Gingersnap Cookies Reinvented

This holiday I’ve decided to remake my traditional cookie recipes into healthier gluten-free/lower sugar versions.  Yesterday’s modified Gingersnap cookie recipe – a relatively easy one since you can do all the mixing by hand using one bowl – came out remarkably well.  In fact, this might be my new favorite Christmas cookie.  The cookies tasted great just cooled (nutty and spicy with enough of a snap while still having soft chewy centers) and were equally good this afternoon thawed from the freezer.

On a snowy day like today, what could be better than capping off lunch with some (healthy) Gingersnap cookies?

But don’t take my word.  Here’s the recipe so that you can try these cookies out yourself!

Paleo Gingersnaps

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup coconut sugar, plus additional sugar for rolling

1/4 cup non-fat dried milk

3 Tbsp molasses

1 egg

1 1/2 cups almond flour

6 Tbsp coconut flour

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

scant 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine coconut oil, coconut sugar, dried milk, molasses and egg.
  • Add in the almond flour, coconut flour, ginger, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves.  Stir until completely mixed.  Scoop dough into balls and roll in additional coconut sugar.
  • Place 1-2 inches apart on the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from the oven and gentle press down so they are slightly flattened.
  • Return to oven for 3 more minutes.
  • Let cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.

Note:  Once cooled, these cookies can be stored in an air-tight container in the freezer.  When you want one, let it thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes or so.

Happy Baking!

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My Favorite Things – The Holiday Windows at Bergdorf Goodman

Every year since we moved to New York City, I look forward to seeing the holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman.  Each year is a different feast for the eyes, and this year feels extra special since the 7 windows are a love story of sorts to a handful of cultural institutions around the city.

The New York Philharmonic window comes alive practically instrument by instrument in a fiery red explosion of neon color.

Far less monochromatic, but still jaw-dropping is the New York Botanical Society window.

The Museum of the Moving Image window steps back into the glamour of the silver screen…

While the New York Historical Society’s window brings a touch of folk art history to the mix.

Certainly the most dazzling is the window dedicated to the American Museum of Natural History…

(In this closer view you’ll see that even the skeletons are encrusted with crystals!)

While I missed the window dedicated to BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), this window with its accidental reflection of the lights and bustle of 5th avenue is a poetic love letter to New York City in and of itself.

And this window – entitled “to New York with love, BG” – ties in black-tie fashion with many of the city’s landmark buildings, monuments and iconic images.

Very few of us New Yorkers are lucky enough to have Carrie Bradshaw-worthy wardrobes (or closets)…

But we can always dream.  Maybe I should wear these boots on my next stroll through Central Park?

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Filed under Architecture, My Favorite Things, New York, New York City, photography

Friday’s Thought – An Angelic One

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.”

(Luciano De Crescenzo)

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Filed under Architecture, Friday's Thought, inspiration, inspirational quotes, New York, New York City, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

From My Sketchbook – Rhymes and Doodles

When the cold sets in it’s best to keep bundled,

So your bones keep warm and not disgruntled.

It’s a glamorous look that’s really quite easy,

With the added perk that you won’t get sneezy.

 

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Filed under Art, drawing faces, Drawing Practice, Face Sketch, From My Sketchbook, funny poems, ink sketches, Short Rhyming Poems, silly poems, silly rhymes, Sketch Practice

Friday’s Thought – Star Gazing

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars.”

(Henry Van Dyke)

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My Favorite Things – Holiday Baking

(At least, I think I still like doing it…)

Growing up in my family, the holidays just weren’t the holidays without our having at least 13 batches of home-baked cookies on hand.  In addition to helping bake the cookies, my “job” was often to arrange the cookie plate with cookies selected from each of the 13 tins.  I still like to bake, but these days my holiday baking is more for giving away to friends and family.  Why?  Because I now prefer the taste of almond flour to white flour, and I also try to avoid eating sugar if I can.

Therefore, this year I’ve decided I will try and “make-over” a few holiday cookie recipes so that my husband and I can enjoy the spirit of the season without feeling like beached whales by the end of it.   In addition to my standard must-have-in-the-house/freezer-at-all-times Chocolate Oat Almond Flour Cookies with Crystallized Ginger (pictured in the middle, below), I’ve now made Almond Macaroons (top of plate, below) and Coconut Macaroons (bottom of plate, below.)

The Almond Macaroons are flour-free, while the Coconut Macaroons have only 1/3 cup of flour.  I will experiment reducing the sugar in my next batch of Almond Macaroons because the cookies are quite sweet.  In case you’re interested, here are the recipes (from The Great Big Cookie Book by Hilaire Walden):

♥Almond Macaroons♥

(Makes 12 to 24 depending on the size)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups blanched almonds, toasted*

3/4 cup granulated sugar 

2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat mat.  Reserve 24 almonds for decorating.  In a food processor grind the rest of the almonds with the sugar.

With the machine running, slowly pour in enough of the egg whites to form a soft dough.  Add the almond extract and pulse to mix.

With moistened hands, shape the mixture into walnut-size balls and arrange on the baking sheet.

Press one of the reserve almonds onto each ball, flattening the cookie slightly, and dust with confectioners’ sugar.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the tops are golden and feel slightly firm.  Cool on a wire rack.

(*Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes.)

 

♦Coconut Macaroons♦

(Makes 24)

Ingredients

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

pinch salt

2 1/2 cups dried (unsweetened) coconut

2/3 cup condensed milk (I use condensed coconut milk)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 package bittersweet (or semi-sweet) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line two baking sheets with waxed paper or a Silpat mat.

Sit the flour and salt into a large bowl.  Stir in the dried coconut.

Pour in the sweetened condensed milk (or condensed coconut milk).  Add the vanilla extract and stir together from the center.  Continue stirring until a very thick batter is formed.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter 1 inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets.  Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.  When melted, dip the bottoms of the cooled cookies into the chocolate and place the cookies on their side to allow the chocolate to set.

 

P.S.  All three cookie recipes above keep very nicely in the freezer.  That way, you’re also less likely to over indulge, too!

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Filed under Cartoon Illustration, funny art, Funny Illustrations, My Favorite Things

From My Sketchbook – Rhymes and Doodles

The sparkles on her hat

Were clear from where I sat.

So sketch away I did

As she peered through her lid.

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Filed under 10 Thousand Hours, Art, drawing faces, Face Sketch, funny poems, practicing drawing, quick sketch, Short Rhyming Poems, silly poems, silly rhymes, sketchbook, Sketchbook Journal