Friday, December 30, 2011

A Look Back on 2011 and a Leap into 2012- The Virtual New Years Eve Party

Welcome to the Food Bloggers Virtual New Years Eve Party!  Do you have your champagne in hand? If not grab one, and follow me.
#10 Raspberry Dark Chocolate Bars- These were one of my donations for my Online Bake Sale in May
#9 My lunch date with Stef, from Cupcake Project, the "Rockstar of Cupcakes" and Carrot Cake Cupcakes.
#2 My First Top 9 Apple Walnut Cake
#1 Online Bake Sale  This is the post that overwhelmed me the most by the generosity and caring from the blogging community to benefit the American Cancer Society . I want to thank again the bakers, who donated their time and baked goods, as well as the bidders, who participated as well.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart
SP Cookie Queen's Oatmeal, Cranberry, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies, one of the many cookies that were on the Online Bake Sale

And now a Leap into 2012
This is a new take on an old standby French Onion Dip, only healthier, and with a few additions, and tastes better, in my family's opinion.

Caramelized Onion Dip with Sun Dried Tomatoes
Inspired by Liv Life
 1 Tbsp olive oil
2 - 3 large sweet onions, cut in half and thinly sliced, then cut in quarters  
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/2 cup low fat cream cheese
1/2  cup sun dried tomatoes, diced 
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring often for about 20 minutes, or until they turn golden. Be careful and watch them, because they burn easily.  Add the garlic and balsamic vinegar and cook for another 3 minutes, until deep golden and caramelized.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Place onions to a medium bowl and stir in sour cream, cream cheese, sun dried tomatoes, rosemary, and  salt and pepper.    Cover and chill,to let the flavors mingle, or serve warm.  Serve with pita chips, crackers, or veggies. Enjoy!

 Have a Safe and Happy New Year Everyone!!!
Come and join the Party!!!!

Hanky Panks Revisited

Where did the year go?  I can't believe tomorrow is New Years Eve! It just seems like it was only yesterday that my son and now daughter-in-law got engaged.  They were married this past October, so the year was a whirlwind of showers and parties, leading up to the wedding.

On the Foodie side of my life, I am so grateful for all the friendship and support that I have received from the blogging community, especially for the Relay for Life and my online bake sale. Thank you again to all of you who participated in this wonderful event. In addition to the the wonderful friends that I have met, there have been so many recipes to try and so little time. I look forward to posting many more wonderful recipes, and working on my photography, always a work in progress!

This Hanky Pank recipe has been a family tradition for many years and ingredients have evolved over the years, due to family and health preferences. This year before I made them for our family Christmas, I called my son and daughter-in-law, who have been loosing a lot of weight, to see if I made them, If they would even eat them.  My son said that they might eat a couple, but not as many as in the past.  Good, I made a smaller batch than usual, using Pumpernickel rye toasts, ground turkey, chicken sausage, Italian Sweet Sausage, style, and Velveeta cheese. They were a hit!

If you need an appetizer for New Years Eve, New Years Day, or football party get together, this would be a perfect.  They are easy to make, can be made ahead of time, then frozen and re-heated, and taste soo good.  They are approved by family for over 30 years! I I hope that all of you have a safe and Happy New Year, and a Great 2012. Happy Cooking, too.

Hanky Panks
1lb of ground beef or turkey
1 lb. of bulk Italian sausage, turkey sausage, or chicken sausage
1lb. Velveeta cheese
1Tsp. Italian Seasoning
2 loaves cocktail party rye

1. Brown ground beef or ground turkey and sausage, and spices.**
2. Drain meats; Add Velveeta cheese cut in chunks and heat until cheese is melted.
3. Broil one side of party rye in oven till lightly brown.
4.Put meat and cheese mixture on rye breads.
5.At this point, you can put the rye breads on a cookie sheet and freeze for 1 hour.  Remove from cookie sheet and put in freezer bag for future use. Take out as many as needed and microwave till bubbly, or heat in the oven, 350 degrees for about 10 min.  Enjoy

**If you use the chicken sausages, which are pre-cooked, stir the diced sausages in the browned meat, right  before you add the Velveeta cheese. The sausages will heat up in the melted cheese.

 I am linking my recipe up to Brandie@The Country Cook's Foodie Friday#7.  Come join the fun.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Craisin Walnut Coffee Cake with Greek Yogurt

I always make this coffee cake for Christmas morning and this cake can also appear at Christmas dinner, because it it that good.  Actually you can make this for any occasion,  or just because.  The cake is a moist, delicious cake with a filling of craisins or raisins, broken walnuts, brown sugar, and of course, cinnamon.  The cake was always made with Sour Cream, but this year I have fallen in love with Greek Yogurt, so I subbed the yogurt for the sour cream. The cake seemed more moist, and rose taller. I also had to revise the name of the coffee cake from Sour Cream Coffee Cake to Craisin Walnut Coffee Cake with Greek Yogurt, whatever you call the cake, it is divine. The original recipe was from my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, 1967.

