Ginger Cookies

Since Thanksgiving there’s been an onslaught of sweets in my life and just general overall food decadence.  I’ve been bombarded with sweet treats at work, tempted by holiday goodies at the grocery store and I find myself craving heartier, heavier meals.  It’s winter and I want all the yummy foods that come with the season.  Ginger is one of my favorite year-round flavors, especially in my morning smoothie, but ginger cookies are another story.  I love them!  These cookies are gluten and dairy free so you can indulge without the guilt!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten & dairy free)

 

It is just a fact.  Chocolate chip cookies, preferably warm, are one of the best things that exist.  I’ve long been a cookie connoisseur, working to perfect even the “best” chocolate chip cookie recipes.  My fascination started before I could do long division, but now as an adult and in a world surrounded by a plethora of flours and butter alternatives, I decided to try something that really is different from the typical two-sticks-of-butter chocolate chip cookie.

 

These cookies are many things, but vegan is not one of them.  A room temperature egg binds our cookie together and the coconut palm sugar creates the traditional brown sugar flavor.  

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The great thing (one of them, at least!) about this recipe: ONE BOWL!  It takes just one bowl to blend first the wet, then add in all the dry ingredients before blending again.  That’s a combination of almond meal and coconut flour.  I also used Celtic Sea Salt, which gives the cookies a salty-sweet flavor.  Unbelievable! 

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Hazelnut-Espresso Stars

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During college, my mom would occasionally send me boxes, usually filled with clothes I left behind or – even better – her homemade granola, which I constantly craved. Now that I’m no longer at school, and all the kids are out of the house, my mom says she doesn’t have much use for things like cookie cutters. I got a box from her recently and inside there was a bag filled with cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes! I think it’s the best box-from-mom ever, especially now that I make granola on my own, thanks to years of watching her do it.

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In my opinion, all the best cookies start with butter. When baking, it’s best to use room temperature butter that leans toward the colder side.

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Honey-Lemon Oatmeal Cookies with Ginger and Coconut

I am a cookie fanatic. I truly believe a good cookie can turn a sour day into a sweet one in so many ways. I love cookies with texture, which is why the oats and shredded coconut are so wonderful. Lemon, ginger and honey provide for a very adult-like cookie. Using fresh ginger is key! If you don’t have any, just omit. You could always add fresh lavender or rosemary for an equally sophisticated treat.

The recipe is adapted from Melissa d’Arabian’s “Ginger Lemon Oatmeal Cookies.” I just used less sugar, substituted the brown sugar with honey and added coconut and left out the nuts. If I do say so myself, these are delish!

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Luscious Lemon-Cranberry Biscotti

Biscotti is one of my absolute favorite baked goods to make. It takes a while, which is one reason it’s satisfying: the best things in life are those you wait for, right? In Italian, biscotti translates to “twice baked.” Biscotti stores well, and the cookie is said to have come about during Columbus’s days of exploration. I lived in Florence, Italy for a while and would typically have almond biscotti with sweet wine after dinner.

I made this lemon-cranberry biscotti, adapted from this recipe which calls for white chocolate, not cranberries. I love the tartness of lemons and cranberries together and the subtle sweetness provided by the cup or so of sugar.

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