Tag Archives: Baking

Summery Lemon Zest Sugar Cookies {Dairy Free}

6 Aug

Just because it’s August doesn’t mean I’m willing to allow the summering to wind down.  Quite the opposite, in fact!  I’m diving in even further the next couple of weeks, because let’s face it – I have too many more things left on my Los Angeles summer bucket to throw in the (beach) towel now!

 

Summer dresses are more in full swing than ever before.  Car windows are indefinitely rolled down.  Pedicures are sandy beach scuffed.  Hair & cheeks are perpetually breeze-blown and sun-kissed.  Chilly smoothies are a daily affair, and Cafe Gratitude shakes a way too expensive, forbidden love affair.

 Lemon Zest Sugar Cookies

(Adapted from my lime zest sugar cookies)

Tangy but sweet summer twist on the classic drop sugar cookie.  Citrusy, refreshing, and perfect for the hot weather months.  If you wanted to make a grapefruit version, we’d probably be best friends! 🙂

Ingredients

2  3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup non-dairy margarine (ex: Earth Balance)

1  1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 Tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp water

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp non-dairy milk (ex: soymilk)

juice of 1 lemon

zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup granulated sugar + zest of 1 lemon mixed, for rolling

Directions

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.  Mix together the ground flax and water, set aside.

Cream together the margarine and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the egg, flax and water mixture, and vanilla extract, lemon juice, and zest, and beat until fluffy.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add dry mixture into wet, mixing between additions.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  If the dough is a little too dry, add in the non-dairy milk; if the dough looks ok at that point, feel free to omit.

Scoop dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and put in freezer for about an hour or so.  When ready to bake, preheat over to 350* F, and scoop dough into 2 Tbsp size chunks.  Roll each into a ball with your hands, and roll in the sugar and zest mixture before placing on cookie sheet.

Back 8-10 minutes until edges are golden brown.  Allow to rest on the pan a few minutes before using a spatula to transfer baked cookies to a cooling rack.

 

Everything is warmer.  Everything is brighter.  Love is lovier.  Ice cream just tastes better dripping down your arm on the Santa Monica Boardwalk.  Twinkling white lights are more charming strewn across a summertime porch.  Laughter with friends is more therapeutic.

 

I wish I could press pause on life so that summer could live on well beyond September and into October…but I’ll settle for bike rides in Venice, and more sweet times to come as August lives on <3

My heart is happy when pretty things fill my weekends and I get to put pencil to paper to create.  The more I do, the more I inspire myself to want to create, which I love!

 Skies are blue, and dreams really do come true…even on a Monday morning! 🙂

XOXO

 

 

 

Gluten & Dairy Free Eggnog Spice Granola

6 Dec

Last night I watched this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show online for nearing on the 5th time since it aired on November 29th.  I can’t help it, it’s one of my favorite things about the holiday season!  I wait all year for it, wondering what lingerie hybrids will come down the runway on impossibly thin, fit & toned, not to mention LUCKY models who get to call themselves angels. #SignMeUpForThat

Favorite outfit the of the night? As it happened, it was the outfit that opened the show during the Ballet Segment, and it only 35% had to do with the fact that it was worn by Candice.  Probably going to have to sport some of those red ballet wrap pumps at some point in my life this season! Thoughts?  Ya, they’re amazing.

Needless to say, since then I’ve been perusing the Victoria’s Secret Site for the Runway Ready Video features that have been popping up in my Facebook queue, forcing me to face the idea of forgoing holiday sweets in attempts to acquire something similar to the angels’ fit physiques.   Upon further investigation, I’ve discovered that much like sitting in the lobby of the gym rather than working out won’t get you in shape, watching girls with the hottest bodies on the planet over and over without working out will also probably not cut it.  Unforch.  About to step it up, big time!

Ironically, (especially after just talking about busting my butt to look  like a  VS Angel Re: Wishful thinking, haha! ;p ) I also look forward to the Trader Joe’s Holiday Edition of the Fearless Flyer!  I stopped in the other day JUST to pick one of these up, regardless of the fact that it can be easily found and read, and perused online.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s dedication.  It’s filled with the yummiest holiday treats one could dream up, and I couldn’t help but see eggnog-flavored goodies dancing through my head.  It’s one of my all-time favorite holiday flavors!  It’s possible, even, that I look forward to it more than the TJ’s Flyer.  Gasp!  One problem- dairy hates me.  Time to take matters into my own hands!

