Cinnamon Pinwheels

A cinnamon flavored slice and roll cookie 

Cinnamon Pinwheels

Is there anyone you see every day, but don’t know? They always wave and have a smile on their face? There are several in my community, but one particularly stands out – the school crossing guard.

I live just a block from the elementary school and walk my dog past there a couple times a day. He gets to school before the sun comes up and leaves well after the last child has gone home. Every car that goes by or person that walks by is greeted with a wave and smile.

Cinnamon Pinwheels

On several occasions, I have seen people pass through the intersection with scowls on their face. Once they see the crossing guard waving, the driver’s face lights up. They then return the wave and smile.

It’s amazing how such a simple gesture can mean so much. I know I truly appreciate his presence and I hope others do, too.

Cinnamon Pinwheels

Other things I appreciate are simple and beautiful cookies. For an emotional baker, these really aren’t too hard to prepare, as long as you don’t expect perfect results. While making these, I remained patient and these turned out a-ok.

They are a pretty light cookie with only a subtle cinnamon flavor, but still delicious none the less.

Cinnamon Pinwheels

Wave or smile to someone today. You’ll make their day ;)

Cinnamon Pinwheels
 
Author:
Serves: 48

Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon flavoring or extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp red food coloring
  • Dash of cinnamon

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use nonstick baking sheets, or line baking sheets with parchment paper/ Silpat.
  2. Mix sugar, oil and extracts in large bowl. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in measuring cup. Pour into liquid mixture and mix well.
  3. Divide dough in half. Mix cocoa powder and food coloring in one half.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Once chilled, roll one half of dough into rectangle on parchment paper. Roll the other half into a rectangle of equal size on parchment paper. Carefully transfer one dough on top of the other. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Tightly roll doughs together into cylindrical log. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
  6. Slice dough into ¼ inch thick pieces and place on baking sheets. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool for five minutes. Transfer to wire racks to complete cooling.
  7. *Doughs can also be rolled separately and cut with cookie cutters.

 

Creme de Menthe Cookies

A chocolate chip cookie infused with Creme de Menthe flavor

Creme de Menthe Cookies

The past several days have been gorgeous in NC. These rare warm winter days always bring people out on walks.

While I’m ecstatic that they are getting out and enjoying these days, I’m disappointed they miss out on all the other beautiful days on the calendar year. I’ve yet to meet a weather I didn’t like.

Yes, my toes might be numb walking in 12 degree weather, but the reward – seeing the bounties of nature – far surpasses any temporary discomfort.

Creme de Menthe Cookies

Even on the nastiest days – cold and rainy – there’s something new and unique to see. An interesting cloud formation, a new bird species, a breathtaking sunset or sunrise. Also, you become part of a special community. You see the same people also walking or doing work at their house. You start to speak and look forward to seeing them daily.

So, here’s my PSA for the day – get out and enjoy your neighborhood. If you don’t do that, at least try a Creme de Menthe cookie.

These aren’t made with liqueur, but with Torani syrup. I initially got it to make a pie, but didn’t have another essential ingredient.

Creme de Menthe Cookies

Are you an all weather walker or a nice day walker? (There’s no wrong answer ;) )

Creme de Menthe Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 24

Ingredients
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, divided
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup Creme de Menthe syrup – like Torani
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
  2. Combine oil, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla in large bowl.
  3. Melt ½ cup of white chocolate chips in microwave at 50 percent power.
  4. Add melted white chocolate to sugar mixture. Add almond milk and creme de menthe syrup.
  5. In measuring cup, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into liquid mixture.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips and remaining white chocolate chips.
  7. Divide into 24 equal pieces. Roll into balls and flatten with palm of hand. Top with extra chocolate chips if desired.
  8. Bake 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer to wire racks.

 

Spinach Cranberry Salad

A delicious and healthy salad perfect alone or paired with a smoothie

Spinach Cranberry Salad

Are you an eBayer? Are you one of the ones raising the price way up on things I don’t need, but want anyway?

I’m going to use today’s post to rant – just for a second though, we’ll get to this awesome salad soon ;)

When an eBay item starts at $0.99 with no reserve and ends in 7 days, what do you do? Bid right away and jack the price way up? That just doesn’t make sense to me. Am I missing something?

