Sunday, October 9, 2011

Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies: Week Two

The second week of twelve weeks of Christmas cookies is here already.  This should have been posted on Thursday but Thursdays aren't a great day for me as I put in a 12 hour shift at work so I shall be posting my contributions on Fridays or Saturdays.

I have no idea where I got the idea for this weeks cookie; I think I glanced at something chocolate and ginger and thought....hey! that would make a good combination.  Only good if you like chocolate and ginger of course. I happen to like ginger.  The flavour of it isn't too strong at all really, it just gives the cookie a spicy kind of warmth to it without being overpowering.  You will also notice that I used almond flour rather than wheat flour like I did with the last recipe.
I'm on an almond flour kick at the moment, I don't know why.  I'm using the hell out of my food processor these days and it's so easy to make.  I've decided I'm going to try and make a lot of my contributions out of almond flour.

If you're on a low carb diet, these cookies are acceptable as a treat with a fraction of the carbs in a normal cookie.  If you're on a low fat diet, however, you had better stay clear.  With the butter, fat from the almonds and coconut, they're pretty much half their weight in fat per cookie. If you don't give a stuff, go right ahead and make them! Haha!

Chocolate Ginger Cookies

125g butter
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup fine coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup fine sugar
70g crystallised ginger
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.  Melt butter in a saucepan and add cocoa.  Mix with a spoon till it is gently bubbling.  Add vanilla extract.  Set aside.
In a bowl, add almond flour, coconut, baking powder, ground ginger and sugar.  Mix well with a spoon.  Pour melted chocolate butter over mixture and mix well.  Finally, fold in crystallised ginger.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper.  Form tablespoon-sized balls with your hands and flatten slightly on the baking sheet.  Place in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Makes about 20.

Check out the other goodies:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Productive Friday Evenings

It seems my Friday nights are becoming very productive. Last Friday night I was very busy in the kitchen.  Tonight I was busy inside and outside of the house

On top of making dinner, this evening I:
  • Cleared all the old/dried out plants from my pots, mixed in some compost and added new seedlings.  I planted green onions, cos lettuce, dwarf beans and mizuna.
  • Cleaned the bathroom floor
  • Did three loads of washing
  • Made pizza dough
  • Made yogurt

I've been working since 7pm and I just sat down now and it's 12am!

I was going to get started on my cookies for the second week of 12 weeks of Christmas cookies, but I will have to do that tomorrow if I want to get a good rest tonight for work tomorrow.  I am actually pretty tired anyway and will head off to bed soon.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Productive Evening

I got busy in the kitchen a few nights ago and made a few staples.

First up was almond flour.  Ground almonds are so expensive to purchase at the supermarket compared to making it yourself.  All you need to do is roast the almonds for about 5 to 10 minutes in the oven and then once slightly cooled, put them in the food processor and chop up to a flour consistency.  Voila!  I store mine in a ziploc bag in the pantry.

I then made two types of nut butter: almond and peanut butter.  The method is exactly the same as making nut flour, except you keep it in the food processor for longer.  It takes around 10 minutes in the food processor before you get the butter consistency.  I love making my own because not only is it much more economical, but you know that all that's in the jar is ground up nuts.  A lot of nut butters these days contain extra oil, stabilizers and sugar (ugh).

The last thing I made was natural yogurt.  It was my first time making this and it was a success!  I'm not going to outline how to do this but I will point you to a blog which does.

How to make your own yogurt

The result:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies: Week One

Yes, it's about twelve weeks till Christmas time.  I decided to start this up again since I had so much fun with it last year.  This recipe is originally from The Vegan Table, but I have adapted it a little since I am not vegan.  I really love these cookies and it will be a recipe that I'll make time and time again.  I took a couple to work and a workmate commented that they looked and tasted so Christmassy without me even telling her they were baked with Christmas in mind. The almond extract really gives it a distinct almond flavour and I love the spices.  They're also incredibly easy to make. Enjoy!

Chai-Spiced Almond Cookies

113g butter, softened
30g icing/powdered sugar + more for dusting
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinammon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Cream butter and sugar.  Add extracts and spices and beat in well.  Sift in coconut flour and beat again.  Add in almond flour and mix in with a metal spoon.  Roll dough into tablespoon-ful balls on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees celcius.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before rolling in icing sugar.

Week One, 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies bakers: