Sprout New Roots


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Hot Cocoa Time!

Hey Guys and Gals!

I hope y’all are having a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice/Holiday season! Did I cover them all? Nah? Oh well-I hope you guys are enjoying the chilly weather! I wanted to tell you guys about the hot cocoa that I’ve been making routinely for the past few weeks! I love hot cocoa. It reminds me of going to City Park to walk through “Christmas in the Oaks” with a hot cup in my hand! And listening to the different choirs and school groups perform in the background as I stroll through the trees decorated by local schools always made me so happy and cheerful! I haven’t been in a few years though and I’m thinking we won’t make again it there this year. The season just sweeps you up and time flies on by! Anywho, back to my hot chocolate!! I was craving it one night a few weeks ago and was determined to make it at home with whatever I had because I didn’t feel like going out in the cold. So I experimented! I put a small sauce pan on the stove, filled it with just the amount of almond/soy milk that I felt like drinking and started to heat it up! I grabbed some unsweetened powdered cocoa and put a teaspoon or 2 in there. I had to really stir this in because it stubbornly sat on top of the liquid until I used a little whipping action. Then I added a little sugar and cinnamon and stirred that in! And Viola! I have hot cocoa!! I’ve made it a few times over the last few weeks and each time I’ve winged/wung (?) it with those ingredients. Sometimes I felt like I wanted more cinnamon than other times, more cocoa/sugar at other times, etc. So you have to find your right mix with this. But every time it came out delicious and hit the spot! And a vegan marshmellow on top would make it complete! Let me know if any of you have good hot cocoa recipe ideas!

Y’all stay warm and cozy!

Love,

Kelli 🙂

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Nothing Says “Christmas” Like Homemade Ginger Cookies!

Hello all!

I hope the Holiday season finds you all full of joy and happiness! This is my absolute favorite time of the year! Seriously, I wait all year long for this and it always seems to fly by. I happen to be one of those crazy girls who starts listening to Christmas music way too early…in case you were wondering. And no, I will not tell you when I start-it’s embarrassing! 😉 OO! Something fun I want to share with you is my new hair cut! Our mom, Tami, is an amazing hair stylist and she gets creative with Jenn and I whenever we’re in the mood for a fun change! Well, there I was-ready for a change! I’ve had long hair for the last 15 or so years of my life and this felt like the right time to chop it and get all funky for the Holiday season! So, here it is! Let me know what you think!

Anywho, on to the yummys! One of my favorite cookies in the world is ginger snaps! I recently bought a bag from the grocery and they didn’t last very long. I forgot the brand I bought but, for being a processed cookie item it didn’t contain too many ingredients and was surprisingly-vegan! After devouring the entire thing within a few days I thought that they must be fairly easy to make at home. So I went recipe hunting and I found one that sounded yummy! I follow Happy Healthy Life’s blog often and they have a great recipe! http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2010/11/molasses-ginger-cookies-vegan-recipe.html

So here’s how we do it!

This makes approx 20 cookies. I doubled the recipe and it came out to around 35…but it all depends on the size of your cookies!

BTW I have copied their instructions as I did exactly what they told me to do! Well, pretty much 🙂

You will need:
2 cups flour (I used all-purpose whole wheat)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp ginger powder
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1/4+ cup water (see notes)
1/4 – 1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup melted vegan buttery spread
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Soften the vegan butter spread in the microwave. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, ginger powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda/powder. Mix well.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the softened buttery spread, molasses, vanilla extract, grated ginger and water.

5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir by hand well until all the ingredients are blended into a moist ball of dough. The dough will seem dry at first, but keep stirring and folding and it will come together. If needed add in extra water one spoonful at a time until the dough consistency is reached.

6. If you want perfectly shaped ginger cookies, you can freeze the dough for 1/2 hour then roll out the dough to cookie cutter circle shapes for baking. Or you can simply roll the dough into moist balls, dip in a coating of sugar and bake. I tried both versions and was pleased with both. (If you want crunchier, thinner Gingersnaps – roll the dough out thin, cut into thin circle shapes and bake.)

7. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Fluffy, but not hard. Cookies will firm up when they cool. Note: do not over-bake – or you will get gingerSNAPS instead of cookie chews.

8. Allow the cookies to cool at least 15 minutes before serving. They will harden as they cool as well as overnight.

*In step #6 they mention that you can freeze the dough-just letting everyone know that I didn’t do this in case any is wondering.

And TA-DA!

I hope you guys try these! They were deeelicious! The only complaint that I got was that you could taste the salt in them. This may be something you like or dislike. I personally enjoyed the little salty kick. I also used sea salt that was coarse so that could have a lot to do with it. And pair the cookies with some yummy soy nog! The kind pictured above is by Earth Balance. So good!

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Kelli