don't normally like coffee, but these are really good dipped in coffee!
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
2. Combine the dry ingredients (oats through salt) in a blender and blend until the oats are ground into a flour and all the ingredients are mixed through. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the almonds.
3. In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients (vanilla through milk) and then add to the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
4. Separate the dough into two logs, about 2 inches wide, and then flatten to about 1/2 an inch thick. (do this with wet hands so the dough doesn't stick to you hands, it makes it much easier to handle)
5. Bake the logs for 20-25 minutes, until browned and firm.
6. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes or so, then slice into 1/2 inch thick slices and lay cut-side down on the same baking sheet.
7. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven off andleave the biscotti in the oven to cool with the oven door cracked open. This will help crisp them up without burning them.

Happy cookie baking!

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