Shortbread Cookies

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These cookies are insanely easy to create- they only require three ingredients! These are my favorite baked goods to make for my vegan and dairy-free friends. The dough is really easy to work with which allows you the versatility to choose from various different cookie cutter shapes and styles. The cookies are structurally sound enough to hold thick icing and various toppings after being baked. I prefer plain shortbread but P enjoys them with sprinkles.

I like to chill the dough in cling wrap for 20 minutes before I start cutting out shapes.  I also usually put parchment paper down between the cookies and the baking sheet so the bottoms of the cookie come out golden brown.

Italian Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Often my favorite part of the day is in the morning when I get my coffee. Everything is silent, the cats and boyfriend are asleep, and I get some wonderful moments to myself to relax and reflect. One of my favorite things to have alongside my coffee is biscotti. When I was younger, my parents would always allow me to have biscotti with my hot chocolate and that habit didn’t die when I moved on to real java. Here is one of my go to recipes for biscotti. I usually add a little extra chocolate by drizzling or dunking the tops in melted semi-sweet chunks.

Apple Pie

Apples to me are the ultimate sign of fall: their crisp colors, the future warmth of apple cider, and their amazing durability despite the oncoming cold. Every year my aunt Char and her son Jim would be tasked with creating the pies for our Thanksgiving buffet. Even though they were sometimes adventurous with flavors, they always made sure to include a pumpkin, a cherry and an apple. I don’t usually make pies so this year was a bit of a gamble for me. I used this recipe since it claimed to be the best apple pie ever. I made the pie my own by adding raw chopped pecans on top of the filling, and I brushed the top crust with egg wash. I had a bunch of leftover apples, so I made some more caramel and had caramel apples for Philip to snack on so he would stop stealing from the kitchen.

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Gluten-Free Banana Bread

My Aunt Char has always been the renaissance woman in the family. As far back as I remember she has mastered every craft, hobby, and recipe she ever laid her hands on. In my apartment now, I currently have a quilt she hand-sewed in 1989 for my parent’s first christmas together, some odds and ends she gave to me for holidays and birthdays, and a church cookbook she has some of her infamous recipes in. Growing up, my mom was not super into baking, but encouraged my curiosity. My favorite recipe to make from the book was Aunt Char’s Banana Bread. Her 1985 version is full of gluten and bad for you sweetness, but here is a more modern version of her classic.

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Ingredients:

1 cup pure cane sugar [you don’t have to have sugar, the other ingredients will make it sweet already]

½ cup un-salted butter (0r ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce + ¼ cup low fat buttermilk)

1 Tbsp. Almond Milk

2 eggs (or ½ cup unsweetened applesauce)

2 cups Coconut Flour [I prefer Bob’s Red Mill]

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

1 Tsp. Cinnamon

1 Tsp. Himalayan Salt

3 Ripe or Overly Ripe Bananas

½ Cup Chopped Pine Nuts

Avocado Oil [to grease loaf pan]

The Steps:

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, milk and mashed bananas and mix well. Add sifted dry ingredients and chopped nuts. Your batter will have the stickiness and about the thickness of grits when you are done mixing. Bake in loaf pan, pre-greased with spray, at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. If not cooked all the way through, add 10-15 more minutes.