Monday, January 3

The Final Winners...

Honorable Mention in the cookie recipe category goes to:

Maiah Albi of Eugene Oregon for Vegan Almond Cookies!

Says Maiah, "These are great cookies that vegans and non-vegans alike will enjoy. I always get asked for the recipe! Not overly sweet, a good way to treat yourself over the holiday season. These are pretty fast and easy, and look and taste great. A good holiday party fare that everyone will enjoy."

Vegan Almond Cookies

3 cups pastry flour
3/4 tablespoon baking soda
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup oil
1/2 cup soymilk
1/4 cup water plus 2-3 tablespoons if necessary
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups mixed dried fruit-apricots, raisins, etc.
1-1/2 cups chopped almonds
1-3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Mix oil, soymilk, water and vanilla. Sift in dry ingredients. Fold in fruit, nuts and oats. Scoop by rounded 1/4 cups, spread evenly on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350F for 8-12 minutes. Flatten cookies with the bottom of a mug halfway through baking, flipping tray around for optimal results. Yields 22-24 large cookies. Drizzle with melted semisweet chips if desired.

Thank you, Maiah! Great cookie! We enjoyed this recipe and decided to try cranberries and blueberries for the dried fruit.

The winner of the cookie category is:

Michael Cohen of Los Angeles, California for Santa's Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Santa's Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 ounces peppermint candy canes
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well.

Using a mixer, beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix together until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon juice; mix well. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Now, this is the really fun part, place candy canes in a plastic bag and break into small pieces (either carefully use a mallet or rolling pin on them, or pick up the bag and smash it into the counter, or whatever floats your boat—just break ‘em up!). Fold the broken candy canes and chocolate chips into the dough and mix by hand until the ingredients are well combined.

For best results, chill the dough in the refrigerator for 6 hours before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

With a 1/4-cup scoop, portion out the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, placing the scoops 2 inches apart. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown but the centers are still slightly soft. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes.

Makes 20-24 cookies.

Thanks, Michael! These are wonderful!!!

Maiah will receive an autographed copy of My Gift to You. Michael will also receive an autographed copy of My Gift to You as well as a $10 gift certificate to KitchenKneads, and an assortment of holiday cookie cutters from Off the Beaten Path.

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