Holiday Happenin’s: Stick Cookies and Cranberry Drops

holiday-cookies

“You’re done already?”

The summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school, a couple of my girlfriends and I decided to host a special dinner for friends of our who had graduated and would be leaving in August for college or boot camp. We spent hours scouring our parents’ cookbooks and one we took out from the library (no google back then!). On the day of the dinner, we worked for just as many hours in the kitchen, prepping, cooking, baking, and cleaning up.

When the guys arrived for dinner, we proudly served all the dishes we had literally slaved over all day long. Imagine our shock when in the time it took us to finish bringing out the entire meal, they had already scarfed down the food! It couldn’t have been more than 10 to 15 minutes from the time they began eating and the time they finished. (Did I mention these were football and baseball players?)

The guys didn’t understand why we were upset. We tried to explain that they hadn’t taken the time to enjoy the food we had spent so much time preparing, but in hindsight, I realize we 16 year old girls were expecting an awful lot from 18 year old boys!

I was reminded of that dinner when I received an email this week asking if there were any holiday cookie recipes which didn’t require all the rolling and cutting and fancy decorating. The mother explained that her children ate the cookies so quickly that the time put into them seemed far and above what one should invest. Remembering that fateful dinner, I understood exactly where this mom was coming from!

For our family, making the rolled sugar and ginger cookies I have on this site is a family tradition, and spending the day as a family, listening to Christmas music and decorating them together is something we enjoy. But for folks who are looking for an easier and shorter way to have family time, I have a couple of cookies which are just perfect.

The first are stick cookies. They are a peppermint candy cookie which you simply roll into a rectangle, cut into sticks and then bake. If you want to decorate them as my children did in the picture, you simply drop a few sprinkles on top and press. Easy, peasy as my son likes to say!

The other is a cranberry cookie which you just roll into a ball and flatten. On its own, it’s a nice, not too sweet cookie. If your children do want to have fun, though, they can roll them in colored sugar as my kids did in the picture before flattening them.

Cranberry Drops

Ingredients:

2 cups favorite gluten free flour blend

1/2 cup millet flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

1 cup julienne dried cranberries (If your store doesn’t sell them that way, just chop up regular dried cranberries in a food processor or simply use them whole instead in smaller pieces)

1 cup vegan butter

8 oz Toffuti cream cheese

1/2 cup Agave

2 tsp vanilla

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Blend together the gluten free flour, millet flour, sorghum flour and salt.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries
  4. Cream the vegan butter until smooth, scraping down the sides.
  5. Add the tofu cream cheese and cream together, scraping down the sides.
  6. Slowly add the agave while the mixer is on low until the mixture is completely blended together, scraping down the sides.
  7. Add the vanilla and mix just until blended.
  8. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  9. Form balls made of 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough. If decorating, roll the balls into colored sugar before putting onto the prepared pan. If baking plain, just put onto the prepared pan. For both, flatten the balls a little bit with the bottom of a cup or your clean hands.
  10. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating halfway through the cookie time until the cookies are puffed and firm to the touch.

Stick Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup vegan soy free butter

1 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp peppermint extract

2 cup favorite gluten free flour blend

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup millet flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the vegan butter until smooth. Add the coconut sugar and mix well, scraping down the sides.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla and peppermint extract. Blend well, scraping down the sides.
  4. Blend together the gluten free flour blend, sorghum flour, millet flour, and baking powder.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and crushed candies.
  7. Chill the dough for one hour.
  8. On parchment paper sprinkled with flour and using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle that is 1/4 inch think.
  9. If decorating, put sprinkles on top and gently press them into the dough. Cut the dough into sticks. We usually do one inch by 4 or 5 inches.
  10. Put the cookies onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until puffed and becoming stiff to the touch.
  11. NOTE:  If you want, after pressing in the sprinkles, this dough can be cut into shapes and not just sticks.

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