Living the WELL Life


Holiday Cheer - by Christina Pirello

Sunday, December 05, 2010

It's that time of year again.  Holiday parties are in full swing and you know what that means...lots of eating!  But you can have your cookies and eat them too.  I've got an array of treats that will satisfy your palate and not contribute to the "lose the holiday weight" goal on your new year's resolutions list.  Now that's something to celebrate!  Happy and healthy eats! 


Italian Biscotti

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/3 cup hemp seed oil
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup soymilk
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Glaze:
1/4 cup soy milk
3 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

Preheat to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Combine dry and whisk to mix well. Add oil and rice syrup, slowly add soymilk to create soft dough. Fold in almonds. With moist hands, divide dough in half and shape each half into a cylinder that is 2-inch wide.

Place cylinder side by side on baking sheet and bake 20-25 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2 inch wide slices. Return slices on the baking sheet, bake for 3 minutes, flip and bake 3 minutes more.

Combine the soymilk, rice syrup saucepan and bring to a foaming boil over high heat. Pore over the chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Dip the ends of the biscotti into the glaze to cover half of the cookie. Set cookies on a wire rack to set.


Sheila's Lacy Wafers


1/4 cup avocado or light olive oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup barley malt
1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup uncooked quick rolled oats
1/4 cup very finely chopped almonds or walnut pieces
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract

Chocolate Filling:
1 cup non-dairy, grain-sweetened chocolate chips
2 teaspoons Suzanne’s Specialties Chocolate Rice Nectar
1/4 cup Pearl Creamy Vanilla Soymilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.  Place oil, rice syrup and barley malt in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until loose. Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in flour until smooth. Fold in oats, nuts and extract, mixing well.

Drop batter, by 1/4-teaspoonfuls onto lined sheet, allowing 2 inches in between to allow for spreading. Bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on sheet for 1 minute. Carefully peel cookies from parchment and set aside to cool.

Prepare the filling by placing chocolate chips in a heat-resistant bowl. Bring rice syrup and soymilk to a rolling boil over high heat. Pour over chocolate and whisk until shiny and smooth.

Pair similar sized cookies to make wafers. Spread the flat side of one cookie with chocolate and press its partner, flat side to chocolate, making a sandwich. Place on parchment to allow chocolate to set. Repeat with remaining cookies and chocolate.  Makes 30-40 filled cookies


Mexican Chocolate Drops

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
vanilla soymilk

Chocolate Glaze:
1/4 cup vanilla soy or rice milk
3 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1 cup grain-sweetened, non-dairy chocolate chips
unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and spices in a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Mix in oil and rice syrup. Add soymilk by tablespoons, mixing until the dough gathers into a soft ball.

Roll the dough into 1-inch spheres and arrange on baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the cookies crack a bit on the top, but are still soft. Cool completely on wire racks. Prepare the glaze by bringing soymilk and rice syrup to a high boil. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate chips until silky smooth. Dip the tops of each cookie into the glaze and then into coconut. Makes about 24 cookies.

Asteroids


1 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup malt-sweetened non-dairy chocolate chips
3 cups crispy brown rice cereal

In a large sauce pan, heat rice syrup and almond butter until creamy. Stir in chocolate chips until they melt. Remove from heat and stir in crispy rice until well-incorporated. Press into a shallow, square casserole dish. Allow to set until firm. Cut into squares and serve.  Makes about 1 dozen asteroids.

Variations: Any nut butter is fabulous in this treat. Peanut butter, cashew or hazelnut butter...yummy.

Coconut Macaroon

2 1/3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch sea salt
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
2/3 cup almond milk

Chocolate Glaze
1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
3 tablespoons almond milk
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine all the ingredients for the cookies, mixing well. Set-aside so the coconut can absorb the liquid, about five minutes you should have a thick batter, but it will not be very cohesive. Drop the batter by tsp. full onto baking sheet, and form into peaked cookies with your fingers. Bake about 20 minutes, or until the coconut begins to brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Place the chocolate chips and heat resistant bowl. Combine the almond milk and rice syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a full boil. Pour over the chocolate and whisk until smooth and satellite. Transfer to a plastic squeeze bottle.

