Vegan Ginger shortbread bars


IMG_8225IMG_8214IMG_8215IMG_8217IMG_8219IMG_8224I adapted this recipe from Deborah Madison’s vegetarian cookbook replacing butter with the vegan option Smart balance as well as a few other tweaks.  It’s softer and richer in my opinion than with real butter (I have nothing against real butter here, I just find myself avoiding dairy more and more these days)  It’s a super simple recipe and  a totally delicious treat.

Ingredients: 3/4 C rolled oats, 1/2 pound Smart balance butter replacement (1 Cup), 1 C light brown sugar, packed

1/4 tsp salt, 1 Tbs ground ginger, 11/2 C flour, 1/2 C dark chocolate chips (dairy free kind).

1//Preheat the oven to 350.  Beat your Smart balance ‘butter’ and sugar together until creamy and light.

2//Add in the salt, ginger and rolled oats.

3//Add in flour and choc chips.

4//Spread the batter into a 9×12 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

5//Let cool on a rack, cut into squares and enjoy!

This is great for a dessert treat with almond milk:)

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Ginger pecan snowball cookies


gingersnowballsI’m getting really into baking right now; I want to find that recipe that I can pass on to my kids and that they’ll want to pass on too.  Maybe it doesn’t work like that though, you can’t plan on everything; but it’s nice to think about.  When I was a kid my mom made snowball cookies like these and they were my favorite holiday cookie.  This recipe (from Taste of home mag) adds a little ginger which I love. Here’s what I used:

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Ingredients: 1 C butter, softened// 3/4 C + 1.5 C confectioner’s sugar, divided// 2 tsp grated lemon peel// 2 tsp lemon extract// 2 1/4 C cake flour// 1 C chopped macadamia nuts (I used pecans)// 1 C chopped crystallized ginger (hint*don’t buy it from the spice section–it’s way more $–you can find in nuts area)

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1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 3/4 C confectioner’s sugar until it’s blended. Beat in lemon peel and extract. Gradually beat in the flour into the creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and ginger. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until it’s easy to handle (hint*mine was REALLY crumbly and not easy to handle so I added a sprinkle of water to help shape the cookies)

2. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes at 350.

3. Roll warm cookies in confectioner’s sugar and let cool on wire racks. When cooled roll them again in the conf. sugar.  You’re done!  Yummy holiday cookies!

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Lime & cherry shortbread cookies


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I’m not the most experience baker in the world and the Mr. isn’t really a sweets kind of guy; I didn’t even make him a cake for his birthday this year.  In the spirit of the holidays I wanted to try some recipes and make some homemade goodies to send to those I won’t be able to spend the holidays with this year.  Besides, I  never said I don’t like sweets;)
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Ingredients: 1 C butter, softened//3/4 C confectioners’ sugar//1 Tbs grated lime peel//2 tsp. vanilla extract//1/2 tsp almond extract//2 C all purpose flour//1/4 tsp baking powder//1/8 tsp salt//1/2 C dried cherries
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1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Beat in lime peel and extracts. In another bowl mix up the flour, baking powder and salt and gradually beat it into the creamed mixture. Stir in cherries.DSC_0035
2. Divide your dough in half and shape it into a 7 inch long roll. Wrap it up in plastic and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until firm.limecherrycookies

3. Unwrap and cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices or rounds. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake a 350 for 10 minutes. Remove and let them cool on a wire rack.   These are really quite good. I love that they’re not too sweet and the lime and cherries give it a nice tartness.  DSC_0026
The hazards of cooking with animals around. Oh, sigh smile and laugh it off.  What have you been baking lately, any holiday goodies?