Baking | Wholewheat Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Great Cookie Swap 2013 #fbcookieswap

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013Wholewheat Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels … it’s the time of the year when the bells begin to jingle and there are hungry cookie monsters on the prowl. With the cookie season in full swing, this year I have literally abandoned plain flour for whole grains. This year, there was another reason to bake cookies – a fundraiser called the Great Cookie Swap 2013, which a bunch of us got roped into thanks to sweet Charis via Roshni!

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013 I’ve been watching it take shape over the years, attempted to enroll once. We never did find enough folk to make a ‘team’ in India. This time was different and we made a beginning. With India now on the map, hopefully we get a whole bunch of food bloggers joining in next year. If you wish to be notified about the swap next year, do sign up here

Gingerbread menThe cookie baking experience was a whole lot different this year thanks to the event. The swap made it special. For a change I was baking for a cause, and guarding my loot from the cookie monsters! From a dozen that were normally available for them to munch, there were just a couple on offer!

Cookie Swap 2013We had to bake a dozen cookies for each of 3 surprise recipients, who wouldn’t know until the bell rang that cookies had arrived. I was fortunate to get my first secret batch from RiddhiCook By The Book. Her cookies were delicious! That set me in the mood and I headed straight for the kitchen.

Cookie Swap 2013I wanted to bake everything for everyone, but then got real. Couriering can prove to be harsh on cookies, the logistics a little dicey. I narrowed down to whole-wheat cinnamon ginger cookies and whole-wheat chocolate pretzel cookies. I had recently made dozens of whole-wheat gingerbread men for a home for homeless girls and really enjoyed that experience.

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013 I decided to bake fluted cookies for the swap since gingerbread men are fragile. Then the daughter joined in, found some doily cookies on Pinterest and pestered me to make them. I did but with whole-wheat gingerbread cookie dough.

Doily Cookies for the Cookie Swap 2013She wasn’t a 100% impressed though as wanted finer lacier cookies. I was happy with whole-wheat deep flavoured ones. I think the doily idea is stunning, and would definitely work more beautifully on sugar cookie dough etc. This was something new learnt, and immensely enjoyed. It certainly was a WOW moment!

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013 The chocolate pretzel cookies I used to make often when the kids were little. Haven’t made them in years. To my delight, the minute tray #1 popped out of the oven, the daughter whooped in delight, “Yay pretzels!! You haven’t made them in years. I love them“. The son reacted similarly!! Happily enough, there were plenty for the two of them too.

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013 The pretzels too underwent a wholegrain makeover. The kids loved them like before. I still wonder why I didn’t think of these things earlier. They tasted crunchy good and chocolaty with whole wheat flour too.

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013 I love the idea of a bakers dozen, and stuck in a cute gingerbread man to accompany the cookies. Each box had a special happy man in there too. I hope my cookies surprised my secret recipients.

The GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers.

This year they have again partnered with COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

 I really enjoyed doing the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap‘. From deciding what to bake, to waiting impatiently for the surprises to arrive, to waiting for posting date, it was n enriching experience.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie SwapThank you Riddhi @ Cook by the Book for the wonderful Zesty Whole-wheat Pumpkin Seeds Oatmeal Cookies, Sangeeta @ Healthfood Desi Videshi for the addictive savoury GF Lentil Cookies {with loads of my favourite flavours}, and Roshni @ The Vanilla Bean for the delicious Lavender Crisps.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013My cookies to Sangeeta and Himanshu reached quite early, but Riddhi in Bangalore wan’t that lucky. Got a call just this afternoon from the courier that the package came back undelivered. Sangeeta’s cookies also apparently reached Riddhi very late. Will mail some later as she is travelling this month!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Whole Wheat Gingerbread Men …christmas cookies with a heart

‘Gingerbread Men’
Stir a bowl of gingerbread, smooth and spicy brown,
Roll it with a rolling-pin, up and up and down.
With a cookie cutter, make some little men,
Put them in the oven, until half past ten.
Author unknown

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Men 1 Whole Wheat Gingerbread Men … I call them cookies with a heart even though I cut them out! There’s really nothing like cute little gingerbread men to bring a smile to your face. I’ve been making these for years, almost now a Christmas tradition.

