December 19, 2008

Healthy(ish) Christmas Cookies: Part 2

Moving on to another of my grandma's recipes! Her Italian Sesame Seed Cookies always had a really understated elegance. It's as if to say, who needs chocolate? Who needs icing? They sort of fall in that Stella D'oro category of cookies that seem perfectly acceptable for breakfast and are excellent with a cup of coffee. (And when I say coffee I mean organic green tea...ok, maybe coffee but just 1 cup!)

Following my patented (not really) 3-step method I converted this white sugar/white flour recipe to something that tastes even better and feels like real food:

1. Replace.
Instead of 3 cups of white flour, I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of rye flour. The wheat flour is necessary for gluten. I think. I'm no scientist. The rye flour I thought would complement the seed theme. Mostly it was a guess. As for sugar, I ditched white sugar for a combination of raw unfiltered honey and date sugar. (The date sugar was a surprising and happy find – pure ground dates!) Then, the baking soda became aluminum free and the eggs organic/free range. Finally, instead of regular sesame seeds I chose the unhulled variety for extra fiber. So lots of replacements here.

2. Eliminate. I got rid of 100% of the white sugar and flour in this recipe. Enough said!

3. Add value. I added poppy, chia and caraway seeds. Together these seeds are a powerhouse of calcium, copper, manganese, zinc, fiber and more. I'm sorry, what was that? Calcium in a non-dairy product? YES, yes that's right.

They came out fantastic. Reminiscent of my grandma's cookies, absolutely. But with way more full bodied flavor from all of the quality ingredients. I'm in love.

Toothdigger Seed Cookies
Considering all the seeds, you should have floss handy :-)
1 cup unsalted organic butter, softened
1/2 cup raw unfiltered honey
1/2 cup date sugar
2 organic eggs
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup rye flour
1 cup of seeds, poured into a shallow bowl (Combination is up to you, I had a mixture of unhulled sesame, poppy, chia and caraway)

Cream together butter, honey, and date sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and baking powder. Blend to create dough. Shape with hands into 1.5" long log shapes, about 1/2" wide. Roll cookies in seeds. Bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly browned.

I'm entering these into Food Blogga's Eat Christmas Cookies (enter here).


Susan from Food Blogga said...

These deserve 1st place for most unique cookie name. :) Thanks, Michelle!

Erica said...

mmmm Josh (the husband) loves sesame seeds and doesn't like things too too sweet. I think he would really enjoy these. Beautiful work!

carolinebee said...

your cookies are gorg! Thanks so much for your comment- being in a show must have been a total blast! I totally miss the performance aspect of dance b/c going to class gets a little boring after a while..I figure this will be perfect for now, since I just moved back home and am having ZERO luck finding a job! :( GOsh, if only we could just dance for a living! :D

HangryPants said...

Way to rework a recipe!

Michelle said...

susan--glad you liked the name, it surely could have been more christmasy but what the hey?

erica--let me know if you make them for your husband!

carolinebee--keep dancing darlin' :-)

hangrypants--thanks! it was fun and surprisingly successful.

zandria said...

Sesame seed cookies? Yum! Those look delicious. I love cookies that are different from the norm. :)