28 December 2010

Sugar-Coated Christmas

Christmas decorations are back in their storage bins and the house is emptied of holiday visitors and related fanfare.  Despite a rather low-key celebration--the entire weekend with my immediate family was spent at home--I'm still recovering from the compacted, pre-winter weariness (physical and psychological) that year-end activity always highlights.  But as previously mentioned, a baking round-up is in order.  After compiling a selection of treats prior to my last trip north, I took a brief baking hiatus, then resumed holiday mode by making the following items over the course of the week:


Double Chocolate Cookies
These rich, chewy gems emerged via alteration of a Martha Stewart recipe.  Dark chocolate, vegan "butter" substitute, and flax-and-water "eggs" comprised the vegan adaptations.  I also used whole wheat pastry flour, reduced the sugar to one cup and salt to just a pinch, and added a teaspoon of instant espresso powder.  The incredibly chocolaty, decadent beauties were both veg- and omni-approved, demonstrating yet again that Martha certainly knows how to bake a good cookie.


Low-Fat Gingerbread Cookies
Cut-out cookies are pretty much essential to the holiday cookie platter.  Recent acquisition of some cute forest animal-shaped cutters and a VegNews recipe for a healthier version of gingerbread cookies inspired this batch.  The only alteration I made was to replace a small amount of the molasses with maple syrup, balancing molasses flavor with sweetness.  Lemon icing added a fresh complement to the gently spiced treats.


Candied Walnuts
Nuts are a ubiquitous snack in my house, so candied nuts make for an easy, special treat.  lol foodie's recipe reinforced that belief, producing a sweet, vanilla- and cinnamon-flavored snack that is simply addictive.  I replaced the milk with a nondairy substitute, to no ill effect.


Mini Doughnut-Maker Doughnuts
Doughnut makers have been appearing on store shelves again lately, with one finding its way into my possession, courtesy clever Christmas gifting.  I immediately put my new appliance to use, consulting an appropriate Bryanna Clark Grogan recipe--using brown and white sugars, almond milk instead of water, and omitting the ginger--for my Christmas brunch contribution.  The doughnuts were indeed tiny, but not very doughnut-like, save for their shape; after light icing, the doughnuts resembled single-bite waffles, rather than doughnuts.  I still hold to my fried doughnut preference, but am still grateful for this tasty, healthier, baked variation.


The saccharine presence over the course of the last month has been relatively minimal but enjoyable.  I would love to hear about all the wonderful goodies you've made!

8 comments:

  1. The chocolate cookies look fantastic...although I love how cute your forest animals are! Do they (the chocolate cookies) keep well? I find that flax egg cookies get a weird kind of layered dryness after two or three days.

    Hope your Christmas was merry with all these treats!

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  2. First of all, those freaking cookies look like brownies and I LOVE brownies! Haha! Secondly, my husband got a donut maker for Christmas too! Isn't it awesome!?

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  3. Thanks!

    Dianne,
    The chocolate cookies lasted for a few days at room temperature, stored in an airtight container. They did have a bit of a crackly sheen, but I think that's because they are very brownie-like.

    Carissa,
    How funny that your husband also got a doughnut maker! They really are everywhere! ;)

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  4. Tiffany-What fun.. the mini doughnuts! Again, best to stick to the mini versions!!! Happy Holidays!
    Aimee

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  5. Love the forest animal cookie shapes! And the chocolate cookies look so dark and rich. Yum. I think I'd like little doughnuts that taste like waffles. They sound better than regular doughnuts to me.

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  6. Tiffany-What fun.. the mini doughnuts! Again, best to stick to the mini versions!!! Happy Holidays!
    Aimee

    ReplyDelete
  7. The chocolate cookies look fantastic...although I love how cute your forest animals are! Do they (the chocolate cookies) keep well? I find that flax egg cookies get a weird kind of layered dryness after two or three days.

    Hope your Christmas was merry with all these treats!

    ReplyDelete
  8. First of all, those freaking cookies look like brownies and I LOVE brownies! Haha! Secondly, my husband got a donut maker for Christmas too! Isn't it awesome!?

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)