Quinoa Cookies

Quinoa Cookies with Coconut & Chocolate Chunks

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Recipes

You know what’s good about Fall? It makes us want to bake. You too? Good news, then! Earlier this Fall, we partnered with Food52 for a contest titled, “Your Best Quinoa Recipe.” Over 120 recipes were submitted for the contest. The winning recipe was selected by community voting and Food52 judges. Amber of Loves Food, Loves to Eat  was the chosen winner with her Quinoa Cookies with Coconut & Chocolate Chunks. Congratulations Amber! These look absurdly delicious and make us want to grab a cup of coffee and a good book. You can bet we’ll be making these this weekend so we can do just that.  P.S. If you’re looking for a little quinoa inspiration, the other recipes that were submitted look mouthwatering. 

Quinoa Cookies with Coconut & Chocolate Chunks

Quinoa Cookies with Coconut & Chocolate Chunks
Amber of Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Makes about 24 cookies

  •     1-1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  •     1 tsp Salt
  •     1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  •     1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  •     1/2 cup unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  •     1/4 cup Sugar
  •     1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  •     1/4 cup Honey
  •     2 large Eggs
  •     1 tsp Vanilla
  •     1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  •     1 cup cooked Quinoa, cooled
  •     1/2 cup Dessiccated Coconut (unsweetened)
  •     1 cup Dark Chocolate Chunks or Chips

1.) Preheat oven to 375° F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.) Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

3.) With a stand or electric mixer, cream butter, sugars and honey until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract, and mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 more minutes.

4.) Mix in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir in quinoa, coconut, and chocolate.

5.) Plop spoon size balls of dough onto sheets an inch or so apart, and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Lemon Bars

Whole Wheat Coconut Lemon Bars

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Recipes

I’m kind of a sucker for lemon-flavored baked goods. I enjoy a good lemon pound cake and these chewy lemon sugar cookies are one of my go-to treats when I need a fix. I love a good lemon bar. They’re one of my all-time favorite treats and one of the first recipes I tackled as I became a baker. I remember my 12-year-old self being surprised by how many eggs the filling required. I loved gently pressing the crust into the pan so that it covered the bottom and just barely came up on the sides to hold in that precious filling.

When Sarah developed this recipe for us, I was excited to see the addition of coconut to the crust. The recipe also calls for coconut to be added to the filling. If the crust has enough coconut for you, feel free to skip the coconut for the filling. Whole wheat pastry flour gives the crust a delightful, nutty flavor (and makes it a bit healthier). Enjoy!

Coconut Lemon Bars

Whole Wheat Coconut Lemon Bars

Prep Time:  25 min
Cook Time:  60 min
Rest Time:  90 min

Yield:  12 servings

Crust

  • 1/2 cup (30 g) Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flakes
  • 1 cup (120 g) Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/4 cup (38 g) Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (114 g) Unsalted Butter, soft, cubed

Filling

  • 1/2 cup (30 g) Coconut Flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL)Warm Water (optional)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp (135 mL) Lemon Juice, divided
  • 4 (200 g) Eggs
  • 2 cups (454 g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (68 g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Glaze (optional)

  • 1/2 cup (74 g) Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) Lemon Juice

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 8 x 8-inch pan with pan spray and, for easy removal, line with parchment paper, making sure to leave paper hanging over the sides of the pan.

Step 2

Spread ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flakes on a clean baking sheet and bake at 350°F until lightly golden, about 5 minutes.  Let cool while you assemble the remaining ingredients. 

Step 3

Meanwhile, combine ½ cup of Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flakes with ½ cup warm water and 1 Tbsp (15mL) lemon juice and let soak until ready to use.

Step 4

Sift together Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and ¼ cup powdered sugar.  Add toasted coconut and mix well.  Add butter and mix until a well-incorporated dough forms.

Step 5

Turn dough out into the prepared 8 x 8-inch pan and pat evenly to form a bottom crust.  Dock crust with a fork.

Step 6

Bake crust at 350°F until golden, about 20 minutes.  Let cool while you prepare the filling.

Step 7

In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, sugar and baking powder.  Add eggs and ½ cup (120mL) lemon juice and whisk thoroughly.

Step 8

Pour filling onto baked crust.  Drain soaking liquid from coconut using a mesh strainer making sure to squeeze out excess water.  Sprinkle drained coconut over filling.

Step 9

Bake bars at 350°F until the center is set and does not jiggle when the pan is lightly tapped, about 40 – 45 minutes.  Let cool thoroughly before glazing.

Step 10

To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice (adjust to desired consistency and sweetness with more powdered sugar and/or lemon juice) and pour over bars.  Let glaze set before slicing, about 30 minutes.

Cut with a serrated knife.

 

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Gingersnaps

Favorite Holiday Treats: Ginger Cookies

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Recipes

I love a good ginger cookie no matter the time of year, but there’s something about a hot cup of coffee, a cold winter day and a crisp (or chewy) ginger cookie that puts me in the mood for Christmas. Here are two of our favorite recipes for ginger cookies. If you’re looking for a lovely hostess gift, make a stack of these cookies, wrap with cellophane or plastic wrap and tie with ribbon (see the great photo from Tiffany McCall below). These are delightful on their own or jazz them up further and pair with some fancy coffee or hot cocoa mix.

Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps

  •    1 cup + 1 Tbsp Unbleached White Flour
  •     1-1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  •     1 pinch Baking Powder
  •     1 pinch Sea Salt
  •     1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
  •     1 tsp ground Ginger
  •     4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  •     3/4 cup Sugar + 2-3 Tbsp (for sprinkling)
  •     1 large Egg
  •     1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  •     2 Tbsp Molasses
  •     2-3 Tbsp Sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar, and mix on medium speed until the mixture holds together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla and molasses. Mix on medium speed until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  4. Place the dough on parchment paper and form into an 8-inch long x 1-1/2-inch wide log. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice the dough log into 1/4-inch rounds, place cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet, spacing them 1/2-inch apart; sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the cookies crack slightly on the surface, about 12 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Makes 36 cookies.

Crispy Ginger Cookies

Crispy Ginger Cookies

Crispy Ginger Cookies (GF)

  •     1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  •     1 cup Sugar
  •     1/4 cup Molasses
  •     1 tsp Vanilla
  •     1 cup Sorghum Flour
  •     3/4 cup Tapioca Flour
  •     1/4 cup Potato Starch
  •     1/2 tsp Guar Gum
  •     1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  •     1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  •     1 tsp Cinnamon
  •     2 tsp Ginger, ground
  •     1/4 tsp Cloves, ground

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt and spices.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet and blend until combined.
  6. Place ½ cup of sugar in a bowl.
  7. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and drop into sugar cover the outside of the dough.
  8. Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.
Ginger Spice Cookies - Tiffany McCall

Ginger Spice Cookies – Tiffany McCall

Ginger Spice Cookies (GF)

Contributed by: Tiffany McCall from Read.Eat.Blog

  •     3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco (140g)
  •     1 cup granulated Sugar + more for rolling (200g)
  •     2 Eggs
  •     1/4 cup Molasses (85g)
  •     2-3/4 cups GF All Purpose Baking Flour (385g)
  •     2 tsp Baking Soda
  •     1 tsp ground Cinnamon
  •     1 tsp ground Ginger
  •     1/4 tsp ground Cloves
  •     1/4 tsp Salt, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325° F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the Crisco and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and molasses and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the GF flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in spoonfuls, beating well after each addition and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Roll dough into small 1 oz balls, roll them in sugar and space them out on a parchment covered bake sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies appear crackled on top.
  5. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool and sprinkle with extra sugar.

Notes: Try not to open the oven while these cookies are baking as they do fall once removed from heat.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Shortbreads

Favorite Holiday Treats: Shortbread

by Sarah House in Recipes

Growing-up, the winter holidays were a time for copious amounts of baking.  These treats were shared with our friends and neighbors (with none too few going right into our little bellies).  My mother taught my sister and me to make several traditional Finnish Christmas pastries along with her favorite shortbread recipe.  She’d cut the shortbread into bars (“fingers” to the Scots, who are the originators of and famous for their shortbreads), package the creamy white center cuts for gifts and let the family indulge in the browned and caramelized edges – my personal favorite.

There are numerous variations on shortbread but none stray too far from the classic mix of butter, sugar, flour and salt.  Creaming the large amount of butter and sugar then adding the flours makes for a tender and full flavored cookie.  Since butter plays a stand-out role in these recipes, treat yourself to using one of high quality.

I’ve been sworn to secrecy of my family recipes but I’m more than happy to provide these new recipes using some of our whole-grain flours.  I’ve also included a good stand-by traditional version, this one adapted courtesy of The Culinary Institute of America.

Gluten Free? No problem, try our Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie Mix or this wonderful recipe from Elizabeth Barbone at Serious Eats.

Shortbreads

(L to R) Brown Sugar Spelt Shortbread, Traditional Shortbread (with unbleached pastry), Molasses Rye Shortbread

Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from The Culinary Institute of America

Yield approximately 20 servings

  • 1 ¾ cup Unbleached White Pastry Flour (210g)
  • ¼ cup White Rice Flour (40g)
  • ¾ tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 cup Butter, soft (227g)
  • ½ cup granulated Sugar (113g)
  • Granulated sugar or turbinado sugar, as desired
  1. Sift together flours and salt.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until just incorporated.  Do not overmix!
  3. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture.  Mix on low until just incorporated.
  4. Roll the dough to ½-inch thick (if the dough is too soft to roll, shape into a 4×10-inch rectangle, wrap in plastic and chill until firm).  Cut into bars, circles or desired shape and dock in the center with a fork.  Wrap and chill until hard, 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  6. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.  For light coloring, do not separate bar cookies.  Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  7. Cool and store, wrapped, at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Whole Wheat Shortbread Cookies

Yield approximately 20 servings

  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (240g)
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Butter, soft (227g)
  • ½ cup granulated Sugar (113g)
  • Granulated sugar or turbinado sugar, as desired
  1. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until just incorporated.  Do not overmix!
  3. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture.  Mix on low until just incorporated.
  4. Roll the dough to ½-inch thick (if the dough is too soft to roll, shape into a 4×10-inch rectangle, wrap in plastic and chill until firm).  Cut into bars, circles or desired shape and dock in the center with a fork.  Wrap and chill until hard, 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  6. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.  For light coloring, do not separate bar cookies.  Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  7. Cool and store, wrapped, at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Brown Sugar Spelt Shortbread Cookies

Yield approximately 20 servings

  • 1 ½ cups Spelt Flour (180g)
  • ½ cup Unbleached White Pastry Flour (68g)
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Butter, soft (227g)
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar (113g)
  • Granulated sugar or turbinado sugar, as desired
  1. Sift together flours, salt and baking powder.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until just incorporated.  Do not overmix!
  3. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture.  Mix on low until just incorporated.
  4. Roll the dough to ½-inch thick (if the dough is too soft to roll, shape into a 4×10-inch rectangle, wrap in plastic and chill until firm).  Cut into bars, circles or desired shape and dock in the center with a fork.  Wrap and chill until hard, 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  6. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.  For light coloring, do not separate bar cookies.  Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  7. Cool and store, wrapped, at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Rye Molasses Shortbread Cookies

Yield approximately 20 servings

  • 2 cups Light Rye Flour (208g)
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Butter, soft (227g)
  • ¼ cup granulated Sugar (57g)
  • 3 Tbsp Molasses (64g)
  • Granulated sugar or turbinado sugar, as desired
  1. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and molasses until just incorporated.  Do not overmix!
  3. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture.  Mix on low until just incorporated.
  4. Roll the dough to ½-inch thick (if the dough is too soft to roll, shape into a 4×10-inch rectangle, wrap in plastic and chill until firm).  Cut into bars, circles or desired shape and dock in the center with a fork.  Wrap and chill until hard, 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  6. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.  For light coloring, do not separate bar cookies.  Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  7. Cool and store, wrapped, at room temperature for up to 1 week.
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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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Volcanoes

Going Free: Gluten and Dairy Free Volcanoes

by Guest in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

As a kid I have very fond memories of my grandma’s house being full of Christmas cookies. I think she would start baking around Thanksgiving to ensure she had tons of cookies to feed all of us. My favorite cookies that she made were volcanoes and I have never found another recipe like them. They are almost like mini pecan pies but with walnuts and cherries in the middle for the “lava.” When my family first went dairy free and then gluten free, these cookies were put on the back burner. When Bob’s Red Mill asked me to work on holiday cookies for their blog I knew I wanted to work on my cherished cookies.  The result is great and I am thrilled to be able to share my favorite cookie with my kids!

Volcanoes

What you need:

Directions:

Cut the butter substitute and dairy free cream cheese into the flour until it is evenly combined. (Think pie dough not cookie dough, for the texture.) Form into a ball, cover and chill for at least one hour. While the dough is chilling place the dried cherries in either hot cherry juice or hot water to soak. To make the filling combine the finely chopped walnuts, egg, brown sugar and vanilla together in a bowl. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and roll into 24 balls. Place each ball into a mini muffin tin and press into a bowl shape to the top of the muffin tin. You do not want the “crust” to be thin or they will break when you take them out of the pan. Place a small amount of the filling into each mini muffin tin. You want just enough filling to reach the top of the mini muffin tin because if the filling over flows the tin it will be hard to get the cookie out. Place one soaked cherry in the middle of each cookie for the “lava” and place into the oven. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Let cool in muffin tin before removing using a butter knife to run around the edge. Store in an air tight container or freeze for longer storage.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Rebecca is the single mother to two wonderful boys and author of Going Free: Helping you move to a gluten and dairy free life! She and her two boys live a gluten, dairy and food coloring free life. Rebecca is always looking for easier ways to do things. When she first learned that we had to eliminate these foods, she did some research and cleaned out the cabinets and we hasn’t looked back. Sure there are days that she misses the convince of eating foods full of gluten but knows that in the long run they are all healthier for it. Find more articles and recipes from her at Going Free.

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macarons1

Joy’s Misadventures: Nut Free Macarons

by Guest in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

Greetings from the West Coast

I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Joy and my blog is Joy’s Misadventures.  I take life one adventure at a time but in my case, Misadventures is more appropriate description.  I enjoy sharing my successes, frustration, mistakes, and failures. 

A little background on me, I have/had allergies since childhood.  Between myself and my brother there was always an awareness of our surroundings and restrictions on what we were able to eat.  I vividly remember one occasion when my little brother ate a strawberry at a local restaurant.  Then all a sudden we had to leave and get medication into him because his throat started to close.   Since then, he never ate another strawberry.

Unfortunately, my daughter inherited similar allergic reactions from my side of the family.  I have always been aware of other people’s allergies but my daughter made me very cautious when choosing foods she is able to eat. 

At an early age, we found that she was allergic to seafood and nuts.  We walked into a pizza parlor that had peanut shells on the floor and within 5 minutes after order, she turned bright read and started to itch uncontrollably.  From that point on, I tried to find alternatives to foods I would think she would enjoy.

When I first started to experiment in making macarons, I felt bad telling her she couldn’t have any.  I would always feel bad when I would have to deny her of anything, especially food.  I started to experiment in making alternatives ingredients for the little cookies. 

My first attempt to a nut free macarons, it came out quite stiff and chalky.  I substitute coconut flour for the almond flour without altering the amount.  I had a feeling the coconut flour would work I needed to adjust the amount used.

According to the package 20% of the original amount in the recipe would be appropriate when using coconut flour.  For example, if it required 100 grams of almond flour then 20g of coconut flour could be substituted.  This is due to the dryness of the coconut flour.  After quite a bit of experimenting, I came up with this recipe.

