December is upon us, and I couldn’t be more ready to celebrate. When it comes to holiday food, I’m all for enjoying some sweets, but I also don’t want to go too crazy, over-indulging at holiday parties. So this year, I thought I’d experiment with a “healthier” cookie recipe to shake things up a bit. An old colleague of mine passed along a recipe for buckwheat cookies a while ago, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give them a taste test.

For those who don’t know, buckwheat is a whole grain with many health benefits. It is naturally gluten-free, and is high in zinc, copper, potassium, soluble fiber, and protein, just to name a few. For more information, please refer to the Whole Grains Council website where you can find lots of great whole grain info, including the fact that buckwheat is the December Grain of the Month!

Personally, I thought these cookies were quite tasty. They are just basic sugar cookies, but I tend to like plain and simple foods where you can really taste the flavor of the actual ingredients. For someone with more demanding tastebuds, a little frosting or decoration may make these cookies more festive.

My only warning: be careful about using too much flour on the cutting board. This may seem obvious, but my sous-chef (a.k.a. my boyfriend) went just a tiny bit overboard with the flour, and the first batch turned out a bit dry. Next time, I might experiment with ways to make the cookies a little more moist. But even the slightly imperfect batch still fulfills my treat cravings and got me in the holiday spirit, so really, no complaints here.

Crispy Holiday Sugar Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

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¼ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup buckwheat flour

DIRECTIONS:
1.  In mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs and vanilla.

2.  Stir or sift all-purpose flour and baking powder, add along with buckwheat to form a fairly firm dough.

3.  Chill one hour or until dough is stiff enough to roll. On lightly floured board, roll dough ¼–inch or thinner. Cut with cookie cutters and place on ungreased baking sheets.

4.  Bake at 375 degrees for 6 – 8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Decorate or leave plain.

Notes: * You may also be able to substitute whole wheat pastry flour for some or all of the all-purpose flour. Try it!

* The recipe claims to serve eight dozen, but it really comes nowhere close to that. I made half a batch and ended up with about 20 cookies. Enjoy!

-Chrisanne


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