Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

There’s something magical that happens when you roast Brussels sprouts—it’s like they all of a sudden turn into these sweet lovely bits of heaven. All right—I might be exaggerating a bit, but my they’re tasty.

To make it: 
  • about a pound of Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of sunflower oil (or olive, or peanut oil)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Clean brussels sprouts and put in a largish glass bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly and layer in a 8″ glass baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then stir, and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve.

Killer Holiday Shortbread

This is one of the regulars (pretty much the only regular) on my holiday cookie list. The combination of oat flour and whole wheat pastry flour offers a whole-grain kick and a bit more body to the cookies while still being a bit light; although you can buy oat flour in the supermarket, I make my own oat flour by grinding rolled oats in a coffee grinder. It comes out exactly the same, it’s significantly cheaper (about 50%, at least), and I use oat flour in pretty much all of my baking, so I just make a bunch at a time and keep it handy.

To make it: 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups raw sugar (if you don’t like your cookies super-sweet, use 1/3 cup less sugar)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh orange zest (about half of a large orange)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry flour
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • sugar for sprinkling.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In medium-sized bowl, sift flour and cornstarch together with cinnamon and orange zest and set aside. In larger bowl, cream butter with sugar and candied ginger until fluffy. Slowly add dry ingredients (about a half-cup to a cup at a time), and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated (electric beaters work wonderfully for this, as would a KitchenAid mixer if my boyfriend is giving me what I think I’m getting for Christmas…). The batter should be thick and kind of dry. Bring dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet and use your hands to spread it out (should be about 1/2 inch thick by the end) to the ends of the sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until the cookies have just started to get golden brown. Remove from heat and sprinkle with raw sugar while it’s still warm. Let cool 5 minutes, then cut shortbread into rectangles about 1″ by 3″ - these are super-rich, so you don’t really need them to be bigger than this.