Coconut-banana Macaron with a Key Lime-White chocolate Ganache

Makes 20 Macarons

Coconut-Banana  Macaron

Meringue

  • 175 Grams (3/4 + 1/8 Cup) of Sugar
  • 67 Grams (2 Large Egg Whites) of Egg Whites

Flour Mixture

  • 68 Grams (1/2 Cup) of Ground Banana Chips
  • 20 Grams (1/4 Cup) of Coconut Flour
  • 150 Grams (1 ¾ Cup) of Powder Sugar
  • 67 Grams (2 Large Egg Whites) of Egg Whites

Directions

  1. Take the 1st set of egg whites into a large metal bowl and add the sugar.  Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until the sugar is absorbed by the egg whites.
  2. In the meantime mix the coconut flour, powder sugar, and ground banana chips.  I used a food processor.
  3. Place the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Whip the egg whites until it becomes medium peaks.  Slightly stiff but still glossy.  Set this aside.
  5. Take the flour/powder sugar mixture then stir in the other set of egg whites.
  6. Fold in the whipped egg whites into the flour mixture until it is well incorporated.  The consistency resemble marshmallow but a little bit runnier.  You should be able to make an indent in the mixture and it may hold the shape for a couple of seconds before it starts smoothing out.
  7. Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe out 1 inch discs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Separate the cookies an inch apart.  You will notice the cookies will keep the shape while starting to spread slightly.
  8. Let the cookies rest for an hour or two until a film is formed over the cookies.
  9. Pre-heat the oven to 300F.  Place another cookie pan inside of the oven while it pre-heats (this helps when creating feet).
  10. Place the cookies on the first cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely before removing from the pan.
  12. Match up the cookie according to size.
  13. Make the Filling

Key Lime and White Chocolate Ganache

  • 11 Ounces of White Chocolate
  • 1 Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 3 Tbs of Key Lime Juice

Directions

  1. Place the white chocolate and key lime juice in a medium bowl.
  2. Pour the cream into a medium sauce pan and heat over a medium heat.
  3. Once it starts to bubble, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
  4. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to allow the chocolate to melt.
  5. Stir the chocolate until it is melted and smooth.
  6. Let it cool to room temp.  This may take an hour.
  7. Once it is cooled, whip the chocolate at a low then a medium speed until it because fluffy.

Assemble

  1. Spread the filling on one of the cookies.
  2. Place the matching side on the other side to form a sandwich cookie.
  3. Serve
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roulads2

Wicked Good Kitchen: Honey-Nut Rugelach (GF)

by Guest in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

When the holiday baking season starts, I immediately think of rich, buttery, chewy-flaky rugelach and they are promptly placed at the very top of my baking list. I have been baking rugelach since 1988 and introduced them to my future in-laws who promptly adopted them as a Christmas favorite that same year. In the coming months, I made several improvements to the recipe before honing it for good in 1990 as a young bride. Rugelach are my husband’s favorite cookie in the universe, so I had placed a high priority on perfecting this scrumptious holiday classic. In fact, I think he married me for my rugelach recipe! My hubby, Stefan, is Polish and it seems rather fitting that rugelach is his favorite cookie—it’s in his genes.

Rugelach (sometimes spelled “Rugalach”) are more than a holiday cookie. In fact, rugelach are pastry-cookies (cookie-pastries?) and should be considered an everyday treat—not reserved solely for special occasions. However, special occasions always seem to be the time of year when we devote our efforts to baking homemade rugelach due to albeit simple but somewhat time-consuming steps involved. Rugelach are Eastern European pastry-cookies comprised of delicate tangy cream cheese dough filled with a variety of slightly sweet but lip-smacking fillings and have become a traditional Jewish favorite. In fact, the name has origins from the Polish word “rogal” for croissant pastries which resemble horns. The Yiddish word “ruglach” carries the same meaning. Since the Polish language influenced Yiddish, the term probably originated in Polish, first, and was later translated into Yiddish. No one really knows which came first, so the debate continues. Still others, like Certified Master Pastry Chef and instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, as well as author of several books including The Professional Pastry Chef and The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef, Chef Bo Friberg, contend that the word rugelach is derived from the Yiddish word “rugel” which translates to “royal”. Interestingly, the “ach” ending of the word “rugelach” specifies plural while the “el” in the center signifies petite. When put together, one Yiddish translation is “little twists” which is so appropriate for this scrumptious pastry-cookie of twisty goodness! In the end, however, the word “rugelach” stuck and the term is most definitely Yiddish.

