My favourite Christmastime baking recipe – chewy, sweet ginger cookies. Inspired by the cookie at Starbucks, these are even better with the addition of real ginger to help with digestion and fight colds. Although delicious as is, after making these a few times, I have been known to stir in chopped chunks of 70% dark chocolate, and serve with scotch, whisky or port for special nights. Recipe makes 24 regular cookies or 12 extra-large. Excited that this recipe was recently featured on another great site MindBodyGreen. Enjoy!
chewy ginger cookies
2 + 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup brown sugar
1 + 1/4 sticks butter
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup granulated sugar (for coating dough)
Toss the ginger root in the freezer and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, dry spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Beat room temperature butter with egg, dark sugar and molasses. Reserve granulated sugar for rolling the cookies before baking.
Using a box grater or zester, grate 1 teaspoon of frozen ginger and add to the wet ingredients. Freezing it makes it easier to peel and handle. Combine wet and dry and let batter set in fridge for 10 minutes. Scoop teaspoon size cookies and roll into balls. Dip balls thoroughly in sugar. Place on cookie sheet and using the bottom of a glass or your finger, gently press each cookie down. Note, don’t crowd the pan as these cookies will spread during baking. Bake for only 10 minutes. Cookies will firm up as they cool. Guests coming over? Batter can be wrapped in plastic and stored in freezer to be baked fresh the day of a party.
Flourless chocolate cake. Even the phrase makes me hungry. I took this over to Kate and Matt’s for Sunday supper. Served warm, fudge-like in the middle with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Bliss on a plate.
flourless chocolate cake
1 cup chopped dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 and 1/4 sticks soft unsalted butter
6 large eggs
1 and 1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup almond meal or gluten-free flour
5 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
icing sugar for serving
coconut oil or extra butter to grease pan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Using a double boiler or microwave heat the butter and melt in the chocolate. Set aside. Beat sugar and eggs with hand mixer on high until doubled in volume. In a separate bowl combine salt, meal/flour and cocoa. Stir the vanilla into the cooled butter mixture and combine with the eggs. Mix dry and wet. Pour into pan. Place cake in oven and set timer for 30 minutes. After 5 minutes has passed, reduce heat to 350 degrees. Check at 30 minutes, the top should be forming a crust and the middle slightly wobbly, will set as cools. Let cool for 2-3 hours before releasing the sides of pan. Sift with icing sugar before slicing. Serve warm with vanilla or coconut ice cream.
Sundays often start around here with these high-protein pancakes. Full of oats, egg, cinnamon and fruit they keep us full long past lunch. My dream Sunday starts with these pancakes and ends with a clean house, full fridge and glass of red wine sipped curled up on the couch. Between those two events, there’s a lot of room to slow down and feel joy. This recipe has actually been taped to the inside of my kitchen cupboard for years. It even moved into our new house with us. Tattered and taped and all. It’s a winner. Hope you enjoy them. Makes four pancakes.
1/2 cup oats
1/2 flour or gluten-free flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon each baking powder and baking soda
1 banana mashed
2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt (balkan or greek)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon to taste
frozen wild blueberries or peaches sliced (optional)
butter or coconut oil for cooking
Combine all ingredients except for fruit. Using a whisk or hand blender mix batter. Let sit for five minutes for optimal fluffiness. Heat a non stick pan and lightly coat with butter or coconut oil. Pour a fourth of the batter into pan. Just before flipping add the fruit. I make these one by one and keep the rest warmed in a 200 degree oven. Feel free to add any fruit or nuts you like, or a scoop of plant based protein powder or ground flax seed for more protein.
Fall’s arrived. Sweaters are being yanked out of storage and scarves are back. All I want is cozy. Muffins made with squash, oats, pecans and coconut oil, perfect for chilly morning with a cup of something hot. Texture is crispy on the top and moist inside. “It’s fall in a muffin!” Neil exclaimed as he ate his third. You can’t even tell they’re squash, promise. Makes 12.
squash pecan muffins
1 cup mashed oven roasted acorn squash
3/4 cup flour or gluten-free flour
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (use 2 tsp if using gluten-free flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil
Squash can be roasted in advance. Slice in half, remove seeds and bake at 375 degrees skin side down with a little water for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine wet ingredients with brown sugar. Combine remaining dry ingredients. Mix together. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Great with almond butter or regular butter for breakfast. Acorn squash is my favourite, but butternut squash, sweet potatoe or pumpkin would all work well.
These little bars have no gluten, no baking time, require minimal effort and then they reward you with how loaded with protein and delicious they are. Love these recipes where the healthier version tastes so much better than store bought granola bars. Perfect for travel, lunches or general snacking needs. Use your food processor or a good quality blender. I use my blender on the same setting that crushes ice. Makes 12 bars. Let’s get started.
nut + date bars
1 cup unsalted almonds
½ cup unsalted pepita seeds
½ unsalted cashews
1 cup unsweetened cranberries
8 medjool dates pits removed
1 heaping tablespoon of room temperature coconut oil
Line an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 pan with plastic wrap. The edges at the sides will help you lift out the bars. Pulse the almonds first. Add the pepita seeds, cashews and salt to pulse. Lastly blend in the remaining dates, cranberries and coconut oil. Tumble the mixture into the lined pan. Press down. Wrap it up and store in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight. When set, lift out and slice. Store in the fridge for 10 days or freeze for longer.
Experiment with what you have on hand. Raisins, orange zest, chocolate or crystallized ginger chunks would all be lovely additions. I make these as bars. But if there are little (or big) hands at home that want to help, they could easily be rolled into small balls, and then set in the fridge the same way. Thanks to my own mom and sees for this recipe inspiration!