Friday, December 16, 2011

Green and Delicious

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the baking! I love bustling in the kitchen with my girlfriends or relatives. When I reflect on my favorite holiday memories, the majority of them take place in the kitchen, with my loved ones and I partially covered in flour. Not only do I absolutely love eating holiday cookies and other treats, making them brings everyone together! For this very reason, I have decided to share a few of my favorite recipes, and a couple new ones that are worth a try, along with a few helpful tips to keep your time in the kitchen as environmentally friendly as possible.

1. I’ll start with my all time favorite recipe from Mrs. Fields. It’s so simple, and out-of-this world delicious. These cookies taste way too good to be this easy!
Recipe:Mrs. Field's Brown Sugar Shortbread
Mrs. Field's Brown Sugar Shortbread


1 cup salted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour


1 Tbsp salted butter
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (4 oz) pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar awith an electric mixer at medium speed. Scrape down sides of bowl. Then add vanilla and flour, and blend thoroughly on low speed.

Shape level Tablespoonfuls of dough into 1 inch balls, then form into logs 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Place on ungreased baking sheets, 2 inches apart.

Bake for 17-19 minutes or until the cookies spread and turn a light golden brown. Transfer to a cool, flat surface.

To make topping:

Melt butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water or in a microwave oven on high power. Stor chocolate every 30 seconds until melted.

Dip top of each cooled shortbread cookie into melted chocolate, then into chopped pecans. Place cookies on waxed and refrigerate to set.

Yield:2 1/2 dozen

Source:Mrs. Field's Cookies
Page #64

2. All this recipe needs is a kiss. A Hershey’s Kiss that is! I love peanut butter cookies with a chocolate kiss in them. My holiday just isn’t complete without them! This recipe is gluten free, and as easy as can be. Only 4 ingredients! Check out this great site for further baking instructions. The kiss is gluten free too!
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
One cup creamy peanut butter

One cup white sugar
One teaspoon baking powder
One egg

3. What’s a holiday without gingerbread? Here’s a recipe that’s sugar free and gluten free! It looks delicious to boot! Great one to try out this year. Your friends and family members who have allergies or diet restrictions will love you for it!

While you’re baking these mouth-watering treats, keep your kitchen as green as possible. Here are a few tips to help you.

1. Kick the paper towels.
I struggle with this one myself because I feel like I need paper towels while baking…lots of them. This of course, is incredibly wasteful and unnecessary. Instead, I’ve been trying to use a kitchen towel instead. They get the job done without wasting anything other than the water to clean them later.
If you can’t go without the paper towels, try recycled paper, or reuse them a couple times before you toss them.

2. Double your recipe, and cook batches simultaneously.
While your oven is in use, might as well make the most of it, and get as many batches baked at once to reduce energy expenditure. You can always freeze extra cookies. Here’s a link to where you can learn more energy efficient baking tips.

3. Skip the hand washing, and load a full dishwasher instead.
Using the dishwasher can actually reduce the amount of water wasted, provided you’re running a fully loaded dishwasher. You’ll also be saving time! Avoid using the rinse cycle to further reduce the amount of water used.
For more information on helpful ways to save resources and energy around the house, head to The EPA’s site for more effective tips!
What You Can Do wishes you all a very happy holiday season that’s both delicious and green!

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