Traditionally, rugelach are filled with a fruit jam, marmalade or preserves, sugar or brown sugar (or a blend of both), spices and chopped nuts—even perhaps almond paste or marzipan—and dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas (golden raisins), dried cherries or cranberries and currants as well as other chopped dried fruits such as apricots, dates and figs. Sometimes, poppy seed paste or prune butter (lekvar) are used as a filling in rugelach making them similar to Hamantashen. More recently, chocolate has found its way into rugelach filling such as with chocolate paste (made with melted chocolate, an egg or two and powdered sugar for binding and sweetness) or simply chopped chocolate or mini chocolate morsels sprinkled over the filling. Chocolate paired with raspberry jam has been a favorite for the classic tart-berry and sweet-chocolate flavor combination heralded by chocolate lovers the world over—to include Dorie Greenspan’s recipe in her James Beard award-winning cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours. However, the most popular preparation over the years has been to fill rugelach with apricot preserves, sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped nuts and, sometimes, golden raisins. This is probably due to the heritage and traditional prevalence of Polish cookies such as buttery Apricot Tea Cookies (thumbprints) and especially Polish Apricot-Filled Cookies (known as “kolaczki” or “kolacky”) which are pastry-cookies made with a cream cheese pastry. In the case of Kolacky, the cookies are fashioned into a bowtie or envelope shape from a square piece of cut pastry dough with the opposite corners overlapping in the center which are pinched to seal in the apricot filling. Since the advent of rugelach, innovative bakers have been playing around in the kitchen to create their own rugelach twist to meet their dreams and expectations of the perfect rugelach pastry-cookie. Bakers use either a cream cheese or sour cream pastry dough (sometimes using yeast for leavening as was the case with “butter horns” in earlier days) and then concoct different flavor combinations with filling ingredients. However, as Chef Bo says, “Good rugelach should be more chewy than flaky, so it is important not to make the dough too short”. I couldn’t agree more.

Crescent-shaped Rugelach

When I first found a recipe for rugelach, with a buttery cinnamon-sugar-nut filling with currants, in its classic horn shape for “walnut horns”, I knew I had to bake them immediately! And, I did. Since I had baked Pecan Tassies (miniature pecan tarts) in my teen years as part of my holiday baking, and was familiar with the magic (read: buttery, tender flaky goodness) that happens when baking with cream cheese pastry, I thought to myself that rugelach must be some sort of a fancy rolled cookie version of the tasty pecan tarts. Well, I wasn’t far off! The recipe I found was by none other than the veritable “First Lady of Desserts”, Maida Heatter, from her James Beard award-winning cookbook, Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies, published in 1977. Let me tell you, Maida’s recipe rocked my baking world! Her cream cheese pastry recipe performed flawlessly. (At the time, the only changes I made were to add sugar and use kosher salt.) And, her filling was truly extraordinary. Maida did not call for any classic fruit preserves. Instead, she called for 3 tablespoons of melted butter to be spread over the chilled and rolled dough in a manner similar to cinnamon rolls before sprinkling on the remaining filling ingredients. After doing some research on this new-to-me rugelach cookie, I learned about the classic filling using fruit preserves along with sugar, spices, dried fruit and nuts. Surely, I thought, the sticky-fruity-tartness yet mild sweetness of fruit preserves in the filling would create outstanding rugelach! And, so it went. I kept testing and retesting over the next year and that’s when it occurred to me to add honey versus butter or fruit preserves to the filling. Suddenly, a new version of rugelach was born.

Roulade-shaped rugelach (see notes and step-by-step photos below)

Then, in 1990, just before my October wedding, I happened to be shopping at Hudson’s department store in my home state of Michigan. On my way out, on the upper level, as I breezed by the book department, there on a table, propped up in a display, I saw the most glorious book cover ever conceptualized by man. I was so drawn to it! The cover featured the traditional Christmas colors of red and green, a small photo of a woman in similar style to the iconic Betty Crocker in an oval frame and the image on the cover was a beautiful mosaic of tempting holiday cookies of all sorts imaginable—even an ethereal snowflake seemingly falling down from above. There it was. The cover read: “Rose’s Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Cake Bible.” As I flipped through the pages on the way to checkout, I was transported to Christmases past baking German-Hungarian family heirloom recipes with my Grandma Gigi. Having grown up admiring my mother’s copy of Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, baking from it during my pre-teen years (and dreaming of baking every single cookie recipe sandwiched between the covers!) and, later, after devouring Rose Levy Beranbaum’s award-winning cookbook, The Cake Bible, from 1988, I swear…I felt as if Rose had written this comprehensive and stunningly beautiful holiday cookie cookbook especially for me—and, just in time for my upcoming nuptials! In short, it was Rose’s recipe for rugelach in Rose’s Christmas Cookies, using Lora Brody’s recipe for cream cheese pastry, which had me adding vanilla extract to my rugelach dough. Pure genius! And, from Lora’s recipe, which calls for ¼ cup sugar, it confirmed that I was on track when I had added 2 tablespoons of sugar to my recipe for rugelach dough to achieve a tender and slightly sweet pastry. Later, when I saw that the esteemed Nancy Baggett had used honey in her filling recipe for rugelach, in her exceptional cookbook, The International Cookie Cookbook, published in 1988 (but, not added to my cookbook library until early 1991), I knew I was onto something wonderful—a new timeless classic.

Through Christmas 1996, I had always fashioned my rugelach into crescent shapes. It wasn’t until the fall of 1997 when I learned how to shape rugelach into roulades. Ever since, we have enjoyed them this way. Our thanks go out to the very talented Lisa Yockelson (if you do not know who she is, shame on you!) for her recipe for rugelach and contribution to Cook’s Illustrated magazine (the October 1997 issue to be precise) which included instructions along with helpful illustrations for shaping rugelach into roulades as well as crescents. Roulade-shaped rugelach are our absolute favorite. Why? With the roulade shape, you roll up in cinnamon roll fashion and then slice with a sharp knife and bake. Voila! Not only are the roulades simple to assemble, but they are like holding a heavenly, tiny rolled “finger pie” in your hand to savor alone. Most importantly, the several layers of delicate pastry in its rolled glory allow your teeth to crunch through each blissful tender-flaky layer upon first bite. Soon, the contrasting moist and tangy-sweet yet chewy filling flavors dance on your tongue. No matter your preference in shape, experiencing homemade rugelach is a gastronomic cookie-tasting sensation like no other!

