Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Cookies Galore!

Yesterday I started my annual Christmas cookie baking fest. I love to make many different types of cookies to have on hand for guests, give as gifts and bring to parties. This year I decided to make most of my cookies small so that guests and friends can try many different kinds. This is an important tip that I learned from my sister in law last year.

Pictured above in a very festive scene in my home are apricot pistachio pinwheels, peanut coconut cookies, cranberry pistachio cookies, chocolate sugar cookies with sprinkles and peppermint buttons. Some of these recipes are from magazines and newspapers and others are passed on through family members. I love my ever growing and changing collection of cookie recipes from many different sources.

Also, I made my first cookie containing organic coconut oil yesterday! I tried using half butter and half coconut oil in the chocolate sugar cookies and it turned out perfectly. I have been curious about using coconut oil and I have learned that it is a very healthy oil. It is high in fiber and very good for you. This recipe has been adapted from a magazine clipping from Martha Stewart. Here is the recipe:
Chocolate Sugar Cookies:
Makes 8 large cookies or about 20 small ones

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I use organic unbleached flour)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa- Dutch processed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil (it is solid at room temperature)
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl using a metal whisk mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set bowl aside.
2. Mix butter and sugar together in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium high speed until fluffy and light colored. Mix in coconut oil. Add egg and vanilla and mix until creamy.
3. Turn the mixer to a low speed and slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
4. For big cookies use a 2 1/2 inch ice cream scoop to measure out dough balls. I like to cover the balls in sugar before placing them on a parchment lined baking sheets. *If you are making small cookies use a small spoon to measure out 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place them about 1/2 inch apart on lined baking sheets. Bake big cookies for about 18 to 20 minutes and baking small cookies about 14 minutes. The edges will be firm and the center of the cookie will be a bit softer. Let them cool on sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks.

*You can also mix in some sprinkles to add some Christmas cheer to the cookies before rolling them in sugar.


The festival of cookie baking and candy making will continue today so stay tuned for more pictures and tales from the kitchen.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Cinnamon and Spice

Last week we spent the greater part of two days preparing for & baking many spiced treats for a local Christmas tree farm in Oregon City called Wheeler's Tree Farm located at 19566 S. Central Point Rd Oregon City, Oregon 97045. Go and visit them for a tree and a treat from us! They ordered many items from us to sell at their farm including many loaves of cinnamon bread pictured above. Also being sold at the farm are our famous cinnamon rolls and pies such as hazelnut and apple streusel. We enjoyed spending time together to create such delicious baked goods for this holiday season. Stay tuned for more as we get busier throughout the season. Pictured below are our packaged cinnamon rolls for the farm: