A Very Cherry Christmas Cookie

  

Very Cherry Christmas Cookies IngredIf you’re like me (the odd-ball of the family) and just can’t take another chocolate dessert (yep, you read that correctly)…then these festive cookies will allow you to escape the ordinary cookie and enjoy some of the colors and treats of the holiday.

Since this Very Cherry Christmas Cookie is 100% whole wheat and uses more wholesome ingredients, I don’t feel too bad about the few ‘fruitcake cherries’ that are in it for the festive seasonal flair.

Very Cherry Christmas Cookie

Very Cherry Christmas Cookies

Makes: 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • ¼ Cup Organic Coconut Oil
  • ¼ Cup Softened Butter
  • ½ Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup Organic Evaporated Cane Crystals (Raw Sugar)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ Cups Freshly Milled “All Purpose Flour”*
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ¼ to ½ Cup Candied Cherries
  • ¾ Cup White Chocolate Morsels or Almond Bark Pieces or Peppermint Pieces

* An ‘all purpose’ flour can be made by milling 50% Hard White Wheat & 50% Soft White Wheat in your WonderMill on the Pastry setting.

Instructions

  • Gather all ingredients before beginning to mix.
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • With electric mixer, beat Coconut Oil and Butter in a large bowl until smooth.
  • Add Raw Sugar and beat until fluffy.
  • Add Brown Sugar and beat until fluffy.
  • Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and glossy.
  • Set this bowl aside.
  • In a smaller bowl, place freshly milled flour, sea salt and baking soda stir with fork or whisk to combine.
  • Cut Cherries each in half until you have between 1/4 to 1/2 Cup.
  • Toss about half of the sticky cherry pieces into this flour mixture.
  • Gradually combine the about half of the flour mixture into the sugar, egg & butter
  • Add remaining cherries and chocolate (or almond or peppermint) morsels
  • Chill this batter for at least 1 hour a ‘higher’ cookie.
  • Spoon out 1 rounded Tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet.
  • Leave room for a little expansion for each cookie.
Very Cherry Christmas Cookie Dough

Very Cherry Christmas Cookie Dough

  • Bake between 11- 13 minutes
  • Move to a wire rack almost immediately for a chewy cookie – let cool on pan for 2 minutes before removing for a crunchier cookie.
Very Cherry Christmas Cookies Baked

Very Cherry Christmas Cookies Baked

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Chocolate Whole Wheat Empanadas (Vegan)

  

Oh…The joys of trying to eat healthy and still have some indulgences.  Out of the attempt to ‘have it both ways’ this recipe was born!

Originally called “Sugar Pies” by my very southern, Appalachian born and bred, mother-in-law, I realized they are in fact an empanada.

Shhhh… don’t tell her that… 

I made some healthier substitutes to her original recipe such as: whole wheat vs. white flour crusts, coconut oil & nut milk vs. butter & shortening, etc. Still, these are among the richest, most indulgent dessert you will ever enjoy! That’s one reason I made them small.

Ok, I’ll admit. The photo below was really one of the ‘steps’ in the process not the finished product.  This was the plate of shaped empanadas.  They had not yet been pan fried or oven baked.  But in my defense, I was accosted by family and guests as each of these came out of the pan and there was NO WAY to get a finished photo.  Just picture, if you will the golden brown ‘done-ness’ of the crusts…

Guess you’ll have to make your own to see what I mean… (:

Chocolate Empanadas VeganThe ingredients could not be simpler: A vegan pie crust and filling.

Vegan Whole Wheat Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C Organic Raw Virgin Coconut oil (chilled)
  • 2 C sifted, freshly milled *all purpose flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 C ice cold water (you may not use all of this)

First pour 3/4 C of liquid coconut oil into a Pyrex measuring cup and place in refrigerator.

Second pour 1/2 C of water and place in refrigerator (if in a rush add ice cubes but you will want to remove them before using the water)

To make the *all purpose flour mill 3/4 C of Hard White Wheat & 3/4 Cup of Soft White Wheat in your WonderMill on the Pastry setting.

Then sift 2 Cups worth of the flour into a food processor with the ‘S’ blade in place.