Here is the cake before I cut into it.

I also made another half of a recipe to make these little tree molds for breakfast Christmas morning. We were taking the cake to our Christmas dinner in the city.

Craisin Walnut Coffee Cake with Greek Yogurt                     
 Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook Circa1967

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sift before measuring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins  or craisins
Cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Blend in the Greek yogurt. Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and salt into another bowl; blend into the creamed mixture, mixing well. 

Spread half of the batter in a greased and floured 9-inch square pan, or bundt pan. Mix nuts with 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the batter. Sprinkle all 1 1/2 cups craisins over nut layer. Spoon remaining batter evenly over the raisins; spread carefully. Sprinkle remaining nut mixture over the top.

Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes, until pick, inserted in middle, comes out clean.  Cool in bundt pan 10-15 min. then remove pan and put on rack.  Serve warm. Glaze, if desired and decorate.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake

I made this cake that I saw on Lora@cakeduchess' blog a few weeks ago. I knew that I wanted to make this cake to take to the vegan side of the family's Christmas Eve.  Lora had gone to Michael' and found Martha's stencils for less than $5.  Coupon in hand, I went to Michael's and found the stencils for less than $3!!  Elisabeth@foodandthrift would be proud of me:)

My husband loves Terry's Chocolate Orange, the Chocolate  orange flavored ball that breaks into 20 sections, so I made a few changes to the recipe.  I added the zest of one orange and one Tbsp. of Triple the cake batter. You could use Grand Marnier, but I was out, and Santa didn't bring any. Also, my dark chocolate chips weren't vegan, but I thought that I had the 80% Cacao bars from Trader Joe's in my chocolate stash, however someone ate them, and it wasn't Bailey or me:)  I increased the amount of cocoa to 2/3 cup, so the cake was very chocolaty with an orange flavor in the background.

I made my cake in a 8" square pan, so we had to play with stencil a little bit to get in position.  I baked the cake, and Scott put the stencil on, right before we left.  One caveat, however, is to keep  the cake with stencil, refrigerated as long as possible, othewise the stencil will sink into the cake, and disappear, like this.
Stencil on the cake or not, it is a very rich, moist, chocolaty cake, and no one would think that it was vegan. You could put a light chocolate or orange glaze on the cake, if you wanted. I hope that everyone had wonderful holidays and have a wonderful New Year! and Sanjeetakk are hosting a virtual New Years Eve Party!  Come and join the fun to Leap into 2012!

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake Adapted from cake

1/4 dark chocolate chips ( I didn’t use these)
1/4 cup hot brewed coffee (I used espresso) (I didn’t use this)
1 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I didn’t use this)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract ( I didn’t use this)
1 Tbsp Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
Zest of one orange
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular (or a mix of both) (I used 2/3 c cocoa)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of an 8 inch cake pan and spray with baking spray.

Put the chocolate chips in a medium bowl with hot coffee. Let it stand, stirring occasionally until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. If used

Whisk together the almond milk (or whatever milk you chose) and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle (yes, you’re making a vegan “buttermilk”). Add the sugar, oil, vanilla or Triple Sec, orange zest, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain. If you have some tiny lumps in the batter, not a huge problem.

Pour in the batter and bake for 32 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted through the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely. Remove from pan.

When the cake is cooled, you can sift on the powdered sugar or whatever glaze you prefer.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sweets for Santa

'Twas the night before Christmas, not a creature was stirring, not even  a mouse or Bailey,
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, (Bailey's stocking is the middle one)
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would  be there.

Would you leave these for Santa? Vegan Ginger Orange Cookies, Double Chocolate Mint Cookies with White Chocolate Drizzle, Gingersnaps, or Cranberry Dark Chocolate bars?
Would you leave this plate of Peppermint Fudge or Chocolate Fudge, Saltine Cracker Toffee, or Peanut Blossoms with Dark Chocolate for Santa?
Does Santa like lots of marshmallows in his hot cocoa to go with Thumbprints with MM's, Fudge, Gingersnaps, or Peanut Blossoms with Dark Chocolate Kisses?
Whatever you leave for Santa, I'm sure that he won't complain:)
Scott and I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with many blessings to all of our blogging friends.
I am linking my recipe up to Brandie@The Country Cook's Foodie Friday#7.  Come join the fun.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thumbprints Three Ways

I received a jar of love, Fig Grand Marnier Jam earlier in the week from my dear friend, Gina, and cookies Now, I could have just eaten the yummy on jam on bagels, English muffins, or toast, but I wanted to showcase the wonderful jam in some way.
These are the cookies that I got from Gina, delivered on Sunday thru the mail! I already ate part of  Toffee and Chocolate Crisps, Yum! Thank you Gina for the jam and  all of the cookie love, which brightened up Scott's and my holiday:))) You are the Cookie Queen!