Spinach Cranberry Salad

Anyway – on to things that don’t stress me out – like delicious salads. This salad includes spinach, green pepper, your choice of cheese or tofu, crushed pita chips and dried cranberries. I like to top it with a tahini based dressing like Annie’s.

I must admit I used to hate salad – eating the least amount possible. I found a trick that I still use today – eating all the leafy greens first and saving all the toppings for last. Although, I now like salad, it’s still nice to end a meal with the perfect taste. For this salad, my final bite always includes a pita chip and dried cranberry. I don’t know if this is crazy or not, but, hey, why not?

This salad is completely customizable – use a little less or more of anything, or totally switch out ingredients.

Salads may be a bold item for The Emotional Baker to feature, but I’d thought I’d try my hand at another food genre. Tell me what you think.

Spinach Cranberry Salad

PS: If you’re one of the ones bidding for this, let’s wait till the final hours to start bidding, OK? (The truth is though, I’m not stalking these auctions anymore, so go ahead and bid whatever you want ;) )

Spinach Cranberry Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 85 g spinach
  • 25 g green pepper
  • 20 g dried cranberries
  • 14 g pita chips
  • 14 g white sharp cheddar cheese or ¼ cup baked tofu
  • 1 tbsp goddess dressing – like Annie’s

Instructions
  1. Place spinach in bowl.
  2. Top with all remaining ingredients, except dressing.
  3. Swirl with dressing.

 

PPS: Happy Birthday, Mommy! :)

Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk Cookies

A perfectly spiced cookie studded with chocolate chunks

Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I have a confession to make. I hate molasses. Or so I thought.

For the past five years, I have avoided using it at all costs. Something about it just grosses me out – the smell, the texture, the mess it makes.

Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Also, I avoid making cut-out cookies. Hello! – that’s just an emotional disaster waiting to happen. Read more about that here.

Despite all this, over the holidays I was inspired to make Gingerbread cookies by Beth from bethcakes’ Instagram picture. How cute are her cookies? Although mine didn’t turn out quite as beautiful, I found out I actually kind of like molasses. I used the Gingerbread cut-out cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Another snack I enjoyed over the holidays were Chocolate Covered Ginger Spiced Moravian Cookies. Talk about addictive! Then it donned on me, why not combine aspects of both of those treats into one glorious cookie? Thus, these gingerbread chocolate chunk cookies were born.

The cookie is based on my favorite cookie jazzed up with molasses (did I really just say that?) and chocolate chunks. I really surprised myself by how much I loved these. Maybe molasses isn’t so bad after all ;)

Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 24

Ingredients
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks, divided

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If not using nonstick baking sheets, line with parchment paper or Silpat.
  2. Combine brown sugar, sugar, canola oil and vanilla with fork in large bowl. Add molasses and almond milk and mix to combine.
  3. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in measuring cup. Pour into wet mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Fold in a ½ cup of chocolate chunks.
  5. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, roll into balls and flatten with palm of hand. Decorate with remaining chocolate chunks.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

 

 

Cranberry Orange Smoothie

A healthy smoothie filled with cranberries, orange juice and bananas

Cranberry Orange Smoothie

Happy New Year!

I must apologize for the long hiatus, but I’m excited  to say I’m back and hope to begin a more consistent blogging schedule.

Cranberry Orange Smoothie

For now, enjoy this awesome smoothie. It is filled with frozen cranberries, orange juice and frozen banana.

If you have any fresh cranberries leftover, simply pop them in a bag and throw into the freezer. The best banana freezing technique I have is – break a banana into fourths and place into a bag.

This smoothie make a great lunch accompanying a salad, and I’m sure it would make a terrific breakfast, too!

Here’s to a delicious 2015!

Cranberry Orange Smoothie

Cranberry Orange Smoothie
 
Author:
Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • 2 bananas, frozen
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 140 grams cranberries, frozen

Instructions
  1. Combine frozen bananas, orange juice and frozen cranberries in blender.
  2. Blend. Scrape down sides.
  3. Blend. Pour.