Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

meal ideas ~ holiday cookies make great gifts

Share something sweet with folks on your "nice" list. These yummy Christmas cookies and creative holiday goodies also fit great into a diabetic diet. 

Orange-Dark Chocolate Blossoms
With this calorie-conscious recipe, cookies don't have to be off limits.

 1/2 cup canola oil spread
 1/4 cup butter, softened
 2/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute*
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1/8 teaspoon salt
 1 egg white
 2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 1/2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
 40 dark chocolate kisses and/or dark chocolate stars

 In a large bowl, combine canola oil spread and butter; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt; beat until very light and fluffy. Beat in egg white. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the orange peel. If necessary, cover and chill dough about 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or just until edges are set and bottoms are very lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool completely.

To store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container. Cover; seal. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 82 cal., 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 3 mg chol., 43 mg sodium, 11 g carb. (1 g fiber, 6 g sugars), 1 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 0.5; Other Carb (d.e): 1;

Lemon-Pistachio Slice-and-Bake Cookies
These nutty lemon crisps will be a hit with everyone on your gift list. Be sure to save a few for Santa.
 
 1/2 cup tub-style canola oil spread
 1/3 cup butter, softened
 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute*
 1/8 teaspoon salt
 1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or  1 egg
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
 1/2 cup finely chopped lightly salted dry roasted pistachio nuts
  Lemon Icing (optional)

 In a large bowl, combine canola oil spread and butter; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until mixed. Beat in sugar and salt until well mixed. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the lemon peel.

 Divide dough in half. Shape each dough portion into an 8-inch-long log. Sprinkle half of the pistachio nuts on a sheet of waxed paper. Roll one log in the nuts to coat. Repeat with remaining nuts and log. Wrap logs in plastic wrap. Chill about 2 hours or until firm enough to slice.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If necessary, reshape logs to make them round. Cut logs crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
 Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or just until edges are firm and tops are set. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool completely.

 If desired, drizzle cookies with Lemon Icing. Let stand until icing is set.

To Gift It! Attach a strip of patterned paper around the middle of a box. Add a card stock circle to the front of the box. Fill box with cookies and close. Tie a ribbon around the box. Layer cardboard circles and a chipboard letter for the initial tag to the front of the box over the ribbon.

Lemon Icing
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (do not use substitute)
1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2 - 3 tablespoons fat-free milk or almond milk

 In a medium bowl, stir together powdered sugar, lemon peel, and enough milk (2 to 3 tablespoons) to make drizzling consistency.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 59 cal., 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 3 mg chol., 34 mg sodium, 7 g carb. (3 g sugars), 1 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Other Carb (d.e): 0.5; Mark as Free Exchange (d.e): 0; Fat (d.e): 0.5;


Brandy-Glazed Kolaches
These festive pastries are flaky, sweet, and oh, so yummy. Make a loved one's holidaymerry and bright with these diabetes-friendly treats.

 1/2 cup pitted dried plums (prunes)
 1/2 cup water
 1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute*
 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
 1 1/4-1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1 package active dry yeast
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 cup water
 1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute*
 1 tablespoon butter
 1/4 cup egg product, thawed, or 1 egg
 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
 2 tablespoons honey
 1 tablespoon peach brandy, other desired flavor brandy, or orange juice

 For filling: In a small saucepan, combine plums, the 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and the cinnamon. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 8 minutes or until all but 2 tablespoons of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor. Cover and process until nearly smooth. Stir in lemon peel. Set aside.

 In a large bowl, combine 1-1/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, the yeast, and salt. In a small saucepan, heat and stir the 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and the butter just until warm (120 degrees to 130 degrees F) and butter almost melts. Add water mixture and egg to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping side of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in whole wheat flour.

 Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased large bowl, turning once to grease top of the dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (45 to 60 minutes).

 Punch down dough. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Lightly grease two large baking sheets; set aside. Shape each half of the dough into 10 balls, pulling the edges under to make smooth tops. Place dough balls 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball to a circle 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Cover; let rise until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using your thumb or two fingers, make an indentation in the center of each dough circle. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the filling into each indentation. In a small bowl, combine honey and brandy. Lightly brush honey mixture around the edges of the rolls.

 Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer rolls to wire racks; cool completely.

Storage  Arrange kolaches in a single layer in a storage container. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Let rolls return to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 95 cal., 1 g total fat 2 mg chol., 69 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (2 g fiber, 5 g sugars), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 1;

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***Sugar Substitutes: Choose from Splenda®Granular or Sweet 'N Low® equivalent for needed amount

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