I decided to make Thumbprints,  but wasn't sure that I would have enough jam for a whole batch of cookies.Then, I remembered a delightful cookie recipe from my BFF Barb, Chocolate Butter Sweets, which was a family recipe. I hadn't made this recipe in forever, either. Chocolate Butter Sweets are basically a thumbprint cookie filled with a coconut, cream cheese, and walnut filling, topped with a rich, chocolate frosting. They taste like an Almond Joy, yum!  The second way was that  I rolled the Thumbprint balls in egg white and finely chopped walnuts. Once baked and cooled I filled with the delicious jam. The third way I made the thumbprints was to fill with the chocolate frosting and top with my favorite candy, M&M's. There, you have three totally different looking and tasting cookies from one base cookie recipe, a great idea when you are pressed for time.  Santa will love these!
Here are the jam filled Thumbprints, so good!
 These are the Chocolate Butter Sweets, and the MM topped Thumbprints

Thumbprint Cookie Recipe 
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c butter softened
1/3 c sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 slightly beaten egg whites
3/4 c finely chopped walnuts

In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Bet in egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease cookie sheets. Shape dough into 1″ balls. Roll balls in egg whites, and then the finely chopped walnuts, if desired Using your thumb, make an indentation in each dough ball.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. If cookie centers puff during baking, re-press centers with the rounded side of a measuring teaspoon. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely. Just before serving, fill centers with your choice.

Chocolate Butter Sweets Filling
3 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. flour 
1/2c. chopped walnuts 
1/2 c. flaked coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Stir in walnuts and coconut. Fill cookies while warm.
1/2 c. chocolate chips
2 tbsp. water 
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
Melt chocolate in water and butter. Remove from heat. Add sugar. Beat until smooth. Frost cooled cookies with about 1 teaspoon frosting on each cookie over filling. Refrigerate until serving time.
M&M Thumbprints
Fill centers of Thumbprints with Chocolate frosting recipe, and top with M&M's.

Jam Filled Thumbprints
Fill centers of thumbprints with your favorite jam, and refrigerate until serving.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Amish Chicken and Roasted Vegetables

We had our Modern Family Christmas on December 17th.  Even though we have had 'balmy" temps for December, we awoke to snow, so we had a "White Christmas", which made the day even more festive.
I had sent out a menu so everyone could choose their entree. I was only having six people, so this doable, not if I had twenty, but it worked out very well. The party was supposed to be on the 18th, but we had to change to the 17th, because one of my sons had to leave on  Sunday to go out of town. 
Here is my table

We also had Wild Alaskan Salmon, which was wonderful.  Even my husband, who doesn't like Salmon, loved this one from Costco. We will definitely have this again.

 The roasted vegetables and Amish chicken were a hit as well.  I got the Brussels Sprouts on the stalk and they were soo good. Roasted vegetables are so good, and easy. This is a versatile recipe, because you can choose any veggies that you want.

Roasted Vegetable Medley
1 lb. of fresh Brussels Sprouts, cleaned,outer leaves removed, and halved
2lb. fresh sweet potatoes, skins on, and cut in chunks
1 1b fresh carrots, cut in chunks
1 large red onion cut in chunks
olive oil
3-4 sliced of bacon, chopped  I used turkey bacon
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line large cookie sheet with foil.  Place chopped veggies on cookie sheet. sspinkle chopped bacon on top. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat.  

Roast in oven 30-35 min., or until well caramelized, and veggies are tender, stirring every 15 min Garnish with chopped parsley. Enjoy!

In addition, we had Miller Amish Chicken which is chicken, raised in Amish communities in Indiana.  There are no antibiotics, and they are vegetable fed. This chicken was so good, juicy and tender.  My husband did marinate the chicken beforehand, in a lemon, garlic, olive oil marinade, which even added more flavor. Yum!

