Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ginger Cookies

Well, I'm off to warmer climates to celebrate yet another birthday, and to do Thanksgiving in the sun.  I won't be posting while I'm gone, so I wanted to leave something scrumptious up for the next week and a half.  These are the best ginger cookies EVER (revised version of Ina Garten's).  Love the chewy, spicy crystalized ginger in these.  Make sure you chop it up very fine, which will take some patience.  But, good things come to those who wait, right?  Happy Thanksgiving!

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup organic unsulfured molasses
2 Tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer
1 1/4 cups finely chopped organic crystallized ginger (6 ounces)
Organic cane sugar (for rolling the cookies)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, add the egg replacer, and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl and beat for 1 more minute.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and just mix until combined.  Scoop the dough with 2 spoons and roll each cookie into a 1 1/2 inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on cookie sheets (preferably lined with Silpats). Bake for 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Apple Crumble

There are so many variations of this dish, and I've tried at least a dozen.  But this version wins by far.  I'm convinced that it is the finely ground nuts that makes it so wonderful.  It's handy to have one of those mini food processors for a job like this.  I love mine.  Anyway, Crumbles originated in Britain, whereas Crisps are generally considered more American.  There's not a whole lot of difference, but I think of Crisps as having oats in them, whereas a Crumble would not.  Lots of debate on this topic, so Google it for yourself. You can use any type of apple in this, but I had a bunch of Honeycrisps that needed to get used, and it was insane.  Really a nice fall treat.

5 large organic apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 + 1/2 teaspoon organic cinnamon
1 cup finely ground organic walnuts
1/2 cup firmly packed organic dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon organic nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) nondairy butter (earth balance), melted

Preheat oven to 375F.  Before melting your butter, use the stick to grease an ~8-9" square baking dish.  In a medium bowl, combine the apples, sugar, 1 Tablespoon flour and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, toss to coat, place in baking dish.  Using the same bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, then sprinkle over the apples.  Bake 45-60 minutes, until apples are soft and top deep golden.

Serves 6

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lentil Soup

I've been a bad blogger, I know.  However, if you are like the rest of the country and have had this miserable cold that's been going around, you understand.  I have been sick for 2 weeks now.  All I want is soup (which is a good diet considering my upcoming Mexico trip), so I have a lot of soup recipes headed your way.  I made a double batch of this lentil soup and froze a ton of it.  It's straight out of the Joy of Cooking, minus the meat and a slight adjustment of the balsamic (a little more).  If you're not feeling well, this will help, plus it's a satisfying meal.  Tip: I like to pull out the food processor for the carrots, celery, onion and garlic instead of doing all that chopping and I suggest you do the same: especially if you're under the weather.

3 Tablespoons EVOO
3 medium organic carrots, peeled and diced
3 organic celery stalks, diced
1 large organic onion, diced
3 cloves organic garlic, minced
8 cups water
2 cups organic lentils, rinsed
1 14 1/2 oz. can organic diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Heat EVOO in large soup pot over med-low heat.  Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook 8-10 min until tender.  Stir in water, lentils, tomatoes and thyme.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until the lentils are tender, 35-45 min.  Stir in vinegar, salt and pepper and serve or freeze.
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