Step 1 for shaping into roulades (see notes below), roll into 10″ x 8″ rectangle, fill with 1/4 of the filling and liberally flour

In closing, when Bob’s Red Mill asked me to guest blog and provide a holiday recipe for December, I was honored. Knowing that I had an opportunity to share my recipe for rugelach, a gluten-free variation of the original, to satisfy the cravings of the gluten-free community for some tasty holiday rugelach, I jumped at the chance. I hope my Honey-Nut Rugelach recipe, with filling variations for Baklava, Cranberry Orange Pecan and Chocolate Chip Cookie Rugelach, will become a holiday family favorite and perhaps new tradition. Yes, I believe for the first time ever, Baklava meets Rugelach in a published recipe. For me, it was a natural progression and an extension of my deep affection for yet another buttery, flaky, gooey-honey-sweet and nutty dessert, Baklava. From there, it was effortless to create the irresistible Cranberry Orange Pecan variety with a spicy flavor combination especially suitable for the winter holidays. And, since I simply adore chocolate chip cookies, I couldn’t resist creating a filling variation for Chocolate Chip Cookie Rugelach. From my kitchen to yours…Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas! ~Stacy

Step two for shaping rugelach into roulades- roll filled rectangles into 10″ long cylinders, seam side down.

Gluten-Free Honey-Nut Rugelach

The gluten-free flour blend for this recipe incorporates less rice flour than ordinary blends and more protein flour with adequate starches to achieve ideal rugelach which should be more chewy than flaky.

Ingredients:

For the Cream Cheese Pastry:

For the Honey-Nut Filling:

  • 1¼ cups finely chopped Walnuts (or pecans)
  • ¾ cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1½ tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp Honey

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp Light Cream (half and half) or Whole Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp ground Cinnamon

Step 2 for shaping rugelach into roulades, cut into 1-inch slices

Directions:

Prepare the Pastry:  In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, xanthan gum and baking powder; set aside. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese. Beat in sugar, vanilla and salt; mix until well combined. Add flour mixture in two batches beating just until incorporated. Scrape dough onto sheet of plastic wrap using rubber spatula; divide into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion of dough by patting out into either small 5-inch disks (for crescents) or small 4- by 6-inch rectangles (for roulades). Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Prepare the Filling & Topping:  In a medium bowl, combine walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add honey and stir to incorporate using a fork and finishing with your fingers; set aside. Pour cream or milk into a small prep bowl or cup; set aside. In a small prep bowl or cup, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

Arrange rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350° F. Line insulated baking sheets with parchment; set aside. Alternatively, place a half baking sheet atop another and line with parchment. Using insulated baking sheets will prevent these delicate pastry-cookies from overbrowning on the bottom.

Shaping rugelach into roulades: Using a sharp paring knife, slice ends of cylinder to create neat, flush ends and discard scraps. With paring knife, slice each cylinder into eight 1-inch thick roulades. This step is made easier by first scoring (marking lightly with paring knife) the cylinder’s midpoint

To Shape Rugelach into Crescents:  Remove dough from refrigerator and allow it to soften slightly on countertop for 12 to 15 minutes so it becomes pliable for rolling. On lightly floured surface, and working with 1 disk of dough at a time, with a floured rolling pin roll each disk into a circle measuring 10 inches in diameter and about ⅛-inch thick. Rotate dough often while rolling and add extra flour to surface as necessary to prevent sticking. With a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut each circle into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Sprinkle ¼ of filling evenly onto wedges; press down gently on filling. Starting with rounded edge, roll each wedge of dough jelly-roll fashion toward the point, tucking point under, and form into crescent shape by bending. Use a pastry brush to whisk away excess flour from dough as you roll. Place crescents 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

To Shape Rugelach into Roulades:  Remove dough from refrigerator and allow it to soften slightly on countertop for 12 to 15 minutes so it becomes pliable for rolling. On lightly floured surface, and working with 1 rectangle of dough at a time, with a floured rolling pin roll each piece of dough into a rectangle measuring about 10- by 8-inches and ⅛-inch thick. Lift dough often while rolling and add extra flour to surface as necessary to prevent sticking. Sprinkle ¼ of filling evenly onto rectangle to within ¼-inch of edges; press down gently on filling. Starting from long side, roll dough tightly into a cylinder and place seam side down. Use a pastry brush to whisk away excess flour from dough as you roll.

Shaping rugelach into roulades: Score evenly into eight equal pieces.

Using a sharp paring knife, slice ends of cylinder to create neat, flush ends and discard scraps. With paring knife, slice each cylinder into eight 1-inch thick roulades. This step is made easier by first scoring (marking lightly with paring knife) the cylinder’s midpoint, again and again between each section, until 8 sections are scored; slice through markings for 8 even roulades. Place roulades 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets seam side down.

Bake the Rugelach:  For both crescent- and roulade-shaped rugelach, brush tops of unbaked pastry-cookies with cream or milk and generously sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 22 minutes or until golden brown and filling bubbles. Cool on wire racks. Carefully remove cookies using a small metal cookie spatula and trim any overflowed filling using a paring knife. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely and store in airtight containers. Rugelach can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Yield:  Makes 32 pastry-cookies.