Place lid on food processor then add salt and pulse once or twice.

Remove chilled 3/4 C Organic Raw Virgin Coconut oil from the refrigerator and cube inside the measuring cup with a cold knife. Try not to touch the cubes much with your hands.  Place cubes back in the fridge if they begin to melt any before the next step.

Drop 2-3 cubes into the flour/salt mixture and pulse 4-5 times.  Continue the drop/pulse steps with 2-3 cubes of chilled coconut oil until all are incorporated and the mixture resembles a course meal or grits.

Remove chilled water from fridge (you may not use all of this)

Turn food processor on to continuous and SLOWLY drizzle a small, but steady stream of ice water down the shoot of the food processor as it runs.

Pause occasionally to see if dough begins to pull from the base and sides and form a ‘ball’ once it begins to ‘ball up’ stop the food processor.

Remove the ball of wonderful pie crust and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the empanadas

…or you can top the best Pot Pie EVER with this or bake it as a pie crust, or well… lots of stuff….. But for now, let’s make the Vegan Chocolate filling :)

Chocloate Empanadas vegan 2Vegan Chocolate Filling:

  • 1/2 C Cocoa Powder
  • 2 C Organic Evaporate Cane Crystals (Raw Sugar)
  • 2 TBS Coconut
  • 1/4-3/4 C Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional if using Vanilla Almond Milk)

In a sauce pan combine first three ingredients and a scant amount of almond milk.

Over a medium-low heat melt coconut oil, sugar and cocoa together stirring continually until smooth.

Add almond milk a little at a time until mixture resembles a very soft ‘meatloaf’ consistency (gross, I know but that’s the best way to picture it).

Remove from heat.

 

Shaping Empanadas:

First decide oven baked or pan fried method.  If baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and make sure rack is centered.

Roll out pie crust into thin 1/4 inch sheet on either a foured or oiled surface.

With a biscuit cutter cut as many circles as you want.

Fill the center of each pie crust circle with 2 TBS of chocolate filling.

Wet the outer rim of the circle (that will become the inner part once folded) with one finger dabbed in water.

Fold over and crimp with fork tines.

Now that they are all finished you can line them on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or pan fry them in a little coconut oil (very little) on the stove top until golden brown!

Enjoy responsibly…these are  addictive and really rich!

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Super Tasty 7-Grain Hot Cereal (Vegan Gluten-free )

  

This is one of my favorite recipes for a hearty, hot whole grain breakfast on a cold winter morning.

There are a few keys to making this this hearty super tasty 7-grain hot cereal:

1. The varied coarseness you get from each type of grain when grinding in the Wondermill Jr. Deluxe

2. Soaked grain nutrition (easier digestion and creaminess)

3. Using the Slow Cooker for it the night before (easy to wake up to a hot breakfast)

ISuper Tasty 7-Grainngredients:

Serves two

  • 1/4 C Course Ground Corn Meal
  • 1/4 C Course Ground Brown Rice
  • 1/2 C  Gluten Free Rolled Oats*
  • 2 TBS Course Ground **Buckwheat (if toasted it’s Kasha)
  • 2 TBS Quinoa
  • 2 TBS Amaranth Seed
  • 2 TBS Millet
  • Dash of Sea Salt
  • Approx 2 Cups of nut milk
  • Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • 1 TBS Pecan Pieces (or nut of your choice)
  • 1 TBS Cranberries (or dried fruit of your choice)
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Raw Coconut Oil
  • 1 TBS Hemp Hearts (optional)
  • Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup to top.

Mid-day grind each grain separately in your Wondermill Jr. Deluxe and combine the first 12 ingredients to soak all day in an UNPLUGGED crock pot.

The night before you hope to enjoy this as breakfast simply add 1/2 to 3/4 Cup of water to your crock pot, stir and turn on to low (8 to 10hrs) and cover.

The next morning enjoy!  Add coconut oil and if needed, more nut milk for consistency sake. Serve in a bowl topped with any one of the remaining ingredients to your liking (or make up your own toppings).

Get your bowl, agave nectar or maple syrup…dish out this 7 Grain Super Tasty Hot Cereal and enJOY!

