Holiday Pfeffernusse Cookies

Pfeffernusse Cookies.JPG

What are you baking this holiday season?

I love these festive cookies for their addictive spiciness, petite size, and pillowy texture. Pfefferneuse (‘peppernut’) cookies are traditional German, Dutch and Danish spiced Christmas cookies that I remember eating as a child. They have a licorice-like anise flavor that may be a bit polarizing, but that I find festive and perfect during this season. I recreated the traditional cookie in gluten free, egg-free, and refined sugar-free form— and the result is perfect! Bake them in your own home as you embrace the darkness of the winter season and the soon-to-be return of the light.

Holiday Pfeffernusse Cookies

These cookies can be easily frozen and ahead of when you want to serve them.

Pfeffernusse Cookies 2.JPG
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seed (+ 3 tbsp water)

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill GF 1-to-1 flour blend)

  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ginger

  • 1/4 tsp cloves

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp allspice

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt

  • 1/2 cup unsalted organic grassfed butter

  • 2 tsp anise extract

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/4 cup molasses (use blackstrap molasses for a less sweet, more deeply flavored cookie)

  • 1/8 cup coconut sugar, blended into powder (can sub conventional powdered sugar if desired)

 

DIRECTIONS

In a small dish, whisk together chia seed and water and set aside to gel.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In a large bowl, beat butter, anise extract, coconut sugar and molasses. Stir in the chia mixture, and then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll 1” balls of dough, flattened slightly on the bottom, and place onto greased baking sheets. Bake until the cookies start to brown on the bottom, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack and cool slightly.

Pour powdered coconut sugar into a plastic bag and drop cookies into bag, one by one, to coat them with sugar.

Chia Seeds Inside + Out

I've been buzzing about the beauty benefits of chia seeds for a few years now (you can check out the Pantry chapter of Eat Pretty for an in-depth overview of this beauty food), since they support healthy digestion and elimination, help with fullness and satiation, and encourage regular detoxification (all radiant skin essentials!). Chia seeds are great sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin, as well as skin-clearing, immune-supporting zinc. But this is the first time I'm experimenting with the topical benefits of their oil!

My January 2017 Beauty Heroes Discovery Box just arrived, and inside is the beloved Maya Chia The Super Couple face oil serum, as well as a special edition Supercritical Chia Waterless Wonder Balm with a fresh-smelling lavender, vetiver, and cardamom scent created just for Beauty Heroes. Opening this monthly box, and using the carefully-crafted natural and organic products inside, continues to be one of my very favorite self-care moments each month. I've been introduced to more beautiful products than I can count through my monthly Beauty Heroes box. 

But back to this month—when I saw these two Maya Chia products, I wondered first about the term 'supercritical' and the chia oil extraction process it references. How does it differ from, say, the cold pressing process? It turns out, a lot. First of all, the 'supercritical' extraction process is licensed only to Maya Chia in the US. It's a super-gentle, oxygen- and solvent-free extraction process that, "unlike cold pressing, where valuable antioxidants, omegas and sterols can be lost during the cold pressing process – the supercritical extraction method yields all of the biologically ‘active’ components (all the good stuff for your skin) of the amazing chia seed," according to Maya Chia.

The rest of the ingredients in these formulas continue the trend of being super high quality—they're are either certified organic, organic, or wildcrafted, (with the exception of myrrh). You might be surprised that the facial oil serum has a bright orange color- a product of the high levels of the antioxidant astaxanthin that it contains. Astaxanthin is quite a powerful ingredient for fighting free radical damage and slowing the aging process. So far these formulas feel amazing—I layer them at night—on my wintertime skin.

Remember: always apply your facial oil serums over skin that you've misted with a toner or hydrosol—that moisture layer helps the serum to properly hydrate your skin at the topical level. And for moisture and chia seed nourishment from the inside out, try my Ginger Grapefruit Chia Seed Pudding!

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Protein-Packed Beauty Breakfast: Homemade Qi'a

There's much debate about breakfast— is it really the most important meal of the day? Can eating breakfast make you leaner, happier, more energetic, and less controlled by cravings? I say absolutely, BUT it all fully depends on what kind of breakfast you choose to eat!

Here's why...

Read More

Recipe for Fall Beauty: Chia Spice Smoothie

chia spice.png

In this season of pumpkin lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cheesecakes and pies, it’s easy to lose sight of the powerful skin nutrition that’s found in pumpkin.

One serving of pumpkin has about seven times the skin-smoothing, glow-inducing vitamin A you need in a day, so snacking on pumpkin is an instant jumpstart for lackluster skin.

Sometimes we forget that pumpkin is actually a vegetable (not simply a flavoring), and that we can cook and eat those pumpkins we pick at our local farm— not just carve them and put them in the window.

When you snack on a pumpkin muffin or sip a pumpkin coffee, you’re not getting much, if any, of pumpkin’s mega dose of vitamin A (excellent for boosting cell turnover and smoothing skin at a time of year when your skin needs it more than ever!). What you need is a smart way to use pumpkin this season, so you can make the most of this veggie and the fabulous pumpkin flavor that we love so much in the fall. Beauties, it’s time to take pumpkin out from beneath that mountain of sugar and make it into a delicious, festive, crave-worthy treat that also keeps your skin gorgeous!

For a creamy, spiced snack that’s more satisfying than a pumpkin donut and worlds more beautifying for your skin, try my Chia Spice Smoothie, below. The omega-3-rich chia seeds add just a bit of healthy fat, to ensure that you absorb all of the beauty vitamins packed inside pumpkin. You can use canned pumpkin, or cook your own in the oven (don’t forget to roast the seeds, which are high in skin-healing zinc!).

Read More