Shaping rugelach into roulades: Score evenly into eight equal pieces.

Variations:

Traditional Rugelach:  For the dough, replace all gluten-free flours with 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour using dip and sweep method for measuring; omit xanthan gum and baking powder.

Baklava Rugelach:  For the filling, replace finely chopped walnuts (or pecans) with mixture of finely chopped almonds, pistachios and walnuts to equal 1¼ cups. (Use all walnuts if preferred.) Add 2 teaspoons very finely grated lemon zest, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves and ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.

Cranberry Orange Pecan Rugelach:  For the filling, use pecans in place of walnuts and add 2 teaspoons very finely grated orange zest and ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg. If desired, for spicier filling, also add ⅛ teaspoon each ground ginger and cloves. Sprinkle ¼ cup dried cranberries which have been finely chopped over filling on each piece of rolled out dough before shaping rugelach. You will need a total of 1 cup dried cranberries for entire recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Rugelach:  For the filling, omit cinnamon (cinnamon will be in the topping) and add 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Sprinkle ¼ cup mini chocolate morsels over filling on each piece of rolled out dough before shaping rugelach. You will need a total of 1 cup mini chocolate morsels for entire recipe.

Shaping rugelach into roulades: slice through markings for 8 even roulades. Place roulades 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets seam side down.

Tips:

Gluten-Free Flour Blend for Rolling Dough:  When rolling out gluten-free cookie dough, such as for this recipe, I like to use a blend of equal parts by volume sorghum, sweet white rice and tapioca flours. Prepare 1 cup using ⅓ cup each to keep on hand as needed.

How to Measure Gluten-Free Flours for this Recipe:  This tip is provided for bakers who do not own a kitchen scale and will be measuring flour by volume rather than by weight. When measuring Bob’s Red Mill® gluten-free flours for this recipe, I used the method of spooning the flour into the dry measuring cup and leveling off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container.

To Make Rugelach Successfully:  Be sure to brush away excess flour from dough when rolling to ensure tender rugelach and prevent dry, tough rugelach. Always start with a clean surface each time rolling more dough by brushing away excess flour and filling between batches. Use a metal dough cutter to help start the rolling process to form the cylinder for roulade-shaped rugelach. Use insulated baking sheets to prevent rugelach from overbrowning. And, if using raisins, dried cranberries or similar, plump them first if they are too dry.

To Prepare Rugelach Dough in Advance:  Rugelach dough can be prepared in advance much to the delight of busy holiday bakers. Wrap well in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Also, the dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. To freeze dough, enclose plastic-wrapped dough in heavy duty zip-top freezer bags. Simply thaw in the refrigerator while still wrapped in plastic.

To Freeze Baked Rugelach:  These pastry-cookies freeze extremely well in heavy duty zip-top freezer bags for up to 2 months. Be sure to expel as much air as possible. For layering cookies inside freezer bags, divide with sheets of wax paper as the wax paper will protect appearance of cookies as well as absorb excess moisture.

Baked roulades

Article, recipes, headnotes and photographs Copyright © 2012 Stacy Bryce. All rights reserved.

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her latest passion is developing gluten-free recipes after sending a friend who is Italian, and a recently diagnosed celiac, four varieties of gluten-free biscotti as a Christmas gift last year. Her friend’s response touched her deeply and she vowed to share gluten-free versions of her original recipes whenever possible via her new blog. You can visit Stacy’s blog at WickedGoodKitchen.com and follow her on Twitter.

These recipes were developed and shared with Bob’s Red Mill to support the food pantry of Saint Vincent De Paul Center, Hamilton County, Indiana, for those in need and on a special diet. Bob’s Red Mill has agreed to send a few cases of certified gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats to the pantry on behalf of Stacy, Wicked Good Kitchen and Bob’s Red Mill.

Article, recipes, headnotes and photographs Copyright © 2012 Stacy Bryce. All rights reserved.

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mueslicookies

Cook the Story: Chocolate Muesli Snowballs, A Holiday Cookie for a Cook, not a Baker

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes

I’m not a baker. I mean, I can follow a muffin recipe and end up with a tasty result. But, as much as I want to, I can’t seem to jump on the cupcake bandwagon. I don’t experiment with cookie doughs. I’ve never made a layer cake that wasn’t lopsided and I never worry about plonking a carton of store-bought ice cream in front of guests at dessert-time.

Given the choice between a brownie bake-off and a chilli cook-off, I’d choose the chilli every time. And I’d love every single taste test and chilli-perfecting tweak of the process.

All of this must lead you to understand why the holiday season fills me with dread. See, I’m a food blogger. That means that people expect good food when they walk through my door. If they come to my house over the holidays, they not only expect mouth-watering roast beef and cloud-like mashed potatoes floating on a river of rich gravy, they also expect a dazzling tray of cookies that shout “Holiday Cheer” with every bite.

I don’t want to disappoint them but I’d rather spend my precious holiday cooking time making cheesy toppings for canapés than fussing over those little bites of sweet. Over the years I have therefore come up with several recipes for festive and fun holiday cookies that are quick and easy to make. Here’s one of my favorites.