Best Blessings, Donna Miller

 

*Oats may contain trace a gluten if you cannot find gluten free oats simply omit and reduce liquid or replace with 1/4 C of ground corn or rice or 1/8 C of each.

**In the photos I had raw  buckwheat (hulls/husks still on). That does tend to give the cereal a very strong, almost bitter taste.  My favorite buckwheat of choice is either a toasted (kasha) or hulled/de-hulled (hulls removed) buckwheat which is a light tan/golden color and has a far milder flavor.

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Nutty Date Gift Loaves (Whole Wheat)

  

Nutty Date Gift LoavesNutty Date Gift Loaves

Fall is absolutely my favorite time to bake.  The minute the leaves turn their fall colors my oven starts to work over time. And with Thanksgiving (my favorite) around the corner, I look for ways to share the gift of home-made, fresh-milled goodies.  Smaller loaves are the perfect gift.

This recipe can have any puree base flavor you’d like (or have on hand): applesauce, pumpkin puree, prune puree, banana puree (what I used) or butternut squash puree. Other than a slightly differing base flavor, the recipe will turn out great!

Nutty Date Gift Loaves
 
Smaller loaf pans make this a great gift.
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 mini loaves
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Hard White Wheat Flour ground in a Wondermill or Wondermill Jr. Deluxe
  • 1 Cup Soft White Wheat Flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ Cup Fruit Puree of your choice
  • ½ Cup Organic Sugar
  • ¾ Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup Coconut oil in liquid form
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ C Chopped Dates
  • ¼ C Chopped Pecans (or walnuts)
  • Rolled Oats
  • Cinnamon & Sugar Mixed
Instructions
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in one larger bowl
  2. Stir to mix and set aside.
  3. Combine next 6 ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Stir until smooth, then set aside.
  5. Make a 'well' in the middle of the dry mixture
  6. Pour all of wet mixture into dry mixture bowl
  7. Stir to just mixed, may be lumpy.
  8. Add nuts & dates and lightly mix together
  9. Do not over stir or loaves will be hard - keep batter lumpy.
  10. Prepare small loaf pans with spray.
  11. Pour equal amounts of mixture into pans (left over batter makes great muffins)
  12. Sprinkle top of batter with oats and cinnamon/sugar mixture
  13. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.
  14. Remove to cool in pan on wire rack.
  15. Remove from pan when cooled, wrap and give as gifts.

 These make a great snack or breakfast served with cream cheese!

Best Blessings and enJOY!

Donna Miller

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Whole Wheat “Beer” Bread

  

I’ve never done well with sour dough. Not sure why.  So I’ve always experimented with ways to give simple loaf bread more depth of flavor.  Just like the Buttermilk Bread & Potato Bread (previous posts of mine here) I tried to raise the fermentation process by making Whole Wheat “Beer” Bread.

Now for those who will not partake or buy actual beer itself, the non-alcoholic beer actually works great! So you can get this same crusty, rich taste without having to purchase beer if you prefer not to.

Admittedly, in the one pictured below, I made a mistake and hit the wrong cycle on the bread machine (I always use ‘Dough Only’ until this error) and it baked IN the machine (gasp!)  But it still tasted great!

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

Whole Wheat "Beer" Bread
 
The 'easy' way to add fermented flavor to your bread.
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Serves: 26 slices
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Beer (non-alcoholic works great) Room Temp
  • 2 TBS Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Active Yeast

  • 1⅓ Cup Freshly Milled Hard White or Hard Red Wheat Flour
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 2⅔ Cup Freshly Milled Hard White or Hard Red Flour
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Active Yeast
Instructions
  1. First, Mill your Flour in the Wondermill or Wondermill Jr. Deluxe
  2. Gather first three (3) ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl or mason jar mix together until blended.

  4. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in warm (75-85 degree) area for 12-24 hours
  5. Upon returning, it should look very bubbly and smell very yeasty
  6. Add this starter to the bread-machine
  7. Now add remaining ingredients
  8. Set dough setting and let knead.
  9. When machine is done, remove and shape into loaf.
  10. Let rise 25-30 minutes
  11. Bake at 350 F for 18-20 minutes
  12. Remove from pan, let cool, slice and enjoy!