First, though, let’s take a step back, I’ve got one more…

Another favorite aspect of the holiday season?  It’s pretty simple, but then again, it often doesn’t take much more than a festive holiday coffee cup to get me humming holiday tunes the rest of the day.  Starbucks holiday cups!  Pop in and get yourself a hot cup of Joe, tea, or you know, even water, so long as you ask for it in their hot to-go cups!  I mean, check it out….SO CUTE!  Worth it.

So where was I?  Probably talking about eggnog because it’s delicious!  I’ve been obsessed with it as far back as I can remember, and now I feel it’s my duty to incorporate it into as many baked goodies as possible this holiday season!

TA DA!  Eggnog Granola.

Eggnog Spice Granola

While this granola definitely has a yummy hint of eggnog, I was hoping for even more.  Next time, I might up the Eggnog Syrup and the SoyNog, and decrease the honey a little to let it really stand out.  That being said, if you are a nutmeg and eggnog lover, you will still enjoy this granola!  Dairy free, and can definitely be made gluten free if you make sure to use gluten-free oats! It’s a must-make for the holiday season!

Ingredients:

Dry:
* 5 Cups Gluten Free Old-Fashioned Oats
* 3 Cups Crispy Rice Cereal
* 1 Cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
* 1 Cup Almonds, roughly chopped
* 1/2 Cup Whole Golden Flax Seeds
* 1/2 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
* 1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
* 1 tsp Salt
* 1 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
* 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp Ground Allspice

Wet:
* 3/4 Cup Honey
* 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
* 1/2 Cup Torani Italian Eggnog Syrup
* 1/4 Cup SoyNog (I used Silk Brand)
* 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
* 2 Tbsp Canola Oil
* 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325*F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all the wet ingredients, except for the vanilla extract, together in a separate, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals, making sure the mixture comes to a boil by the end of 5 minutes. If it has not, heat an additional minute or 2, stirring between minutes and then add in the vanilla extract.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir well to combine. Pour out on the cookie sheet, spreading into an even layer and packing down slightly with a spatula or spoon.

Bake 20 minutes, then remove and push edge pieces inward to keep from burning. Bake an additional 20 minutes, removing at 10 minute increments to remove pieces that look brown. Make sure you bake the granola for at least 45 minutes total, adding 5 minute increments to the end if it does not seem golden brown enough.

Remove from oven and allow the granola to sit on the pan without stirring until COMPLETELY COOLED! This part is important, since it needs to cool as a solid sheet. Once cooled, break apart into large chunks and enjoy! (Obviously at this point you can break it into smaller pieces instead if you’d prefer)

Enjoy!

Yummy, crunchy, and perfectly paired with a coffee or latte served in the cutest holiday cups of all time!

Kicking off the holidays in the best way possible! =)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

24 Oct

Despite the fact that it’s still hovering around the 80 degree mark during the day and staying fairly warm into the evening around these parts, I decided to open my first can of pumpkin of the year at the beginning of the month. I think I did a pretty good job of holding off until the season really hit, even while being tempted by food blog recipes featuring fall ingredients back in September and even August (!!!) I try not to burn myself out on seasonal foods toooooo early on (apples are a different story altogether – I’m looking at you, yet-to-be-posted apple galette!).

I did the usual pumpkin oats first and foremost, but really wanted to get myself knee-deep in pumpkin with these cookies! I couldn’t find a recipe online that I really liked the looks of, so obviously I improvised. These are my basic recipe with a few tweaks here and there, and for my first try, I think they came out pretty well. Not overpoweringly pumpkin-y…to be honest, I think they SMELL more pumpkin-spicey-fall-ish than anything! They’re a bit cakey, but I wouldn’t call them a cakey cookie; as far as I’m concerned, no one wants a cakey cookie. If I wanted a cakey cookie I’d probably just make cake. Or a cupcake. Or something else bready, duh.  It’s all about the chewy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

* 1 cup bread flour
* 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
* 3/4 cup margarine or butter flavored shortening
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
* 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (not the pie filling)
* 2 eggs
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350* F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Cream together the margarine or shortening and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing between. Add the vanilla extract and canned pumpkin, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture slowly, mixing between additions until well incorporated.

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Drop golfball sized dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake about 11-12 minutes until just golden brown on top.

Still to do this month: World-record-holding corn maze! Maybe pumpkin carving.
Bring on the fall! =) What’s everyone doing for Halloween?