Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Healthier Whole Wheat Yelptastic Cookies

Birthdays, Anniversary, Christmas, New Year's, Holiday Dinners..it's all over. And what do I find myself doing?..Still checking out recipes of desserts..ooh maybe I can bake that..aah I should definitely try this..dang I really need to snap out of desserts. But, I am lucky, haven't run out of excuses yet ;)

Last week Vibes & I had the opportunity to go volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank on Wednesday evening. This was my first ever Yelp event...yup, when I am not writing here..I am writing reviews :).

I have been wanting to bake MissNezz' Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies for a while. I really love that these cookies use 100% whole wheat flour. With all the sugar, of course, they are not healthy healthy..but they are definitely healthier. With all the New Year's Resolutions kicking in and everyone working hard on the treadmill, I felt these would be perfect to kick off the New Year!! :)

I have been itching to pipe with Royal Icing..and although intimidating, I began practicing piping Royal Icing on wax papers. Since this was my first time going out with fellow Yelpers, I decided to make little Yelp logos for my cookies as a memoir, which didn't turn out perfect but weren't too bad after all. ;)

I used a trick that they call 'Transfers.' It is a good technique for Beginners, such as, myself. Begins with printing the image of what you want on the cookie. So I began with tracing a logo off of my computer screen on a wax paper (not parchment), and then continued tracing.
For icing, my setup was simple..placed the traced wax paper and covered it with thin sheet of plastic. The plastic sheet protects printing ink or pen ink transferring on to the wet Royal icing. The sheet doesn't have to be a professional laminate..I used a bag that you bag produce in at grocery stores. Run a scissor down 2 sides, so that it opens up to give you a bigger sheet. Secure it with some tapes.

Finally place a fresh piece of wax paper. This is the one you will pipe your little transfers on. Secure the entire setup with some tape, so it does not shift while you pipe. Lightly spray some Pam and wipe it with a fresh dry paper napkin..All done...Let the piping begin!

When done, let them dry and then cover loosely with a piece of wax paper and let them dry overnight. Once dried these will easily peel off the wax paper. Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.

To attach them to the cookie, pipe some royal icing on the back of the transfers, very carefully so you don't break them and 'glue' them to the cookie. Alternately, you can flood your cookie and when the flooded cookie is slightly dry place your transfer directly on it.

As usual, I made changes to the original recipe ;)..I couldn't bear to add so much sugar. So I decided to flavor it with more with lemon and give it a kick with some extra spice. That really worked and balanced out well. None of us missed the sweetness, and the cookies turned out chewy and yummy.

I made a double batch and got 60 cookies for a big group. Simply halve the ingredients to make a single batch. These are even great with some evening chai.

Whole Wheat Healthy (less) Sugar Cookies
Adapted from MissNezz' Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

3/4th cup + 2 tablespoons Butter
3 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour (If you are worried about too much protein, substitute
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Sugar
1/4th cup + 2 tablespoons Turbinado Sugar
2 teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 tablespoon Lemon Rind
3 tablespoons Milk
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Cinnamon

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Keep aside.

With a paddle attachment beat both sugars and butter in a separate bowl of a standing mixer (or hand mixer) until fluffy.

Zest the lemon into the bowl. Add milk, lemon juice, vanilla and the eggs to the bowl, and beat well.

Add the dry ingredients 1/3rd at a time and beat well to combine.

The batter at this point is very sticky and not ready to be handled. It needs some chilling time. So cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter for a good hour or two.

When chilled and ready to bake position rack in center of oven; preheat to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheet pans with parchment paper or Silpat mats.

Take half the dough out and divide it into smaller balls. Roll this smaller balls between 2 sheets of wax papers to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out the cookies and place it on lined sheet pans an inch apart.

Bake for about 8-9 minutes.

Remove pan and let the cookies cool on the pan for about 2-3 minutes. Them move the cookies to a cooling rack to cool off completely and ready for decorations.

A great idea for Valentine's maybe, just around the corner :). Happy Baking or should I say Happy Yelping!! :D

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