Carrots+Cookies=Carrot Cookies!

Yummmmm!!  I’m not gonna brag about how tasty these are.  Buuuuuuuuut, I’m going to, because they are!!!  Carrots, and cookies, and slightly sweet goodness!! Eat these up! And enjoy their health benefits (while getting your veggies)! 🙂

Here’s the recipe I came up with one bored, experimental day:

Carrot Cookies

1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 stick butter (softened)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
juice from 1/2  an orange
1 cup shredded carrots
2/3 cup raisins

Mix the dry ingredients (through the cinnamon) in a bowl. Stir well with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, add the honey, vanilla, egg, orange juice, shredded carrots, and raisins.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture.  Mix until no dry ingredients remain.

Drop by tablespoonfuls on a greased baking sheet.  Place in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

ENJOYYYYY!!!


That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles

It’s not very often food bloggers write a post about a failure – a recipe gone awry, a kitchen disaster of sorts.  But I am going to do it.  Go ahead, judge me, and my baking skills.  But I’m sure even the greatest of cooks had many failures before creating that perfect recipe.  And since lately I have been getting into creating my own recipes and adapting from others, this is one lesson learned.  So here it is. Okay so maybe it’s not thaaaaat bad. in fact it was quite good.  Just not perfect.

I attempted to make a chocolate-dipped lemon almond cookie (inspired by Cannelle et Vanille’s Lemon and Almond Meltaways), which also happens to be gluten free.  And for me there’s nothing more delectable than the combination of almond and chocolate (hence why I made them chocolate-dipped).  That’s where I think I went awry, an unexperienced gluten-free baker attempting to fuss over new recipes…what was I thinking!?  But I’m not going to lie – although these cookies still taste delicious, they wouldn’t pass any beauty contest nor texture contest.


Now, like I said, I’m no gluten-free baker, so perhaps AAANNNNNYYYYONE out there who knows anything about gluten-free baking would be so kind to enlighten me.  The problem with these cookies is that they were a little too dry and crumbly, and I think that may be due to the rice flour combined with the almond meal.  When attempted to be chocolate-dipped, they nearly fell apart, in the chocolate.  However, after they had cooled a bit in the fridge, they seemed a bit more substantial, but still dry when bit into.

I know it appears that half of these cookies have had a bite taken out of them.  Well, they haven’t, that’s just my baking mistake of crumbly cookies.   A few strong survivors made it….far enough from the oven to the chocolate to the plate to someone’s mouth.

So there you have it – I learned my lesson in gluten-free baking.

Inexperience of gluten-free baking+creating and adapting recipes=dry cookies.

I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

I’m going to post the recipe anyway for those brave souls out there that want to try and alter it to make it a tiny bit better.  And like I said, they are quite delicious!  If I were to make these again (and I may one day to perfect them), I would just cut out all the gluten-free stuff and substitute regular flour (it’s not like I need gluten-free).  Perhaps this recipe also needed an egg??

Chocolate-dipped Lemon Almond Cookies

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2/3 cup powdered sugar
Zest of 2 large lemons
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup very finely ground almonds
1 1/3 cups rice flour (more if needed)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup finely chopped, good quality chocolate
2 Tbsp butter

Cream together the butter, powdered sugar and lemon zest. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Mix well.  Place almonds in food processor and ground until a very fine powder. Combine all the dry ingredients (including the almonds) and add them to the mixer. Cream until all comes together to a semi-hard dough that no longer sticks to the bowl.  If not hard enough, add more rice flour.

Transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment and shape it into a log that is about 2 inches in diameter. Use the parchment to tighten the log and form a long cylinder.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours until firm.

Cut the log into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake at 350F for about 16-18 minutes until firm and not quite golden brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet.

Melt chocolate over a double broiler with butter, until smooth and creamy.  Dipped cooled cookies in chocolate halfway and place on parchment paper until hardened and cool.


Black-bottom Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

Okay, so I’ve been on a chai kick lately, obviously (2nd chai post in two days).  Well,  tis’ the season!  I created this recipe one day in my head and had to try it out.  I was impressed with the results, as were those that were lucky enough to be gifted some! (The actual cookie base was adapted from the Joy of Cooking’s Classic Oatmeal Cookie).

Black-Bottom Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

Steep:

3-4 high quality chai tea bags in 1/4 cup boiled water for 10 minutes, covered.  Remove tea bags and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile wisk:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose baking flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
4-6 grinds of fresh black pepper

In a separate bowl, blend:

2 sticks of butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

Add chai tea concentrate to butter mixture.  Gradually add flour mixture until smooth.

Stir in:

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Place dough in refrigerator to stand overnight or 12 hours, covered (this step is important for flavor, do not skip this step).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in upper third of oven.  Grease cookie sheets.  Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 3-inches apart on greased cookie sheets.  Gently press cookie downward to create a semi-flattened disk.

Cook for 8-10 minutes.  Let stand 2 minutes on tray before removing from cookie sheet.

Meanwhile, in a double boiler, melt and cool to tepid:

12-14 ounces of high-quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped

Once the cookies are completely cooled, spread the bottom of each cookie with sufficient chocolate to coat.  Place face down on wax paper or tin foil and place in a cool area to harden.  Do not remove cookies from wax paper until completely hardened, otherwise you will lose the chocolate from the cookie.  Store in a cool location for up to one week.

And of course, enjoy!