I love the holidays and all the opportunities there are to be festive, but more than anything, I love to bake special treats for those I love. Thankfully, I have perfected my baking so that it’s a bit less painful on the diet with my secret weapon: Country Crock. Why is Country Crock my secret weapon? It has 40 less calories, and 4 less grams of fat per tablespoon! It’s a great substitute for butter, especially when you are looking to create slightly less diet-disastrous holiday recipes! Using it in most of my baking, along with the favored Gold Medal flour, I got to making my Vanilla Christmas Sugar Cookies for my hubby and his co-workers, as they are entertaining out of town clients!
I knew they would be a hit… but that wasn’t all! While meandering through our local Price Chopper store, I noticed such a wonderful variety of goods that I was inspired with more baking ideas like Chai Pumpkin Pie and Coconut Snowballs (which are actually no-bake recipes!).
These three goodies together were welcomed with such gusto that I was asked to make more before the New Year! What a success! Follow the recipes below to make the ones you love smile this holiday season!
For 30 cookies you will need:
3/4 c Country Crock
2 1/2 c Gold Medal AP flour
1 c white sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla extract
FOR THE ICING:
In a small bowl combine milk and confectioners sugar to make a paste.
Add as much colored sprinkle topping as desired for color and effect.
Brush on cookies AFTER they have cooled.
* Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix on medium until completely blended.
* Let mix chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator, if not overnight.
* Preheat oven to 400° F.
* Remove dough from bowl and roll out on floured counter until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
* Use your desired shapes to create your favorite holiday cookies.
* Place on an ungreased tray an inch apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
* Let cool completely before icing.
* Put 2 c of coconut and all of the coconut oil in a food processor. Process on high speed making sure to scrape the edges down, until the mix has a paste-like consistency with some texture.
* Add the maple syrup, vanilla, coconut milk, cinnamon and salt and process until well mixed, then 1 c + 4 T of the remaining coconut. Pulse until combined.
* Shape the mix into balls about 1 inch in diameter and coat them with the remainder of your coconut. Refrigerate for shape and bring to room temp for enjoyment! (These keep for up to 5 days!)
For one pie you will need:
1/2 c instant oatmeal
1/2 c pumpkin seeds
1/2 c unsweetened coconut
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t salt
1 c chopped pitted dates
1 1/2 c pumpkin purée
1/3 c maple syrup
1/4 c melted coconut oil
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
3/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t cloves
1/8 t black pepper
2 T coconut flour
* Place oats, seeds, coconut, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the dates and process until the mix is sticky- it should hold together when you pinch the mix between your fingers.
* Press your crust’s dough evenly into your pie mold. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
*Combine the purée, syrup, oil, vanilla, salt and spices in a food processor and blend until smooth.
* Add flour until the mix is well combined.
* Remove the pie mold from your freezer and pour the filling in- make sure you spread it evenly.
* Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled. (I added some coconut on top for a bit extra crunch and look!)
These ingredients are all available from your local Price Chopper- and please don’t forget the must-haves for your holiday baking arsenal: Country Crock and Gold Medal AP flour… and a holiday helper: