Even though we celebrate Chanukah, which was weeks ago, I am always baking cookies during this time of year. Dozens and dozens of cookies that I give as gifts. It definitely makes baking easier when I make the cookie dough for each recipe a week ahead of time and freeze.
I wrap each dough separately in wax paper and drop it into a freezer bag for freezing. I label each bag and put the date on it (who can remember?) then continue a week later with the easy part-scooping and baking.
I baked three holiday cookies this week that I think you will love. Ginger Cookie dipped in Dark Chocolate (vegan), this Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies with Orange Glaze, and Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies (both with vegan option).
While it does knock me out to have these baking marathons, and feel like a sugar junkie tasting everything, I do love it.
I love when cookies come out of the oven, and my boy’s smiles when they come home to the heavenly smell of cookies baking in the oven. There is nothing better than walking into a home of fresh baked goodies. Well, maybe eating them. Yep, I ate lots of them, with my family joining in over the kitchen counter. Who can wait to sit at the table, we just go right at it off the cooling rack. We’re such vultures here!
But the real reason I bake so much is to give homemade goodies to the people I care about; a way to say thank you to the teachers, aides, caregivers, therapists, friends, holiday party hostesses, etc. The long list of people who are a valuable part of our lives.
I could go out and buy something, since some of the people I give gifts to are not gluten free or dairy free or vegan, but I think there is something special about taking the time to make something they will enjoy. Craft stores sell some pretty food packaging for cookies and have those pretty tins that can be reused with a hand written note will make anyone feel special.
The cookies I baked for giving were oatmeal cranberry with orange glaze (recipe below), ginger cookies dipped in dark chocolate, and red velvet crinkle cookies. Those I will send out in other posts. Not very tech savvy to link them all separately under the home page and print separately.
Let me know which recipe you sampled, I would love to here your comments. Season’s Greetings…enjoy!
Makes 4 dozen cookies
Note: Dough can be frozen in an airtight container up to a month
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca
1/4 cup organic sweet white rice flour – total weight of flour blend should be 8 ounces
1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
1 tablespoon organic ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 stick (3 ounces) Earth Balance Non-Dairy Soy Free spread
2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
4 organic large eggs (see vegan option below)
2 tablespoons oil (I use sunflower oil)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
zest of 1 medium orange (about a heaping teaspoon)
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Certified Gluten Free Oats)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
vegan option: 1/4 cup organic applesauce (preferably chunky)
3 cups organic powdered sugar
5 tablespoons vanilla coconut milk
1 teaspoon orange extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
For the cookie:
Note: If you have frozen your dough, thaw in refrigerator overnight then let it sit on your kitchen counter (away from sunlight) for an hour or so until it’s bendable. It should still be cold as you prepare your cookies to bake.
Preheat oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine all the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer set with a paddle attachment, or using an electric beater, beat the Earth Balance, coconut oil, light brown sugar, and cane sugar on low speed at first then raise to medium (4 on Kitchen Aid), mix about 3-5 minutes until mixture is light beige in color and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, or your vegan option. Add vanilla extract then sunflower oil and orange zest.
Reduce speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients and rolled oats, beat until combined well (about 1 minute).
Fold in the cranberries.
Place heaping tablespoons of dough on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. I did not press my cookies down as I like them to look like a cluster with the glaze on top; press down slightly if you like a flatter cookie.
Bake 13-15 minutes, until the bottoms have browned lightly, the tops will look lighter than bottoms of the cookies. They will continue to bake during the cooling stage.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10-15 minutes before transferring onto wire cooling racks. Cool completely before glazing (I wait about an hour).
For the glaze:
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients using a hand mixer until glaze is completely smooth. Let it chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Stir well before using. If you find it’s too thick to make pourable, add 1 teaspoon of coconut milk, or more as needed. It should not be too thin.
Place the parchment baking sheets you used under the wire cooling racks (to catch drips). Using a spoon or fork, drizzle glaze in one direction then the other direction for a criss-cross pattern, or however you like.
You will have some glaze left over. The glaze will keep well tightly stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Chill glazed cookies for 1-2 hours before serving.
These refrigerate well in an airtight container for a week, or freeze for 2 weeks.
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