It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (cookies, that is!)

…and you know what that means: Holiday treats.

I may be adding to the abyss of sweet treats you are inundated with this holiday, but I wanted to share a lovely, fun recipe that I think you might enjoy that is also relatively benign in terms of the sugar situation.

Checkered molasses and vanilla cookies (adaptations from the Bob’s Redmill baking Book).  Essentially its a hybrid of two recipes, formed together to make checkered cookies.  Sorry no pics – the camera is currently out of commission.

For both cookie doughs, prepare them the day ahead of baking, partition into 4 small balls of dough, cover and refrigerate overnight.  Take them out and warm up for about 1 hr before baking at 350 for about 8 minutes.

Molasses cookies:

1.5 sticks softened butter
1/3 cup Turbinado sugar
3 cups of whole wheat or whole spelt flour, or a mix
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp each: ginger, allspice
2/3 cup blackstrap Molasses (high in Iron and calcium; it should look like black sludge!)

Cream butter and sugar until light lemon-yellow; about 3-4 min.  In a medium bowl, sift flour with soda, salt and spices.  Beat half the flour mix into the butetr mix, then beat in half the molasses and then add the remaining flour and molasses in the same fashion.  Once mixed, store as mentioned above.

Vanilla Cookies (AKA Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies)

2 cups whole grain flour (wheat or spelt)
2 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp Vanilla almond milk (unsweetened if possible)

In a medium bowl, sift flour with baking powder and salt.   Add cinnamon.  In another bowl cream butter/sugar for about 4 min, and then beat in egg.  Stir in vanilla and Almond milk, then add flour mix to wet mix 1/2 cup at a time.  Once prepared, set aside as mentioned above.

To make the cookies:  take each ball of dough and roll into about an 8-10″ tube. You will have 8 tubes, maybe more (Depends on how much dough you ate and how big the tubes are).  Mine were about 1″ in diameter, I think.

Set a molasses and a vanilla tube next to eachother and gently squish toward teach other.  Stack a molasses on top of bottom vanilla, and a vanilla on top of the bottom molasses.  Thus, they are staggered or checkered.  Gently squish together on all sides without losing the integrity of the roll.

Slice 1/3″ think to 1/2″ thick off the rolls and vioala!  You have your checkered cookie.  Lay flat on a greased baking dish and bake.  The sugar cookie part may rise a bit more than the molasses part, but not much.  This makes A LOT of cookies, so be prepared to give some away, OR half the recipe of each.