 

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Whole Wheat Potato Bread

  

The Potato Bread you can buy in the grocery store has a special texture and flavor. However, it also has some additives you don’t want and is made from dead, white flour.  So, here is my answer to the texture and taste with all the benefits of whole wheat.

Whole Wheat Potato Bread

Whole Wheat Potato Bread
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Serves: A 2lb Loaf (22 slices)
Ingredients
  • ¾ Cup Warm Water
  • ¾ Cup Milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBS Olive Oil
  • ⅔ Cup Potato Flakes
  • ¼ Cup Organic Sugar
  • 3½ - 4 Cups Fresh Milled Hard White Wheat
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1¼ tsp Instant/Bread Machine Yeast
Instructions
  1. First, Mill your Flour in the Wondermill or Wondermill Jr. Deluxe
  2. Gather all ingredients and bread machine.
  3. Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl until well blended
  4. Pour into bread-machine pan
  5. Add remaining ingredients into bread machine pan in order give
  6. Turn on to Dough Setting
  7. If mixing by hand, mix salt into flour, then mix yeast into flour/salt mixture
  8. Add ½ Cup at a time to liquid and continue until dry is mixed in and required to knead by hand.
  9. Knead until gluten is formed and let rise until doubled.
  10. Punch down and form into a loaf.
  11. Place seam side down in a well oiled pan.
  12. Split top of loaf with a sharp knife
  13. Pour melted butter over top into split loaf
  14. Let rise 25-30 minutes in a warm place (75 - 90 degrees)
  15. Bake at 350 F on center rack for 22 minutes
  16. Cool, Slice and enjoy!

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Soaked Whole Wheat Bread

  

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working on adapting my foolproof whole wheat bread recipe to be a “soaked” recipe.  If you’re not familiar with this concept, soaking involves combining the flour with an acid (like yogurt, whey, cultured buttermilk, or vinegar) for a 12-24 hour soak in order to reduce the phytic acid in the grain.

Up to this point, I have not soaked my grains on a regular basis, nor to I intend to do so all the time.  But I wanted to adapt my recipe so that others who do soak their grains could use it, and I wanted to start introducing grains to our son (we waited until he turned one).  I am starting to feed him soaked grains because the soaking makes them more digestible (grains are one of the hardest things for the body to digest, and little tummies need some extra help at the beginning!).

I have made this recipe this way at least eight times, and it’s always turned out well (except for the one time I was in a hurry and forgot to add the salt!).  Your bread will be affected flavor-wise by the kind of yogurt you use.  I’ve used three different kinds of yogurt (homemade, crockpot version; homemade, counter-top version; and storebought plain Greek) and each one imparts a slightly different flavor to the finished loaf (though you may not even notice it).

Soaked bread tastes a little more like sourdough bread than my regular recipe.  If you’re not having any issues with digesting grains, you may want to stick with that recipe.  But if you find that your body does better when your grains are soaked, sprouted, or soured, you might enjoy this recipe!

Soaked Whole Wheat Bread Recipe     (Printable recipe here.)

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, freshly ground
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. yogurt

2 1/4 tsp. yeast (or one packet)
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. sucanat
2 Tbsp. wheat gluten
2 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

The night before you want to bake bread, grind your wheat in the WonderMill.

In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine flour, water, and yogurt.  Cover, and let soak at room temperature overnight (12 hours).

In the morning, uncover the bowl and put the soaked dough into your stand mixer.  Add yeast, salt, sucanat, gluten, and olive oil.  Using the dough hook, mix for a few minutes until well-incorporated.

Cover bowl and let rest for 45-60 minutes.

Grease a loaf pan.

After rest, oil the countertop and your hands and dump the dough onto the surface.  Knead the dough a couple of times, then roll it up into a loaf shape.

Place the dough into the greased bread pan.  Slash the top of the loaf and cover with plastic wrap.

Place pan in the fridge for 2 hours.

Towards the end of the refrigerator rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the loaf from the fridge, take off the plastic wrap, and allow it to sit on top of the preheating oven.

