Recipe: Apple Pecan Cookies

apple pecan cookies

Ugh. It is snowy and grey and cold and midweek and I am trying very hard to have a good attitude. So I put on some music and thought I’d work on a new recipe: apple pecan cookies. The healthier the cookies the better as far as I’m concerned because then they become snacks for my kids, treats for me, breakfast even. The reality is that if I have baked goods in the house, I WILL eat them. Instead of improve my will power, I improve my pantry. This recipe is just that: minimal butter, no sugar, spelt flour, apple and honey sweetened.

Now this is bizarre…You know how the dryer eats socks? All the time? Well my pantry, which is really impossibly tiny, is like a black hole. I just bought pecans today, AND put them away on the second shelf, and I know this because it crossed my mind, hmm, maybe I should put this in the fridge instead. And they are…gone. I literally took everything out of the pantry. Totally gone. And not in the fridge. This happens to me way too often! So I used almonds, but I’m sticking to my guns about pecans being a perfect compliment for the apple.

So…I’m sitting here eating my third. They are cakey and appley perfection. Waiting for my girls to wake up and bring down their sunshine.

Apple Pecan Cookies

1.5 cups spelt flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsps cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup honey

1 apple coarsely shredded

1 egg

1/2 cup pecans

Directions: Preheat oven to 350, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl whisk together dry ingredients, set aside. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in honey, apple, egg, beat until well combined. Stir in flour until just combined. Stir in nuts. Drop by teaspoonful onto sheets and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until edges are turning slightly golden. Enjoy!

Recipe: Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies

Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies

It is a gorgeous, stunning, 21 degrees, sunshiney fall day! I cannot believe it’s November. I am so grateful for such a beautiful autumn. Christmas is next month!!! I wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s THAT time of year again! You know which time? ┬áRed Starbucks Cup time!!!! Truth be told, I drink Starbucks as a last resort(ok a second last resort to Tim Hortons). It is generic but consistent and I don’t hate it, it’s just…typical. But there is something about the red cups that just warms my heart. It’s become a seasonal icon of my generation. I don’t even EVER drink the seasonal Starbucks drinks! (somewhat because I don’t like sweetened coffee of any sort but mostly because I credit my 40lb weight gain whilst pregnant with Picky Princess, almost entirely to Starbucks egg nog lattes.) Never again. But when Sexy Husband brought me home an Americano in a red cup, I felt warm and quite possibly, festive.

So I whipped up this little recipe for some reasonably clean festive cookies. You know, there is a reason that Martha insists that cookie dough be chilled, and then rolled and then chilled and then cut and then chilled and then baked. Most the time I have to ignore at least a couple of those steps because I don’t have time to sit inside all day as if baking pretty cookies is my only task of the day. And this pinwheel cookie recipe is the type of dough that I totally should have chilled for longer. But I didn’t. Because Picky Princess was too excited about them to make her wait, and, like I said, it’s 21 degrees outside so we have big plans for the park. So they didn’t turn out to be quite as pretty as pinwheel cookies can be. But they are delicious, and autumnish, and barely indulgent. So give them a try!

Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies

Makes about a dozen

1 1/4 cups spelt flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of coarse sea salt (don’t skip this, really adds a nice zing to the cookies)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup raw cane sugar (or brown sugar if you prefer)

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

Filling:

1/2 cup dates

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until creamy, 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add in flour mixture. Collect dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill until solid, one hour or so.

Remove from fridge. On a lightly floured parchment papered surface, roll out dough into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Return rectangle to freezer while you make the filling. For filling, combine dates, nuts and cinnamon in a food processor and process until it is small crumbly pieces. Sprinkle this over the rectangle of dough. Carefully roll the dough up into a long tube. Cute dough into 1 inch circles, lay on silicone or parchment covered baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until starting to turn golden. Remove and let cool(if you can). Enjoy!

***tip – to speed up chill time, put dough in the freezer for a while instead of fridge, dough can be made one day ahead and chilled overnight***

Thoughts On: Cooking with Kids

 

my best little helpers making cookies

 

Today, Picky Princess had her little friend Sweet Hanna over for a playdate! In between playing, I had them help make lunch so that we could give you some new ideas for healthy lunches that your kids can help make! I’m a firm believer in including my kids in the cooking/baking/preparing process of meals, whenever possible. I try to make meal time fun and full of quality time and important life lessons about gratitude, caring for each other and community.

We started by making some cookies. I used the easiest recipe in. the. world. Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine’s Almond Butter Cookie Recipe. (see below). Because it’s all of 5 ingredients in one bowl, they girls stirred while I poured and we had batter ready in about 3 minutes.

 

cheese toast faces

 

 

quite proud of their creative cuteness

 

Next, the girls decorated cheese toast with some vegetables to make funny faces. They giggled and happily decorated! We used red peppers for smiles, arugula for hair, and olives for eyes. I cannot believe Picky Princess ate ARUGULA!

 

yogurt sundaes

 

While the cheese toast toasted, Sweet Hanna and Picky Princess made themselves a first course of yogurt sundaes. This was a HIT! The fact that they got to put anything they wanted on their own yogurt made them particularly enthusiastic to eat it!

 

Little Sister Nola

 

Sweet Hanna’s Little Sister Nola even got to make her own sundae. She’s only two but was happy to be included in meal prep fun!

 

Foodie Baby

 

And of course, I couldn’t leave Foodie Baby out.

I did minimal prep ahead of time, the girls cooked, ate, and cleaned up in 30 minutes. Sometimes we leave our kids out of the fun because we think it will all take a bit too long, are rushed, or stressed. But it’s amazing how helpful they can be when they are empowered to participate. Obviously I don’t include Picky Princess in every meal I make, but when there’s an easy meal, or tasks perfect for little fingers, I definitely try to include her(even if it means 2 minutes of extra clean up time)!

Recipe: Almond Butter Cookies

1 cup almond butter(I prefer crunchy)

1/2 cup succanat or cane sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 heaping tbs flour(I use spelt)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Stir all ingredients in a bowl. Drop by tbs full onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until barely set, 8-10 minutes. Let cool slightly, enjoy! (ok seriously, how easy is that?) (I have also been known to add the odd square of dark chocolate to the tops of these cookies.)

Thank you to my friend Danielle for lending me her adorable girls!