Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Preparations and White Chip Coconut Cookies

 ***This seemed to post before I was done writing it - if you viewed it earlier, please take note of changes to the recipe***

        Planning ahead has never been my strong suit, and with a surgery in the weeks before Christmas, I seem to be a bit more behind than usual. We did several hours worth of online shopping Saturday morning, and I’ve never been quite so grateful for supersaver shipping, and a pass from going to a mall. We have long striven to keep Christmas simple, sticking to two gifts per child and donations in their names, but someone had to shop for them all the same. Perhaps it’s last week’s heartwrenching tragedy, but I have more of an urge than ever to stick close to home and hunker down with the people I love. The rower and I did venture to a fair trade gift shop, and to a coffee house where I drank tea that kept me up into the wee hours of the morning, but it was worth it.

          We’re giving ourselves grace to move more slowly, put up a small tree next weekend, and take it easy with decorations. I’ll give myself permission to keep school simple and incorporate Christmas preparations. In addition to our morning hymn, praise and devotional time, we’ll focus a bit on the OAntiphons – you may recognize them from the hymn O Come, O come Emmanuel.   Some Catholic friends, whose home is rich in liturgy and faith, shared this link and concept with us. Here’s a wee bit – do check out the link to learn more:

          “The importance of “O Antiphons” is twofold: Each one highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah.
       ...According to Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one - Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia - the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, “Tomorrow, I will come.” So the “O Antiphons” not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.

          I’ve also been trying out this novel concept (don’t laugh) of baking ahead of time for the holidays, instead of in a mad, two-day frenzy that leaves me incapable of enjoying any of it, once Thanksgiving or Christmas or said holiday has arrived. It actually worked at Thanksgiving (who knew?) so we’ll give it a go this week too, freezing things as we go. I hope to share recipes for those also trying to do GF holiday baking – and to spare you the pain of trying to adapt a recipe off of the back of a chip bag, only to realize, after two trays of cookies have baked, that you’ve left out the xanthan gum. Ugh. You’re welcome. You might note that in most instances, I've adapted recipes to contain less sugar - up to half - than what was originally called for. If you like your baked goods sweeter, take note. We usually don't get complaints, and in fact, receive many requests for recipes, so I think you can get by without all that extra sugar. The recipe below contains plenty even with adjustments!

          Up today: the Wrestler’s favorite, White Chip Coconut Cookies. I double this recipe, and bake half chipless to make a few trays dairy free, and then add the chips (still two cups for a double recipe, since I've used half the dough) to the remaining dough.


Trusting in Him,

White Chip Coconut Cookies
1 2/3 c gluten free flour
1 t. xanthan gum
¾ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
2/4 c. Spectrum Shortening (or margarine or butter if you’re ok with dairy)
½ c. packed brown sugar
¼ c granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 c. flaked coconut
¾ c. chopped walnuts (optional)
***2 c. Nestle Toll House White Morsels*** Optional, omit if you need dairy free, these DO contain dairy
          Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine shortening, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl and beat until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture, and once incorporated, add the coconut and nuts (optional) and mix well. If dairy is not an issue, add the chips and mix well. Drop by rounded heaping teaspoonsful onto ungreased baking sheetsx, and bake 8-11 minutes, or until lightly browned but still soft. Remove to wire rack to cool. HINT – line cookie sheets with parchment paper, and slide each piece off onto the cooling rack after baking, with cookies intact. This makes clean-up so much easier and cookies bake more evenly.

No comments:

Post a Comment