Recipe of the Week - Cranberry Treasure Cookies

Now, now, I know it's the new year and everyone has started their diet resolutions, but here's a cookie recipe you'll want to try anyway.  It's one that several of my family members have been baking for years, but I only just tried it myself.   It's super easy, very delicious and by golly, it calls for real fruit.  A diet win-win!

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Cranberry Treasure Cookies 1 2/3 cup flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 c butter, softened (Melted butter works, too.) 3/4 c packed brown sugar 1 egg 1 c fresh cranberries 1 tsp orange rind (My sister suggests using more.  I just used what I grated from one orange.  It was probably closer to a tablespoon.  Very orange-y = very yummy!) 1 1/2 white chocolate chips 1/2 c pecans, coursely chopped (Totally optional - I didn't use these.)

Preheat your oven to 375.  Use a mixer to combine the ingredients well.  Drop spoonfuls of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly brown.

Yields 3-4 dozen if you make small cookies.

Recipe of the Week - Ginger Melts

It doesn’t matter the time of year.  I am ALWAYS ready to eat Ginger Snaps.  But I do crave them even more when I’m already drinking pumpkin lattes, in a sweater, while watching the leaves fall.  I have an amazing recipe—one we tend to call Ginger Melts at our house, because there’s not much snappy about them…except maybe the speed at which they disappear.  Their tragic flaw?  Refined flour, refined sugar, and shortening.  Don’t get me wrong—I’m not going to sit here and tell you I will never make this recipe again.  My husband worked a 14 hour day a few weeks ago.  I dug for the shortening, dusted it off, and set to work making the bonafides. After that batch, I wondered about a healthy version—one with nothing refined.  My understanding of sugars is growing, so I’ve been trying to mold my kitchen worldview.  I loved my original recipe so much that I thought I would set about modifying it before I searched for a new one.   I was pleasantly surprised when this batch came out just as soft as the originals, and even more “gingery” from the added molasses!  We like this one even better now.  And they continue the name of Ginger Melts!  I am going to continue experimenting (maybe some pureed prunes or dates for a more natural sugar?).  What do you use for sugar? Ginger Snaps Ginger Melts

2 ½ cups whole wheat or white whole wheat flour 2 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. ginger 1 tsp. all-spice 1 tsp. nutmeg 2 tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. salt ¾ cup coconut oil 5 Tbl. molasses 4 Tbl. honey 4 Tbl. Agave 1 egg Flax Seed (optional)

Oven Temp:  350 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients.  In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.  Stir into dry ingredients until well mixed.  Form into balls (smaller than golf balls, bigger than grapes).  If you want, you can roll them in flax seed (this gives it that “grainy”texture like the ginger snaps that are rolled in sugar).  Place on greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Note:  The cookies won’t look/feel done when you take them out, but they are done.  Let them sit for a bit to help them solidify.

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Recipe of the Week - Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

I have recently been intrigued by desserts based on pureed chickpeas. They taste good, they're relatively healthy and my kids like them. My husband likes them, too, especially if I don't say anything before he eats them! This recipe does require a food processor, but other than that, it's easier to do than a typical cookie recipe. They do have a slightly soft texture, but really do taste delicious. You could also use this unbaked for "truffles" or cookie dough dip!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies 1 can chickpeas, rinsed 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter 1/4 - 1/3 cup honey (I used brown sugar for a more traditional taste. Plus I hoard my honey for tea and toast.) 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Place all ingredients except chocolate chips into the food processor.  Pulse until everything is smooth (about two minutes).  It will be very thick.  At this point I removed the dough to a bowl and folded in the chocolate chips.  You can also add the chocolate chips to the food processor and pulse a couple times.

Scoop teaspoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  (I didn't line my baking sheet.  They stuck a little, but not so much that I couldn't get them off.  I immediately removed them to a cooling rack.)

Makes about 16 cookies.

Adapted from