Bake for 34-35 minutes.  Let loaf sit in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

*If you’re wondering what the actual “schedule” looks like when soaking bread, here is what mine is usually like:
8:00 PM Grind wheat and start soak
8:00 AM Add other ingredients
8:15 AM Rest
9:00 AM Shape loaf
10:50 AM Preheat oven
11:00 AM Bake loaf
11:35 AM Remove loaf from oven
11:40 AM Remove loaf from pan and cool
This schedule allows me to use the bread for lunch that day, if needed.  It slices best when completely cool, but it’s doable after 45 minutes or so.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Cherry Waffles {Whole Wheat}

  

Chocolate and cherry is such a delicious combination, so I had to play around with my favorite waffle recipe to come up with a way to enjoy both of those flavors!

If I’m being honest, these taste more like a dessert than a breakfast food!  That’s why when I served them the other day for lunch, the girls ate blueberry waffles first and had one of these as “dessert”!

Still, the batter is made with 100% whole wheat flour.  We didn’t put any syrup on them (just butter), but honey or maple syrup would be yummy!

This recipe makes six waffles, so double or triple it as needed!

Chocolate Cherry Waffles

1 cup whole wheat flour, freshly ground
1/4 cup sucanat
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. melted butter (plus more for waffle iron)
3/4 cup buttermilk, or see note*
1/3 cup dried cherries

Grind wheat in the WonderMill.

Preheat waffle maker.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sucanat, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a smaller bowl (or glass measuring cup), mix together 1 Tbsp. melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until combined.  Fold in dried cherries.

Grease waffle iron by brushing with melted butter (or you can use cooking spray).

Fill waffle iron with batter and cook according to manufacturer’s directions.  I like to underfill my waffle maker so the batter doesn’t leak down the edges!

*Note: Add 2 tsp. lemon juice to a glass measuring cup, then add enough milk to make 3/4 cups.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then use in recipe in place of buttermilk.

Enjoy!

Makes 6 waffles.

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

  

In the summer, I know many of us are looking for good ways to use up all that delicious zucchini!  These muffins just melt in your mouth, but you can feel good about the whole grains, coconut oil, and lower amount of sugar (I usually see at least 1 cup of white sugar in most zucchini bread/muffin recipes!).

My girls loved these and thought they were quite a treat for dessert!  I won’t tell you how many Tad and I ate after they went to bed.

I don’t bake as much in the summer as I do in the winter, but these are worth heating up the kitchen!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, freshly ground
1/3 cup evaporated cane juice (or white sugar)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup coconut oil, completely melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 small (or 1 medium) zucchini, shredded (about 1 heaping cup)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, chopped (or use mini)

Grind wheat in the WonderMill.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 12 muffin tins or use liners (I used silicone liners, which work great and you don’t even have to grease them!).

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, evaporated cane juice, baking soda, and salt.

In a glass measuring cup, combine milk and lemon juice and allow to “sour” for a few minutes.  Add egg, coconut oil, and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.

Fold in shredded zucchini and chocolate chips.

Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin tins.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Delicious when warm!

Enjoy!

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Easy 5-Ingredient Dinner Rolls

  

As you probably know, I love trying new whole grain recipes!  These dinner rolls made an appearance at our table recently alongside salmon, as well as an encore at lunch the following day with frittata.

They’re a great little addition to a meal and an excellent way to have whole grain bread with your meal without much “fuss”!  They come together so quickly (no need to rise!) and they bake in just 8 minutes, so your oven won’t overheat your kitchen.  Plus, they only require five simple ingredients (that you probably already have on hand)!

Easy 5-Ingredient Dinner Rolls    (Printable recipe here.)
    adapted from here

2 cups whole wheat flour, freshly ground
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
scant 1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup milk (may need a few Tbsp. more)

Grind wheat in the WonderMill.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until butter is the size of small marbles.  Add 1/2 cup milk and stir until the mixture comes together.  Use your hands to knead the dough into a ball.  It should not be sticky, but if it’s too dry, add milk 1 Tbsp. at a time until it holds together well.  Be careful not to overwork.

Form golf ball-sized rolls out of the dough and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes at 450 degrees.

Serve warm with butter!

Makes 12 rolls.

Enjoy!

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