Chocolate Muesli Snowballs

These delicate snowballs are deceptively rich. And yet, they’re probably the healthiest choice on your dainty tray because of the whole grains and fibre in the muesli. Pretty, easy, delicious and healthy. Does a holiday treat get any better than that?

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Line a large baking sheet with aluminium foil. In a medium saucepan combine the sugars, butter, milk and cocoa powder. Warm them together over medium heat stirring continuously until they reach an even boil. Remove the pan from the heat and allow everything to hang out for a minute.

Smooth in the peanut butter. Add the vanilla. Stir. Then add the muesli and stir until everything is evenly slicked with chocolate.

Drop heaping teaspoons of the chocolate muesli onto the foil-lined baking sheet. Use your fingers to smoosh each chocolatey clump together a bit. Put the baking sheet full of cookies into the fridge until they cookies cold, at least 1 hour.

Pour the coconut into a small bowl. Set it aside. In the top of a double-boiler placed over simmering water, melt the white chocolate (no special equipment is required. Find out how to make a double boiler out of a bowl and a saucepan here).

Remove the cookies from the fridge. Holding a cookie top-side down by its edges, give it a shallow dip in the chocolate and them immediately dip the chocolate-coated side lightly in the coconut. Repeat the double-dip with all of the cookies, placing them in a single layer in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Before serving, chill the cookies in the fridge until the chocolate has set, at least 30 minutes. Store the cookies in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

Happy Holidays!

Now, let’s get back to those canapés….

Christine Pittman is the recipe developer, writer and photographer at Cook the Story, where it’s all about the story (except when it’s about the food!). She’s a Canadian stay-at-home mom who has somehow found herself living in Florida. Her recipes are simple, fresh and from scratch while her writing is simple, fresh and from her funny bone. You don’t want to miss any of her real food, real writing or flavorful pictures so be sure to follow her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+!

 

© 2012. Christine Pittman. All Rights Reserved.

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EggnogLogs

Going Free: Gluten and Dairy Free Eggnog Logs

by Guest in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

Each family has their own traditions and in my family eggnog logs was a cookie that was made each Christmas. In the past I have stuck to other people’s recipes when it comes to making cookies but I have started converting recipes on my own. This recipe is one that I am very happy with and when I shared a plate of them with a group at church they loved them. It wasn’t until the plate was almost clean that another group member who knows I am gluten free asked if they were. The group could not believe the cookies were gluten and dairy free!

Eggnog Logs

What you need for the cookie:

What you need for the frosting:

  • ¼ cup Dairy Free Butter Substitute, softened
  • 3 cups Powder Sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Rum Extract
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Cream, off the top of canned coconut milk
  • Ground Nutmeg

Directions:

In a bowl cream the butter substitute and sugar together. Add the nutmeg, egg, vanilla and rum extract and mix until thoroughly combined. Sift the flours together and add to the egg mixture. Beat until flour is fully combined in the dough. Cover the dough and chill for at least one hour. Roll dough into ½ in round by 3 inches long logs and place onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until they are lightly brown. They will stay almost white looking and you will question if they are done but they are. Remove the cookies and let cool on wire racks.

To make the frosting, cream the butter substitute until it is light and fluffy. Add in 2 cups of powder sugar and extracts and mix well. Beat in the coconut cream and remaining cup of powder sugar until light and fluffy. Frost cookies and run a fork down the frosting to create the look of a log in the frosting. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg to finish the look of a log. Store in an air tight container.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Rebecca is the single mother to two wonderful boys and author of Going Free: Helping you move to a gluten and dairy free life! She and her two boys live a gluten, dairy and food coloring free life. Rebecca is always looking for easier ways to do things. When she first learned that we had to eliminate these foods, she did some research and cleaned out the cabinets and we hasn’t looked back. Sure there are days that she misses the convince of eating foods full of gluten but knows that in the long run they are all healthier for it. Find more articles and recipes from her at Going Free.

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millet

Meatless Mondays: Millet Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies from Healthy Jasmine

by Guest in Featured Articles, Meatless Mondays, Recipes

For today’s meatless recipe, we thought we’d mix it up a bit with a fun breakfast idea. Of course, by the time you read this, breakfast will likely be a memory. Save it for next Monday or make these for a healthy on-the-go snack. We love the use of whole grain millet to add crunch and nutrition to these treats.

This recipe comes from Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, of Healthy Jasmine. Of herself, Jasmine writes, “I am a Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant specializing in gluten free/allergy free living as well as family and women’s health and fitness. My passion for health and well being stems from my own childhood.  While my love of cooking and baking from scratch came from my mom’s kitchen, I grew up drinking pop and hating veggies.  As a result, I was overweight and led an inactive lifestyle. It was my personal mission until I got involved in high school sports.  It is in my heart to raise my children to be healthy and happy. I want to help you do the same and to empower you to make realistic and healthy choices for you and your families.  You can find me at www.healthyjasmine.com.” 

Millet Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies

  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup of Sunbutter
  • 3 Tbsp Date Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Powder
  • 1-2.5 oz jar of Pureed Prunes (baby food prune puree)

Dry Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix and blend the wet ingredients.  Add baking soda and tapioca flour until well blended.  Slowly stir in quinoa flakes, millet and rice cereal with a wooden spoon until combined. Place by tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350°F for 15-minutes.

Yields 18 cookies

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