We all had a wonderful time with lots of food and wine! Dessert will be posted later.
Merry Christmas! Chris, Emily, Cherise, and Todd
Chris, Scott, Becky and Todd

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gingernaps and Almost Gingerbread Boys

Last Sunday when my husband and I made cookies, I wanted to make cut out Gingerbread boys. I made "Martha's Gingerbread dough" recipe, and even after 3 hours in the fridge, it was way too sticky to roll out.  I knew if I added the amount of flour I would need to add to roll them out, they would be tough and tasteless, and I was too tired to start over with another recipe.  So I did the next best thing, I made Gingersnaps.  My husband wanted Gingersnaps anyway.  I was able to roll out little balls and "smash" them with the bottom of a glass By this time, I was ready to "smash" the cookies, if you know what I mean. The cookies were great, and I decided to ice them, with just a white glaze, I didn't make the Royal icing, like I had planned, either.  I did buy the meringue powder, so that will have to wait till next time.

Here is a picture of the closest thing that I got to a Gingerbread boy that day, if you use your imagination, you might see one.

Otherwise, if you squint, You might see the tiny Gingerbread Sprinkles on the this cookie. I didn't realize that I had them, until I went to get all of my sprinkles.
I had forgotten about my Grandma's Gingerbread apron also, which I used for the background in the first picture.  My granddaughter and I had matching aprons, when she was little.  There was a gingerbread recipe right under my nose, and I didn't even use it.  Well, there is always next year, or my granddaughter is coming after Christmas.  Do you think that I could talk a college girl into making gingerbread cookies with her Grandma?  I'm sure going to try.

We are having a "Modern Family" Christmas with my sons and their wives tomorrow.  If you watch the TV show Modern Family, you will know what I mean. You can go here to watch the Express Christmas episode.  More on that next week. Have a great weekend, and I'm going to have a Merry Christmas!

I am linking this recipe  to Brandie@thecountrycook's Foodie Friday!  Check it out!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hermit Cookies

We usually like to go to downtown Chicago during the holidays to see the lights, and eat under that magnificent tree in the Walnut Room at Marshall Field's, I mean Macy's. it's still painful to see the Macy's sign on that iconic building in Chicago. Anyway, this year because of my husband's recent shoulder surgery, we have may have to wait until after Christmas, if we go at all, because of the bumpy train ride and jostling crowds.  

In lieu of the trip to Chicago, I thought that it would be fun to bake cookies together. We cook together all of the time, but had never baked together. I have baked many cookies, with my Granddaughter Aria, Anna, and Emma, and that has been wonderful. Baking cookies with my husband was not so much fun, because he wanted to make his Hermit Cookies and be the baker himself.  So, when I wanted to make Gingerbread dough for cutout  Gingerbread Boy,s he didn't want to help. just like a kid:) Of course, the fact that it was Football Sunday didn't help either, a fact that I had forgotten.

He had picked out the Hermit cookie recipe from McCalls Cook Book, Circa 1981,  because they looked "interesting."  This Hermit recipe is a gingery spice, soft cookie studded with raisins, and dried apricots. He used crasins instead of raisins, because he thought that they would look prettier. I have since found out that there are many, many versions of the Hermit cookie, some with molasses, however this one does not have molasses. These cookies turned out OK.  They will taste even better in a few days.Enjoy!  After he made the Hermit cookies, I started on the Gingerbread dough, and that's another story to be posted later.
Hermit Cookies Adapted from McCalls Cook Book, Circa 1961


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cold coffee
  • 1 cup raisins  We used craisins
  • 1 3/4 c dried, chopped apricots


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F Grease cookie sheets. 
  2. In a large bowl cream together butter, sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in coffee on low speed. Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Beat in dry ingredients, one third at a time until well blended. Stir in chopped dried. apricots and raisins or craisins.
  3. To make drop cookies: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F). Drop batter about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Peppermint Fudge Pie

If you love peppermint and fudge, you will love this pie. It's peppermint ice cream layered with home made fudge sauce in a chocolate cookie crust, and then frozen.  You can use store bought fudge sauce and cookie crust, if pressed for time, I won't tell. . This pie can be made days ahead and kept in the freezer for drop in company. The fudge sauce is so rich and chocolaty with cool peppermint ice cream and the crunchy cookie crust, Pure Heaven in every bite. With everyone pressed for time during the holidays, This is a show stopper dessert for any gathering.  I made this to take to dinner with friends, and it was a hit.  I have made this pie many times over the years and never been disappointed. Enjoy!

Peppermint Fudge Pie
Adapted from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, 1981

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 ounce can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
  • 2tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2ounces, squares unsweetened chocolate, cut up
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 pint (4 cups) peppermint ice cream  I used Edy's Slow Churned
  • 1 9 inch chocolate cookie crust
  • 6 Tbsp .butter, melted
  •  1 1/2 c, chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1/4   cup crushed peppermint-stick candy
  • Whipped cream
1. For fudge sauce, in a small saucepan combine the 1 cup sugar, the evaporated milk, butter or margarine, and chocolate. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Reduce heat and boil gently for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened and reduced to 1-1/2 cups. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. If necessary, beat until smooth with wire whisk or rotary beater. Set aside to cool completely.

2. In a chilled bowl, stir ice cream until softened. Spread into cooled cookie crust. Cover with cooled fudge sauce. Freeze until firm.

3. Garnish with whipped cream and crushed peppermint candies, before serving.

Chocolate Cookie Crust
1 ½ c. crushed chocolate crumbs You can use Nabisco chocolate wafers, about 24 cookies, or about 18 chocolate sandwich cookies. Process in food processor, or use rolling pin with cookies placed between 2 sheets of waxed paper.

Combine chocolate cookie crumbs and butter in large bowl.  Stir until combined.  Press in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate to form a firm crust..  Bake at 375 degree oven for 7-8 min. Cool on rack before filling.

I am linking my recipe up to Brandie@The Country Cook's Foodie Friday#7.  Come join the fun.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies with White Chocolate Drizzle

Oh, the flavors of the season,  Peppermint and Ginger! These are flavors that I haven't embraced in the past. I don't know why, but I'm making Ginger cookies, and now I made Chocolate Mint cookies, neither of which graced my cookie plate before now.  You might even see some gingerbread, gasp!  I just don't know what has come over me, except that I see so many wonderful blogs, with all of these yummy treats, so I am shaking things up this year.

These delicious cookies have cocoa, dark chocolate, and mint chips, and a white chocolate drizzle, perfect for any chocoholic! When the cookies came out of the oven, they looked a little bare, so I dressed them up with a white chocolate drizzle.  Now, as you can see, I am not a perfectionist, unfortunately.  I can never get my cookies to look perfect and identical. I go more for the free form look:)  I put the drizzle on with the times of a fork. Whatever you are, perfectionist , free form,  or somewhere in between, you will love these cookies. They are a rich chocolate cookie, studded with dark chocolate and mint chips, topped with a white chocolate drizzle.  Three kinds of chocolate in one cookie!  So good. I made some mini size cookies, and a few of the larger ones.  Mini's are good for the holidays, because you can eat more than one, or four, and not feel so guilty.  Enjoy!

I hope that you have a great weekend!  Will you be baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, partying, mailing Christmas cards, or all of the above?  Just over 2 weeks before Christmas!!! Yikes!

I am linking my recipe to Kim@the Farmer's Wife virtual cookie swap.  Come and join the party! Here is the code to use
See you there!
Double Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Drizzle  
Adapted from verybestbaking,com

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.)  Dark chocolate and mint chips
  • 2 squares white baking chocolate
  • 1tsp canola oil
 Preheat oven to 325° F.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Mini cookies: Prepare dough as above. Drop by well-rounded measuring teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set. Makes about 7 dozen mini cookies. 

White Chocolate Drizzle
Melt white chocolate in small bowl in microwave for about 1 min at 50% power.  If it's too thick, stir in 1 tsp. canola or coconut oil to thin. Drizzle white chocolate with tines of fork on cookies, 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vegan Ginger Orange Cookies

Believe it or not, I have never made Ginger Cookies, let alone Vegan Ginger cookies, until yesterday.  I never put ginger and nutmeg in my pumpkin pie either.  I never really liked ginger, until this year.  I don't know why, but now I love ginger in baked goods. I still put cinnamon in many things I bake and eat, but now I can add ginger, and make ginger cookies.  I still don't like ginger in stir frys or Asian food, though.

As I looked for recipes for Ginger cookies, I ran across Kathy@ Healthy Happy Life and her Molasses Ginger Cookies! Vegan Recipes.  Immediately, I was inspired, that I could make these for Christmas Eve with the vegan side of the family.  These cookies are wonderful, chewy, not crisp, and full of the flavors of ginger, molasses, and cinnamon. I used 1 tsp of ginger instead of 1 Tbsp. ginger,and I didn't use the fresh ground ginger, either. I also added the zest of 1 orange, for a hint of orange flavor, and rolled the cookies in sparkling sugar.

The cookies firm up after they cool, and they smell so full of spice, just like Christmas. I probably will have to make another batch, if my husband finds them.  How many of you have secret hiding places for all of your baked goods?  I do! I also make little signs, just like I had to do, when my kids were little, "Eat, and you die!" Excuse me, while I finish my cookie, that I had to eat for "research purposes." I don't want to get crumbs in the keyboard;)
 Even if you aren't vegan, you will not be disappointed, if you make these cookies. Enjoy!

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