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Men I love the deep cinnamon and ginger flavours that get heightened by earthy whole wheat flour. For 100% whole grain cookies, these are nothing short of amazing. Crisp, spicy and sweet! C.U.T.E. too!

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Men A few days ago, the husband said he was headed to a home for homeless girls as part of his company’s CSR, and asked if I could bake something. Yes! I instantly knew it was going to be these. He also asked me to try to make some goodie bags for the girls!

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Men I haven’t had SO MUCH FUN in ages. Actually ever since the kids grew up and kissed birthday parties and return gifts goodbye. This was even more fun than those days. Also very interesting to see the level of interest it drew out of the daughter.

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Men She began making the goodie bags in the car while I was driving her back from art class. She didn’t lose interest. For once. She continued to giggle stupidly, sing crazily, talk non stop to Coco while making the bags.

Coco-Santa

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Men They are slightly tedious to make as compared to normal cut out cookies. The stamping out of the hearts, the adding little heart sprinkles, and then the smile of course are a little involved! There was a time I used to make the little smileys in a flash. Now with more years under my belt, the eyes aren’t as sharp. So the smileys take a little longer, the little dragees rolling all over the place. Some have a mind of their own!

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Men Well, in the end, it was all very worth it. Just stamping out gingerbread men makes me happy. They promise to spread holiday cheer, sharing happiness with the nibblers! The kids got one each much to their delight since I was guarding the men with my life!

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Men I made a few extra for another special cookie occasion too. More on that very soon! So are you into cookie mode too? I certainly am. What are your cookie monsters munching? My cookies are pretty much whole grain now. I look back in guilt at the many years of plain flour that I baked with.

Wholegrain bakingThe internet is a wonderful place, and food blogs are the best! So much inspiration, food for thought and so much creativity you can build upon. These days there’s plenty of oats, barley, whole wheat and amaranth in my baking.

You can find more festive food here

Christmas food
Christmas Mince Fruit Pies
Pistachio & Craisin Cookies
Garam Masala Christmas Fruit Cake
Christmas Stollen {Dresden Stollen}
Strawberry & Vanilla Macaron Trifle
Pannetone
Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Wookies {Waffles + Cookies}
Apple Cranberry Almond Olive Oil Popovers
Christmas Stollen Pudding
Toasted Walnut Lindzer Cookies
Gingerbread House

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies …. #snugg

Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies … felt like snug cookies. Something secure and comforting about them. The idea of course came from developing a comforting bite which felt ‘snug’ … thanks to this fabulous Snugg iphone cover I received in the mail the other day.

snugg antiradiation iphone caseI love the Snugg line of products. They spell quality and durability which is what I look for in anything I would pick. I have been using the Snugg iPad cover for a while now, and I love it to bits. The iPad  is ‘safer’ in the kitchen than ever before, and stands beautifully while I dash back and forth! Similarly, the iPhone case spells quality. In addition, this premium case sports some fantastic features.

Black iPhone 4/4S Anti Radiation Case.

- Reduces Cell Phone Radiation (SAR) by 92% and Hot Spot Radiation (EFI) by 90%!

- Ultra Thin, Lightweight, Sleek Design.

- Durable and Impact Resistant.

Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies With the word snugg in mind I marched ahead with a cookie idea. I attempted to snuggly fit in some Nutella into the heart of my cookie. At the end of my experiment, wasn’t too sure if the Nutella taste came through, but the cookies were a hit alright!

Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies Soft cake like cookies, ‘no longer tiny’ hands sneaking them away from the cookie jar one after another. They seemed to hit the right spot with the kids. With a nice deep chocolate flavour, you could barely tell that these were whole grain cookies!

Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies Maybe it’s the recent almost 100% switchover to healthier eating & whole grains, a sign of evolving tastes. Or maybe that chocolate and wholegrain are good ‘companions’, I have had loads of luck of late. I barely ever use plain flour anymore, unless it’s a special birthday cake, or maybe partly in bread. I’ve had a patch of good luck with 100% wholewheat bread too, so I ain’t complaining!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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