Recipe: Gingerbread Cookies

First things first! For any incidental musings scroll to the end.ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:

~1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, or a scant 2 cups of whole spelt flour

~1/4 cup sweetener ( I used half maple syrup and half sugar-if you use 100% liquid sweetener you should adjust the other liquids down just a bit)

~1/2 tsp baking soda

~1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

~1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

~1/4 tsp allspice

~freshly grated nutmeg to your preference (or 1/2 tsp nutmeg)

~a pinch or two of salt

~1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

~2 tbsp molasses

~1 tsp vanilla

~2 tbsp almond or other plant milk

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place flour, any dry sweetener, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl and whisk or sift until well combined.

Mix applesauce, molasses, vanilla, plant milk, and any liquid sweetener in a bowl/mason jar/measuring pitcher with a fork until well combined.

Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until cookie dough forms! It should be dry enough to roll out easily on a floured surface but not so dry as to be hard to work. Add more flour or more applesauce as needed to adjust the texture of the dough.

Roll out fairly thin (1/4-half inch, depending on how soft and thick you like your cookies). Place on silicone baking mat, parchment paper, or an ungreased baking sheet if you have a good cookie spatula that can scrape the cookies without ruining them.

Bake 8-12 minutes depending on your preferences and cookie size*.

*The baking time is hard to predict because it depends on the size of cookies you are making. The bigger cookies in my picture below (3 1/2 inch) baked for 12 minutes or so, and the smaller ones (2 inch) baked for 8-10 minutes I think. They are done when they are slightly softer to the touch than you want to eat. If you like a softer cookie, roll them out thicker and bake them a little less. If you like a thinner, more graham cracker-like gingerbread cookie, roll them thinner and/or bake a little longer. You can also use a little less baking soda because the chemical reaction between baking soda (base) and applesauce (acid) is what causes the cookies to puff up slightly during baking.

 

Musings:

Some of my very favorite memories from childhood are of making gingerbread cookies with my mother. Our family would gather around the table and decorate cookies together, eating and enjoying each other. I feel determined that my children will have this experience as well, even if we can’t share butter, sugar, eggs, and white flour. We had such a good time making these together!

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Broccoli Not-Cheese Soup

And no, I’m not talking about Velveeta.

First things first! For any delightful* musings scroll to the end. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:

1 smallish onion, roughly chopped

garlic, a clove or two

1-2 quarts vegetable stock

1 cup dried white beans (I used great northern) (if cooking on the stove top consider using pre-cooked or canned beans unless you have a long time.)

2 medium potatoes

1/2 pound cauliflouwer chopped (I used cauliflower “rice” from Costco because I had a lot of it)

1-2 roasted peppers (about a scant 1/4 cup)

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 pound broccoli

seasonings of your choice (I used a salt-free seasoning blend, pepper, a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice, smoked paprika, and a little salt to taste at the end)

 

Method:

Combine onion garlic, and seasonings with a bit of water or stock and “saute” for a couple of minutes until they begin to soften. Add beans, potatoes, cauliflouwer, roasted peppers and vegetable stock. Add water or more stock until there is enough liquid for the beans to cook in (this is extra important if using dry beans). Cook until everything is very soft. Add nutritional yeast. Use an immersion blender to blend until creamy. I also removed 3-4 cups of the beans, potatoes and cauliflower and put them in my high-powered blender for a couple of minutes to activate the starches and make a more vaguely cheese-like experience (side bar: heads up that this is not going to taste like cheese. I hate it when vegan recipes tell you things will taste “just like cheese.” It turns out potatoes and cauliflower don’t taste like cheese, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious. OK? OK. Sorry for interrupting.).

Steam or boil broccoli until fork tender. Roughly chop (into whatever size pieces you want to eat in your soup). Stir all together. Adjust seasonings and serve. We have hot sauce on the side because not everyone in my house likes spicy food.

 

Delightful* Musings:

I like theย idea of Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup. I just don’t want to make it with cheese. This soup is cozy and warming, especially with a good crusty sourdough (that sounds especially nice today because it’s the first day snow stayed on the ground where I live).

I recently took this to a party with people who eat cheese and meat and some of them thought it was good. So, there’s that. In my house there are three levels of success with cooking.

  1. Good!
  2. Vegan good!
  3. Oh. (This is also sometimes called “Thank you for your hard work making this.”)

If I’m sharing a recipe here it’s usually because I made something, liked it, and then got confirmation by asking my friends, “is this delicious, or did I forget what sour cream tastes like?” (Some of my friends are really good sports, people.)

Anyway, I hope if you live someplace cold that you have a cozy day, and that if you live someplace warm the bugs don’t bite you (I see you, Florida friends, and all I have to say about your smug beach pictures with your “haha Ohio” captions is that we have tiny little cockroaches and they can’t fly!).

*Delightful is in the eye of the beholder and not everyone wants to read my tired “mother of an infant” ramblings so that’s why I’ve put them at the end. If you read them anyway, then thanks! That’s delightful.