Slip a piece of parchment paper under the wire rack. Moving in a zigzag direction, drizzle the cookies with the glaze. Allow to stand for a few minutes to set the glaze.


Nipples of Venus



2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
Generous pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Scant pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup avocado or light olive oil
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla soymilk

Chocolate glaze:
1/4 cup vanilla soymilk
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
2/3 cup non-dairy grain-sweetened chocolate chips
18-24 non-dairy grain-sweetened chocolate chips, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix in coconut, oil, rice syrup and vanilla. Slowly add soymilk, mixing to create a soft, moldable dough. Do not over mix.

With moist hands, roll the dough into 1-inch spheres and arrange on the lined baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake until firm but still tender, 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Prepare the glaze by placing soymilk and rice syrup in a small sauce pan and bringing to a high boil. Pour over chocolate chips and whisk to create a smooth, shiny glaze. Using a small spoon, dab a small bit of glaze on the center top of each cookie and press a chocolate chip into the center of the glaze, creating the nipple.  Makes 18-24 cookies.

Note: You will have more chocolate glaze than you will need, but it will keep, refrigerated for a couple of weeks. You’ll just need to loosen it before reuse


Italian Nut Cookies


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 (one half) cup semolina flour
1/2 (one half) teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1/3 (one third) cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 (one half) cup light olive oil
1/2 (one half) cup brown rice syrup or honey
1/2 (one half)-1 cup almond milk
1/2 (one half) cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 (one quarter) cup coarsely chopped walnuts
chocolate glaze
1/4 (one quarter) cup almond milk
3 tablespoons Suzanne’s Specialties Chocolate Rice Nectar
1 cup non-dairy, grain- sweetened chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Whisk together flour, semolina, cinnamon, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder. Mix in oil and rice syrup. Slowly add the almond milk to create a soft, formable dough. Fold in nuts. Using moist hands, form dough into 1-inch spheres and arrange on baking sheet.

Bake until cookies are just firm, but still slightly soft, 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Make the glaze by placing the almond milk and rice syrup in a small saucepan and bringing to a high boil. Pour over chocolate chips and whisk to form a smooth, satin-like glaze.

Slip a piece of parchment paper under the rack of cookies. Spoon glaze over each one, letting the glaze run over the sides. Allow to stand, undisturbed, until glaze begins to set. Transfer to a serving platter. Makes about 24 cookies.

Note: These cookies will keep, in a sealed container for several days.

Linzer Bar Cookies

½ cup avocado or light olive oil
½ cup brown rice syrup
¼ cup barley malt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Generous pinch sea salt
1 cup coarse almond meal
¾ cup arrowroot powder
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup unsweetened raspberry or strawberry preserves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil and flour a 9-inch-square baking pan.  Place the oil, rice syrup, barley malt and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat, and cook, stirring until loose.  Remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl.  Whisk in the cinnamon, lemon zest and salt.  Mix in the almond meal, arrowroot, flour and baking powder, stirring to create a stiff dough.

Press half the dough firmly into the prepared pan.  Spoon preserves evenly over the dough, right to the edges.  Crumble the remaining dough over the preserves, covering completely.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the dough is firm to the touch and the preserves are bubbling.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into 1-inch squares.  Makes 16-18 squares.

Perfect Chocolate Cupcake

1 ½ tablespoons chia seed meal (or seed)
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup semolina flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder (organic, fair trade, if possible)
Generous pinch sea salt
Generous pinch ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup avocado oil
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
Unsweetened almond milk
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
½ cup coarsely chopped baking chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin or use cupcake papers. Soak chia meal or seed in almond milk for 5 minutes or until it thickens slightly.

Mix together all dry ingredients, whisking to ensure the ingredients are well-combined. Mix in oil, syrup, vanilla and vinegar. Stir in chia-almond milk mixture. Slowly mix in additional almond milk to create a thick smooth batter. Fold in nuts and chocolate. Spoon into prepared cups to fill 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back to the touch. Cool before serving…if you can wait that long!  Makes 12 cupcakes.

 



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